Despite Valiant Effort, Cowgirl Volleyball Falls In Four

Nov. 9, 2006


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The Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball team (11-13 overall, 5-8 MWC) opened up the weekend with a hard-fought four game loss (30-28, 24-30, 22-30, 33-35) against the ninth ranked Utah Utes (23-2 overall, 14-0 MWC) on Thursday night in Salt Lake City.

"I felt like we had several opportunities in that fourth game to win and force a fifth and deciding game," said head coach Pat Stangle. "We competed with a very talented team on their home court and I'm proud of that. I thought everyone did a nice job and to be able to come out with some positives in this match is a good feeling."

Four Cowgirls finished the night with double-figures including two with double-doubles. Junior Rachel Smith had a team high 19 kills and 12 digs, while freshman Annie Meyers recorded 11 kills and a career high 19 digs. Outside hitter Angie Hellbaum finished her night with 16 kills followed by Andrea Seele with 13. Setter Tasha Weishahn tied her career high with 62 assists along with 12 digs and libero Samantha Eley had a team high 24 digs.

For Utah, Emilie Toone and Airial Salvo both finished with 17 kills followed by Kathryn Lovell and Whitney Webb with 15 each and Lori Baird with 13 kills. Salvo finished with a team high 20 digs, while setter Sydney Anderson recorded 64 assists and 19 digs.

After both teams kept it close in the early going of game one, the Cowgirls took a slight 9-6 advantage, which was answered with a 5-3 run by Utah to make it 12-11, but UW continued to lead. Utah eventually tied it up at 15, but Wyoming responded with four straight points to make it 19-15. The Utes scored 8 of the next 12 points to pull even at 23 all. The teams traded points back and forth with neither one taking more than a one point lead. With the score at 26-26, Wyoming scored two points to make it 28-26 and despite the Utes battling to within a point they would win the game 30-28.

Once again the two teams kept the score very close to start things off in game two. Finally, Utah seemed to gain the upper hand with a 12-9 advantage. Three straight points by Wyoming evened it all up, but the Utes quickly regained a 15-12 lead. The Cowgirls pulled to within one 15-14, but an 8-3 run by Utah put them up six, 23-17. They would extend their advantage to as many as eight during the game, 27-19. Despite a good effort by Wyoming, Utah took the game 30-24.

After falling behind 5-3 in the early part of game three, the Cowgirls responded with a 7-2 scoring run to go up three points, 10-7. Utah came right back by scoring the next seven of nine to make the score 14-11 which they would extend to five points 21-16. Wyoming battled back with a 5-1 scoring run to pull within one 22-21. Unfortunately, that would be as close as they would get as Utah ran away with the game 30-22.

Utah took a 5-2 lead to begin the fourth game, but three straight points by the Cowgirls evened it up at five all. The Utes responded with the next four of five points to go back up 9-6. Wyoming stayed determined as they scored the next two points to pull within one, 9-8. Unfortunately, Utah had an answered with a 4-1 run to go up 13-9. Not willing to go away the Cowgirls came back with a 5-1 run of their own to tie it up at 14 all. Utah seemed to take control as they made the score 19-15, but Wyoming battled back again with six of the next eight points to level out the score at 21 all. It was really on as the two teams continued to go back and forth with the score. The Cowgirls seemed to gain some momentum as they went up 26-25, but it was quickly answered by Utah with a 4-2 run to make it match point 29-28. Wyoming held that off and scored the next three of four to make it 31-30. Despite all of that they couldn't hang on in the end as they were outscored 5-2 the remainder of the way as Utah took the game 35-33 and the match 3-1.

Wyoming will wrap up the weekend on Saturday, Nov. 11, as they take on the 21st ranked BYU Cougars at 7:00 p.m. in Provo, Utah.