Aug. 25, 2005
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Second year head coach Pat Stangle and the Wyoming volleyball team will open up the 2005 season this weekend at the UW Husky Challenge in Seattle, Wash. They will start things off against the Montana State Lady Bobcats, on Friday night, and close out against the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs, on Saturday night. Both matches are set to begin at 5:00 p.m. MT.
The Cowgirls return three starters and seven letterwinners to a squad that finished 13-14 overall and 6-8 in the Mountain West Conference a year ago, including 2004 Co-Freshman of the Year Rachel Smith. She averaged a team leading 3.35 kills, 2.18 digs and hit .235 during her first year with the program. They also welcome seven newcomers to the team, which includes two junior college transfers and five freshmen.
This will also be the opening match of the 2005 season for the Montana State Bobcats as well. They welcome back four starters and eight letterwinners from a team that finished 19-8 overall and 10-4 in the Big Sky Conference a season ago. Senior middle blocker Megan Zanto is one of the top returning players this season as she averaged 3.32 kills, 1.49 blocks and a .307 hitting percentage in 2004.
This will be the 16th meeting between the two teams as Wyoming leads the series 9-6, but MSU has won the last three meetings between the two schools. The last time the two met was Sept. 19, 2003 in Bozeman, when the Bobcats came away with a 3-0 victory in the match.
The second tournament opponent will be the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs. They will face the Washington Huskies on Friday night before taking on the Cowgirls. They return five starters and seven letterwinners to a squad that finished 5-26 overall and 0-10 in the Atlantic Sun Conference last year. This will be the first meeting ever between the two schools.
Wyoming will open up at home on Thursday, Sept. 1 as they host the UniWyo Cowgirl Classic in Laramie. They will face the Boise State Broncos on Thursday, and then take on the Northern Colorado Bears, on Saturday. Both matches are set to begin at 7:00 p.m.