Wyoming Falls to UC Irvine in Five

Sept. 1, 2007

IRVINE, Calif. -

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The Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball team (3-2 overall) closed out the UC Irvine Nike Invitational on Saturday night with a disappointing five game loss (31-29, 27-30, 30-23. 25-30, 8-15) against the host UC Irvine Anteaters. UW senior Angie Hellbaum was honored for her efforts over the weekend by making the All-Tournament Team.

"We were up two games to one but really didn't play that well in the fifth game," said UW head coach Pat Stangle. "I'm proud of the team because we really competed but just couldn't finish things out. UC Irvine is a really tough team to play especially at home. Overall, we are making progress and getting better, we just have some things to work on next week."

Wyoming was led by Rachel Smith who finished with a team high 17 kills, while hitting .190 (17-6-58) for the match. Angie Hellbaum and Lauren Whitney each followed with 14 kills and middle blocker Lauren Scott had eight. Carissa Lee led the way with 13 digs while Hellbaum and Tasha Weishahn both finished with 12 digs a piece. Wyoming hit .186 (60-28-172) and had nine total team blocks for the night.

The Anteaters were led by Kari Pestolesi who recorded a match high 23 kills along with 11 digs and a .333 (23-7-48) hitting percentage. She was followed by Lauren Kellerman with 19 kills and 16 digs, along with Alexandra Filkins with ten kills and a .474 (10-1-19) hitting percentage. Devon Sutherland recorded a match high 22 digs while adding five service aces. UC Irvine hit .296 (80-27-179) and recorded 19 total team blocks.

In game one, UC Irvine took an early 9-5 lead, which was answered by a small run by the Cowgirls to pull within two, 10-8. The Anteaters responded by scoring eight of the next 13 to extend the lead back five, 18-13. UC Irvine continued to maintain their lead but with the score 24-22 in favor of the Anteaters, Wyoming stormed back to pull within one 28-27. The Anteaters would eventually earn game point at 29-27, but the Cowgirls maintained their composure and scored the next four straight points to pull out a 31-29 win.

The two teams played pretty evenly to start the second game until UC Irvine took a three point lead 11-8. The Cowgirls tied it up at 11 all, but the Anteaters scored five unanswered to go up 16-11. They would continue to maintain their lead the remainder of the game as Wyoming was only able to pull with two, 28-26, and UC Irvine took game two, 30-27.

The Cowgirls stormed back in game three as they jumped out to a 7-1 lead. They would increase that lead to nine, 16-7, with a 9-6 scoring run. Wyoming continued to maintain a seven to eight point advantage gaining a double-figure lead at 21-12. Despite being outscored 11-9 the remainder of the way, the Cowgirls took the game 30-23 and a 2-1 lead in the match.

UC Irvine responded by taking a 7-2 advantage right out of the gate in game four. The Cowgirls battled back with a 9-4 run to pull even at 11. After the UC Irvine scored the next point, Wyoming answered with a five of the next eight to take a 17-15 lead. UCI answered with a 5-2 run of there own to make it 19 all. From that point the momentum seemed to shift over to the Anteaters as they scored the final 11 of 17 to win the game 30-25 to force a fifth game.

Unfortunately for the Cowgirls, the Anteaters momentum from the previous game carried over to game five. They took the lead from the beginning and never looked back. The closest Wyoming was able to get was 4-3 as UC Irvine won the game 15-8 and the match 3-2.

Wyoming will resume play next weekend, Friday-Saturday, Sept. 7-8, at the Jayhawk Invitational. They will take on Kansas, Morehead State and Saint Peter's (NJ).