Sept. 10, 2004
Carbondale, Illinois - In their opening match of the Saluki Invitational, the Cowgirl volleyball team improved their record to 3-2 overall with a four game win (30-20, 27-30, 30-19, 30-18) over the UMKC Kangaroos on Friday night in Carbondale, Illinois.
The Cowgirls jumped out quickly in game one by taking a 10-3 lead. They maintained a significant advantage as the score grew to 22-9 before the Kangaroos reached double-digits. UMKC would go on 6-1 run to close the gap to nine points, but UW would finish out the game 30-20.
The Kangaroos rebounded in the second game by taking an early three point advantage, 10-7. They maintained a two or three point lead throughout, but seemed to break out by scoring the next 12 of 19 to open up a larger lead, 22-14. The Cowgirls would battle back and close the margin to within two points several times, but in the end UMKC pulled out the game 30-27.
It was a real battle as both teams really gave everything they had in both games three and four. Neither team took a significant advantage until the Cowgirls seemed to gain control at about the same point in both games. They would take the lead and never look back, winning 30-19 and 30-18 in the final two games. UW would better their record with a 3-1 win in the match.
Wyoming was led on the night by a several true freshmen. Laramie native Shelby Heggie tallied a career high 17 kills and a .640 (17-1-25) hitting percentage, while middle blocker Lauren Scott finished with 12 kills and a .588 (12-2-17) hitting percentage. Libero Rachael Booth also had a good night with a career high 20 kills. The Cowgirls also recorded a season high .379 (61-11-132) hitting percentage, and out blocked the Kangaroos 7-1.
The Kangaroos were led by junior outside hitter Angela Melka, who finished with 11 kills and 11 digs for the evening. Lauren Starks also notched 15 digs and eight kills for UMKC. As a team, they hit .141 (.46-28-128).
"We really came out focused in the first game," said head coach Pat Stangle. "We jumped out with a big lead and took the game easily. UMKC rebounded in the second game, came out strong and the dog fight was on. In games three and four, everything really started to come together. Our offense stabilized and we passed well, which helped us put together a couple of good games to earn the win. I also felt our middles played well tonight, and really made a difference for us in this match."
The Cowgirls will close out the tournament tomorrow by taking on Eastern Illinois at noon MT and the Southern Illinois Salukis at 6:00 p.m. MT.