Cowgirls Upend BYU

Oct. 15, 2004

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Laramie, Wyo. - The Cowgirl volleyball team improved to 10-8 overall and 3-3 in the Mountain West Conference after earning a thrilling four game victory (27-30, 30-28, 31-29, 30-27) on Friday night over the BYU Cougars (10-7 overall, 4-2 in the MWC) in Laramie. It's the first time that the Cowgirls have defeated a BYU volleyball team since Nov. 17, 1989 when Mike English was the head coach, and the victory is only the fourth in the series history.

The Cowgirls came out fired up and took an early 6-2 lead. BYU pulled to within two, but UW scored three unanswered to go up by five. With the lead 11-7 in favor of the Cowgirls, the Cougars went on a 9-3 run to take their first lead of the game 16-14. They would build a three or four point advantage, but the Cowgirls continued to hang around. They pulled to within one unfortunately the Cougars took the first game 30-27

Game two went back and forth as neither team took a significant lead. The Cowgirls seemed to gain some momentum at 13-10, but BYU went on a small run to even up the score at 15 all. After that the battle was on as the two teams continued to trade points. Finally, Wyoming would pull out an exciting 30-28 win.

Wyoming once again came out and took a very early 4-1 lead, which was quickly answered by BYU with a 5-2 run to tie it up at six. The Cougars would then take an 11-8 lead, but UW battled back with a 5-2 run of their own to pull even at 13. The fight was really on as both teams pushed to score points. With the scored tied at 19, the momentum seemed to shift towards the Cowgirls as they scored the next seven of 11 to go up three 26-23. BYU came back to even up the score 26-26 and eventually going ahead 29-28 for game point. The Cowgirls would hold them off and score the next three straight to win the game 31-29 to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

Game four saw the Cowgirls jump out early which was quickly answered by the Cougars. In turn, Wyoming responded with an 8-5 run to open up a 14-11 advantage. BYU evened things up at 15, but again the Cowgirls out scored them seven to four over the next several points to go back up 22-19. The Cougars were relentless as they fought their way back in to it and played the Cowgirls point for point. Finally, Wyoming with the score tied 27-27 earned the final three point to take the match 3-1.

"Anytime you can beat a team of their caliber with a team like we have with all of the young players it's significant," said head coach Pat Stangle. "It's a little sweeter since it's been 15 years, so it's definitely a huge win for us. The thing that this team did in addition to some outstanding performances was we never let the match get out of hand, and when you look at some of our losses teams have gone on big runs and that didn't happen tonight. We also did a great job with our pass and serve tonight," he added. "Anytime you can do that you put yourself in a position to win."

Three individuals finished the night with double-figures in kills, including true freshman Andrea Tuck. She tallied a career high 21 kills, 11 digs and a .472 (21-4-36) hitting percentage. She was followed by Lauren Scott with 16 kills and a .520 hitting percentage (16-3-25) and Rachel Smith with 13 kills and 12 digs. Senior Jill Roslund also chipped in 13 digs. As a team, they Cowgirls hit .293 (67-23-150) compared to .270 (72-29-163) by the Cougars.

The Cowgirls will continue play tomorrow night as they host the 18th ranked Utah Utes at 7:00 p.m. in the MPG.