Wyoming Volleyball Falls to UNLV in First Round of MWC Tournament

Nov. 22, 2007


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The Wyoming volleyball team (12-14 overall, 6-10 in the MWC) had their season ended in the first round of the Mountain West Conference Tournament with a four game loss (12-30, 22-30, 30-27, 21-30) against the second seeded UNLV Rebels (22-5 overall, 12-4 in the MWC) on Thursday afternoon in Las Vegas.

"Obviously this was very disappointing," said UW head coach Pat Stangle. "We probably had the toughest draw playing UNLV on their home court and considering how tough they are playing right now. I was proud of how we fought back especially after the first game where we seemed to have no energy. We were able to get it going in part of game two and game three."

Wyoming senior Rachel Smith finished with a team high 20 kills, while adding seven digs. She was followed by Angie Hellbaum who recorded 12 kills and a career high 24 digs. Tasha Weishahn had 48 assists and Carissa Lee added 17 digs. Wyoming hit .167 (53-23-180) for the match.

Maria Aladjova finished her night with 20 kills and 13 digs for the Rebels. Lauren Miramontes followed with 19 kills and eight total blocks. UNLV hit .279 (68-20-172) and out blocked the Cowgirls 13-11 for the match.

UNLV stormed out by taking a 7-1 advantage in the early going of game one. The Cowgirls answered by scoring the next four of six to pull within four, 9-5. A 4-1 scoring run would extend the lead back up to seven, 13-6, but a couple of quick points by UW made the score 13-8. Unfortunately, the Rebels came back with a 10-2 scoring run of their own to extend the lead to double-figures 23-10. It was never close as UNLV held the Cowgirls to just two points the rest of the way and won the first game 30-12.

In the second game, the Cowgirls took an early 5-3 lead, which was answered with a 7-3 run by UNLV to gain their first lead of the game 10-8. Over the next several points, the Rebels continued to maintain a two or three point advantage until four straight points put them up by six, 17-11. Wyoming would score three of the next five points to pull within five, 19-14, but UNLV scored the next three point to regain an eight point lead, 22-14. The Cowgirls tried to battle back by scoring six of the next nine points unfortunately they couldn't make enough of a comeback as the Rebels won the game 30-22 to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

UNLV jumped out in game three as they opened up a five point lead, 7-2, but the Cowgirls answered with a 5-1 scoring run to pull within one, 8-7. After the Rebels scored the next point, Wyoming scored five of the next eight points to even things up at 12 all. UNLV would score the next two points to go up 14-12, which was answered with a 7-3 run by UW to help them gain a two point lead, 19-17. They continued to hold on to a two or three point lead for the next several points until the Rebels tied it up at 23. This time, the Cowgirls kept their composure and ran off the final seven of eleven points to win game three 30-27.

The teams played each other point for point in the early part of the fourth game until the Cowgirls took a slight 8-6 lead. UNLV responded with a 5-1 scoring run to take their first lead of the game 11-9, which they would extend to five, 15-10. Wyoming battled back by scoring five of the next six to pull within one, 16-15, unfortunately the Rebels went on a 6-2 run to open up a five point lead, 22-17. It wouldn't get any better for the Cowgirls as they were outscored 8-4 the remainder of the way. They would lose the game 30-21 and the match 3-1.