Cowgirl Volleyball Opens Up Tourney With Win

Sept. 14, 2002

vs Middle Tennessee W 3-0

Auburn, Alabama -- In the opening match of the WarEagle Invitational, the Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball Team (6-2 overall,0-1 MWC) swept the Middle Tennessee State Lady Raiders (7-4 overall) inthree games (30-26, 30-17, 30-24) on Saturday afternoon in Auburn,Alabama.

The Cowgirls jumped out early in the first game by taking an 8-1 lead.They would maintain a six to seven point advantage throughout the game,but an 8-3 run by the Lady Raiders closed that gap to 25-22. UW seemedto gain the momentum back, despite a very good fight by MTSU and tookgame one 30-26.

A 9-3 lead would be the way the Cowgirls started the second game of thematch. Middle Tennessee fought back with a 7-4 run to close the marginto three points. That wouldn't last for long as the Cowgirls answeredright back with an 17-7 run to not only to win the game 30-17, but acommanding 2-0 lead in the match.

The Lady Raiders started off fired up with a 7-3 advantage to begingame three. But Wyoming stormed right back with a 9-5 run to tie thescore up at 12-12 and the eventual lead 14-12. The two team continued totrade points back and forth with neither one gaining larger than a oneor two point lead. With the score tied up at 23, the momentum seemed toreally shift the Cowgirls way, as they would score the final seven ofeight points to win the game 30-24 and take the match 3-0.

"I like that we came out aggressive," said head coach Jim Barnes. "Weworked on some defensive things and looked a little sharper. We hopethis tournament will help us improve as a team and get ready forconference play."

The Cowgirls were led by Michele Rauter, who finished with ten kills,11 digs and a .292 (10-3-24) hitting percentage. Freshman Liz McDuffiehad a breakout match, as she finished with a career high eight kills,five service aces, one block solo and three block assists. As a team,they hit .271 (42-13-107) and eight total team blocks.

Wyoming will play their second match of the War Eagle Invitationaltoday, against the UNC Greensboro Spartans, at 6:00 p.m. MT. They willclose out the tournament tomorrow against the host school Auburn Tigers,at 1:00 p.m.