Cowgirls Open Up Big Red Invitational With Sweep

Sept. 27, 2002

vs Niagara W 3-0

Ithaca, N.Y. -- In their opening match of the Big RedInvitational, the Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball Team (12-2 overall)continued its winning streak by defeating the Niagara Purple Eagles(3-13 overall) in three games (30-25, 30-23, 30-26) Friday night inIthaca, N.Y.

Wyoming opened up the match a little rusty going point for point withNiagara early in the game. They took their first big lead 12-8, but adetermined Purple Eagles team rallied to within one. With the score19-17 in favor of the Cowgirls, they would go on a 7-1 run to go up byeight points. Niagara made a come back of their own running off the nextseven of eight points to pull within two, but UW would hang onto thegame 30-25.

The Cowgirls continued to struggle in the early going of the secondgame as Niagara opened with the 7-5 lead, but UW fought back with a 6-0run to take an 11-7 advantage. Despite the Cowgirls holding the lead,the Purple Eagles continued to battle. A run by Wyoming put them up forgood as they took the second game, 30-23 and a 2-0 lead in the match.

The third game was a different story as they started out scoring thefirst six points. Niagara battled back with an 8-2 run to close withintwo points, but the Cowgirls went on a 9-2 run to take a seven pointlead. A scrappy Purple Eagles team wouldn't give up tieing the score upat 22 with a 9-3 scoring run, as the Cowgirls would eventually take thegame 30-26 and the match in three games.

"It was definitely a sluggish start for us" said head coach Jim Barnes."In order for us to be victorious tomorrow we will have to start outstronger. Tonight, the leadership from Michele, Sara and Amy gave us theability to win a match like this."

Junior outside hitter Michele Rauter led the Cowgirls with a team-high18 kills and 12 digs, while hitting .378 (18-4-37) for the evening.Rightside hitter Sara Maytorena finished the match with 11 kills, oneblock solo, four block assists and a .579 (11-0-19) hitting percentage.As a team, the Cowgirls out hit the Purple Eagles .314 (50-17-105) to.222 (43-19-108).

The Cowgirls will continue play in the tournament on Saturday with twomatches. They will open up the day at 9:30 a.m. MT against the SetonHall Pirates and then a match-up with the host team Cornell Big Red at5:00 p.m.