Wyoming Volleyball Comes Up Short

Oct. 16, 2004

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LARAMIE, Wyo. - The Cowgirl volleyball team (10-9 overall, 3-4 in the MWC) lost a disappointing match in four games (33-31, 28-30, 32-34, 30-17) on Saturday night against the 18th team in the country Utah Utes (15-2 overall, 7-0 in the MWC) in Laramie.

After the Cowgirls scored the first two points of game one, Utah ran off the next seven of ten to go up, 7-5. They continued to build upon that lead with a 4-2 run, but the Cowgirls responded with a 9-2 run of their own to retake a three point advantage 16-13. Utah scored the next three to tie it at 16 all and the next three of four to go up 19-17. The Cowgirls battled back to even it up at 21 and the fight was on. In the end, UW managed to hold off three game points to pull off the 33-31 win.

The two teams traded points to begin the second game as neither team took a significant lead. With the score tied at eight all, the Cowgirls made an 8-3 run to open up a 16-11 lead, which would grow to 19-12. Utah battled their way back in to it with a 7-2 run of their won to pull within two 21-19. Wyoming kept their composure and build the back up by three, but the Utes kept hanging around and eventually took the lead 28-27. They would score the final two of three points to win the game 30-28.

Utah came out strong in game three as they took an early 7-4 lead. The Cowgirls fought their way back in to it with a 6-4 run to pull within one, 11-10, but Utah opened up a 16-12 lead. Down by five, Wyoming scored seven of the next eight to regain the lead 23-22. The Utes tied it up and the two teams traded points back and forth. After holding off two Wyoming game points, Utah managed to win the game 34-32.

It was all Utes in game four as they scored the first 9 of 12 points to take a six point lead. They continued to maintain that lead throughout as the Cowgirls struggled to score points. Utah would take the game 30-17 and the match 3-1.

"I thought we came out and ready to play every game, but once we get in the game we struggle a little bit," said head coach Pat Stangle. "Games two and three are two point games, and the ball goes one way or the other and we get one of those. At the end, I thought we ran out of gas, and I firmly believe you have to be in those games to win them, which is something we can build on. Overall, it was a good weekend with the win over BYU, but there are still things we can always work on."

The Cowgirls were led by true freshmen Rachel Smith and Lauren Scott. Smith finished the night with 17 kills, five digs and a .289 (17-6-38) hitting percentage, while Scott chipped in ten kills and three total blocks. Wyoming was out hit .234 (62-28-145) compared to .376 (71-18-141) by the Utes.

Wyoming will continue conference play next week on the road. They will face the New Mexico Lobos, on Thursday night, in Albuquerque, N.M., and the Air Force Academy Falcons, on Saturday night, in Colorado Springs, Colo. Both matches are set to begin at 7:00 p.m.