Cowgirl Volleyball Falls in Five Against Pioneers

Sept. 19, 2006

DENVER, Colo. -

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After winning the first two games of the match, the Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball team (7-5 overall) ended up with a disappointing five game loss (30-24, 31-29, 26-30, 21-30, 15-4), while stepping out of conference play against the Denver Pioneers (7-4 overall) on Tuesday night in Denver.

Three Cowgirls finished the match in double-figures including junior outside hitter Rachel Smith. She recorded a team high 18 kills along with 14 digs. Freshman Micah Lines had 15 kills and 20 digs followed by Annie Meyers with 12 kills and seven digs. Sam Eley led the way with a career high 26 digs. As a team, they hit .096 (58-39-197) for the match

Denver was led by Holly Benson with 22 kills and 14 digs. Lisa Hunter followed with 19 kills and 22 digs, while Kim Muller had 13 kills. The Pioneers hit .206 (70-31-189) for the match.

"We played better in games one and two and they played better in games three, four and five," said head coach Pat Stangle. "We came out in game three took the lead, but then we let them dictate the tempo which followed the rest of the match. We're still learning how to finish matches and that has really showed in the last two that we have played."

The Cowgirls took a small lead in the early going of the first game, but Denver answered with four straight points to take a one point advantage, 4-3. Wyoming responded with a 6-0 scoring run to regain the lead 9-4. After the Pioneers scored, the Cowgirls rallied off the next eight of 12 to extend their margin to eight, 17-9. With the score 20-12 in favor of UW, DU battled back with five straight points to pull within three 20-17. The Cowgirls kept their composure and went on a 10-7 run to close out the first game 30-24.

In game two, Wyoming jumped out quickly to a 7-2 early lead. With the Cowgirls up by five, 9-4, the Pioneers came back with a 9-3 run to take a one point advantage, 13-12, which they extended to five, 17-12. UW scored a couple of quick points unfortunately Denver continued their hot streak by scoring the next five of seven to make it a six point game, 22-16. With the score 24-18 in favor of the Pioneers, they seemed to be well on their way to victory in the second game. The Cowgirls had other ideas as they went on an 8-2 run to even things up at 26 all. Denver scored the next two points, but Wyoming came back with the next five of six to take the second game 31-29.

Once again in the third game, Wyoming opened up with a 7-2 lead. The Pioneers scored four of five to pull within two, 8-6. The Cowgirls continued to lead until a 5-1 scoring run by DU put them up 15-11. After two points by the Cowgirls brought them to within two 15-13, Denver continued to build upon their lead going up by as many as seven twice during the game. DU would hold on to win 30-26.

It was pretty close to begin the fourth game with Wyoming taking a slight 10-9 lead. Unfortunately, the Pioneers came back with an 11-6 scoring run to open up a 21-15 advantage. That lead would grow to double-figures 27-17 as the Cowgirls struggled on the offensive end of things. Denver would win the game 30-21 to force a fifth and deciding game.

Denver took control from the very beginning as the Cowgirls were never close except for 3-2. The Pioneers ran off 12 of 14 points to close out the game 15-4 and the match 3-2.

The Cowgirls will resume Mountain West Conference play next Thursday, September 28, as they host the Air Force Academy Falcons at 7:00 p.m.