Sept. 6, 2008
HONOLULU, Hawaii -
The Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball Team (0-6 overall) closed out the Honolulu Advertiser Volleyball Challenge with a three set defeat (12-25, 16-25, 12-25) to the 12th ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-1 overall), on Saturday afternoon in Honolulu.
"This tournament was a great learning experience for this team," said UW head coach Carrie Yerty. "It was a great environment to play in against some of the top teams in the country. I felt the players worked hard and competed on every play. That's the direction we want to take this program."
Lauren Whitney and JennaRae Jester each finished with seven kills each. Libero Samantha Eley recorded a team high eight digs followed by Carissa Lee with six. The Cowgirls hit -.019 (22-24-108) for the match and had only one total team block.
Minnesota was led by Hailey Cowles with ten kills, 15 digs and a .444 (10-2-18) hitting percentage. The Golden Gophers hit .329 (37-10-82) for the match and had eight total team blocks.
Wyoming scored the first two points to begin the match, and then the Gophers scored the next four of five to go up one, 4-3. After the Cowgirls tied it up at four all, Minnesota went on an 8-2 run to increase their lead to six, 12-6. UW ended their scoring drought, but the Gophers responded with three straight points to make their advantage eight points, 15-7. The two teams played evenly over the next several points until Minnesota extended the lead to double-figures 22-11. They would close it out to win the first set 25-12.
In the second set, Minnesota took a small 3-1 lead, but it was quickly tied up at four all by the Cowgirls. Unfortunately, the Golden Gophers went on a 6-1 run to go back up by five, 10-5. Wyoming continued to play hard as they pulled to within three several times including 18-15, but it seemed Minnesota had an answer every time as they finished out the set on a 7-1 scoring run to win the set 25-16 and take a 2-0 lead in the match.
It was pretty even to begin the third set as neither team gained a significant lead until Minnesota went up 9-7. After the Cowgirls scored the next two points, Minnesota went on a 7-1 run to take a six point advantage, 16-10. Things didn't get much better for Wyoming as they really struggled to score points down the stretch. The Golden Gophers outscored them 9-2 the remainder of the way to win the set 25-12 and the match 3-0.
Wyoming will be at home next week as they host the UniWyo Cowgirl Classic, Friday-Saturday, Sept. 12-13. They will face Cleveland State, Kansas and UAB.