Sept. 25, 2004
Laramie, Wyo. (Sept. 25, 2004) -- The Cowgirl volleyball team (7-5 overall, 2-0 in the MWC) earned a four game victory (30-17, 28-30, 30-19, 30-28) on Saturday night over the Air Force Academy Falcons (4-6 overall, 0-2 in the MWC) in Laramie.
Wyoming opened up strong by scoring the first eight of eleven points to take an early 8-3 lead. Air Force pulled to within three, but the Cowgirls went on a 6-2 run to open up a seven point advantage 15-8. Air Force rallied back with a 6-1 run of their own to bring the score to 16-14, unfortunately for them UW would score the final 14 of 17 points to take the first game, 30-17.
It looked like the Cowgirls would run away with game two as they opened up with six unanswered and scoring nine of thirteen to take a five point lead. The Falcons clawed their way back in to the game with a 10-5 run to even the score at 14 all. UW answered with a 5-1 run to regain a four point lead, but Air Force kept hanging around by tieing the score up at 19 all. They would keep that momentum going as they out scored the Cowgirls to win the second game, 30-28.
The Cowgirls took the early lead in game three, but it continued to stay close. Wyoming seemed to gain momentum by taking a 10-5 lead, which was quickly closed by Air Force to make the score 14-12. UW kept their composure and out scored the Falcons 16-7 to win the game, 30-19.
Air Force came out fired up in the fourth game as they took an early 7-4 lead, but Wyoming responded with an 8-5 run to even things up at 12 all. The Falcons seemed to gain the upper hand by scoring the next seven of ten points to go up, 19-15, unfortunately for them the Cowgirls battled back with a 10-4 run to take a 24-23 lead. Despite every effort of the Falcons they couldn't make the comeback on Wyoming as the Cowgirls would win the game 30-28 and the match 3-1.
"We were just happy not to go into a fifth game, because anything can happen," said head coach Pat Stangle. "We played well in games one and three, not especially well in games two and four, but we finally figured out their tendencies and made the little plays. It was a nice job for us to come away with a win. It's great to be undefeated in the conference and a good start for us."
Five of six Cowgirls starters finished the night in double-figures, which included four freshmen. Outside hitter Rachel Smith led the way with 18 kills, a career high 16 digs and a .378 (18-4-37) hitting percentage. She was followed by Lauren Scott with 13 kills, two block solos and six block assists, along with Shelby Heggie and Angie Hellbaum with ten kills each. As a team, they finished the night hitting .264 (66-23-163) compared to .128 (55-35-156) by the Falcons. They also out blocked Air Force 12-5.
The Cowgirls will host a non-conference match on Monday night against the North Dakota State at 7:00 p.m. before heading out on the road against San Diego State and UNLV over the weekend.