Cowgirls Drop Tourney Opener To Jayhawks In Five

Sept. 12, 2008

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

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The Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball Team (0-7 overall) lost a heartbreaking five set match (29-27, 25-23, 23-25, 24-26, 20-18) on Friday morning against the Kansas Jayhawks in the opening match of the UniWyo Cowgirl Classic.

"I was really pleased with the effort and play of this team today," said UW head coach Carrie Yerty. "We played some of our best volleyball and really executed things, but just couldn't finish it off in the end."

Four Cowgirls finished the match in double figures led by sophomore Dani Bedore who finished with a career high 21 kills, along with five total blocks and a .354 (21-4-48) hitting percentage. JennaRae Jester followed with 17, while Jenna Arneson recorded 14 and Lauren Whitney had 13. Libero Carissa Lee had 14 digs, while Samantha Eley added 11. Wyoming hit .309 (77-22-178) for the match and recorded seven total team blocks.

Kansas was led by Karina Garlington with 23 kills and 12 digs. She was followed by Natalie Uhart with 15 kills. The Jayhawks hit .278 (78-31-169) for the match and had 11 total team blocks.

The two teams traded points back and forth in the early going of the first set. Kansas would take a slight 6-4 advantage until the Cowgirls went on a 4-1 run to go up one, 8-7. The Jayhawks scored two points to make it 9-8, but Wyoming answered by scoring seven of the next nine to make it 15-11. Over the next several points, the Cowgirls continued to maintain a two to three point lead. Kansas battled back down 19-16 with a 4-1 run to tie it up at 20. Wyoming scored two of three to make it 22-20, which was quickly tied up by the Jayhawks. UW continued to battle as Kansas held off five set points before the Cowgirls would win the set 29-27.

In the second set, Kansas took a 4-1 early lead, which the Cowgirls tied up at seven with a 6-3 scoring run. Over the next several points, the two teams went back and forth with neither one gaining an advantage. Wyoming would go up two, 16-14, but the Jayhawks would tie it up at 16 and then take an 18-17 lead. The Cowgirls responded with a 5-2 scoring run to make it 22-20. Kansas wouldn't go away quietly as they evened it up again 23-23. This time, Wyoming scored the final two points to win the set 25-23.

Wyoming started out strong in the third set taking an 8-4 lead. The Jayhawks battled back with a 5-1 scoring run to even it up at nine all. The two teams battled back and forth until the Cowgirls went up 14-12, which was quickly tied up by Kansas at 15-15. After another run of trading points, KU went up 21-19, which Wyoming responded with three of the next four points to tie it up at 22. Unfortunately, the Jayhawks finished out the set on a 3-1 run to win it 25-23.

Kansas carried their momentum into the fourth set by taking an 8-5 lead. The Cowgirls went on a 4-1 run to tie the score at nine all. The Jayhawks responded with a 4-1 run of their own to go up 13-10. UW pulled to within one 13-12, unfortunately Kansas continued to maintain a three to four point advantage. With the score 20-17 in favor of KU, Wyoming scored three straight to even it all up. The battle was on as it went back and forth until the Cowgirls earned match point, 24-23. Unfortunately a ball handling error by UW and three straight Kansas points gave them a 26-24 win in the set to force a fifth set.

The Jayhawks jumped out to the 5-3 lead, but Wyoming evened it up at six all with a 3-1 run. KU scored the next two points to quickly go back up 8-6. Again the Cowgirls staged another comeback to tie it up at ten. Once again, Kansas had an answer as well by scoring four of the next six to earn match point, 14-12. Wyoming held off two match points and scored the next three points to earn their own match point at 15-14. They wouldn't be able to hold on as Kansas held their ground and won the set 20-18 and the match 3-2.

Wyoming will play UAB tonight beginning at 7:30 p.m. before wrapping up the match tomorrow against Cleveland State.