Sept. 24, 2004
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Cowgirl volleyball team (6-5 overall, 1-0 in the MWC) earned an exciting five game victory (30-22, 25-30, 27-30, 30-24, 16-14) on Friday night by defeating the New Mexico Lobos (6-5 overall, 0-1 in the MWC) in the first match of the conference season.
After Wyoming scored the first point of the match, UNM scored four unanswered to go up 4-1. The Cowgirls pulled to within one, but the Lobos went on an 8-6 run to take a three point lead, 14-11. Wyoming battled back by scoring the next ten of 13 points and their first lead 21-17. The Lobos hung tough and brought the score to 21-19, but that's as close as it would get. The Cowgirls scored the final nine of eleven to take the game 30-22.
New Mexico came out strong in game two by gaining the upper hand. UW closed to within one, but the Lobos went on an 8-5 run to open up a four-point lead. Wyoming battled back with a 10-5 run of their own to make the score 20-19. Unfortunately, they could only manage to score five more points and the Lobos would tie up the match, 30-25.
The Cowgirls gained control from the beginning of the third game by maintaining a three or four point lead. With the score 24-21 in favor of UW, New Mexico had other ideas as a 10-3 run helped them win the game 30-27, but take a 2-1 lead.
Wyoming seemed to dominate in the fourth game, and with the score tied up at eight all they went on 10-5 run to take a five point advantage. Never willing to give up the Lobos scored the next ten of fourteen, which included eight straight points, they would regain the lead 23-22. This time it was the Cowgirls turn to battle back as they out scored New Mexico seven to one to force a game five, 30-24.
It was all Wyoming in the fifth and deciding game. They would come out and score the first seven of ten points. They would eventually go up 14-10, but New Mexico would hold off four match points and tie it up at 14 all. In the end, the Cowgirls would pull out the game 14-11 and the match 3-2.
"We didn't do a very good job on getting their tendencies early in this match," said head coach Pat Stangle. "We knew what they were going to do, they tipped to get out of trouble, and it took use a few games in to the match to figure that out. This match had the makings from the very beginning that it wasn't going to be very pretty, and it wasn't. It was really one of those matches that whoever battled until the end, and I liked the way we regained our composure in game four and carried that over to the fifth game."
Five of six Cowgirls starters finished the night in double-figures, which included four freshmen. Senior Sara Maytorena recorded a team high 20 kills and 15 digs. Rachel Smith led all freshmen with 17 kills, 12 digs and five block assists.. She was followed by Angie Hellbaum with a career high 16 kills and 11 digs, Lauren Scott with 12 kills and Shelby Heggie with 11 kills. As a team, they finished the night hitting .229 (80-36-192) compared to .161 (63-32-192) by the Lobos.
The Cowgirls will continue Mountain West Conference play tomorrow night as they host the Air Force Academy Falcons at 7:00 p.m.