Cowgirl Volleyball Set To Begin Season Hosting Cowgirl Classic

Sept. 1, 2004


Complete Weekly Release

First year head coach Pat Stangle and the Wyoming volleyball team will open up the 2004 season this weekend as they host the UniWyo Federal Credit Union Cowgirl Classic, Sept. 2-4, in Laramie.

They will begin the tournament on Thursday night against the Idaho State Bengals starting at 7:00 p.m. in the MPG. The Bengals open up their season tonight against the Colorado State Rams in Ft. Collins.

Idaho State returns all six starters from last year's squad including two All-Big Sky selections. Senior Ali Gorny was named First Team All-Big Sky while Martha Brinton was selected to the Second Team. The Bengals finished last season with a 20-9 record and a 9-5 mark in the Big Sky. This is the 15th meeting between the two schools as Wyoming leads the series 12-2. The last time the two teams met was Sept. 9, 2002 with the Cowgirls coming out on top with a 3-2 victory. ISU is coached by Mike Welch who is in his fifth season with the program.

The Cowgirls second opponent in the tournament will be the UTSA Roadrunners, on Friday night, beginning at 7:00 p.m. The Roadrunners will play Minnesota earlier in the day before facing Wyoming.

They return five starters and ten letterwinners to a squad that went 19-14 overall and 13-7 in the Southland Conference in 2003. One of the top returning players is sophomore outside hitter Meagan Daniel, who was named the SLC Freshman of the Year and First Team All-Conference last year. This will be the third meeting between the schools as the series is tied 1-1. The last time the two teams met was Sept. 1, 2000 when the Roadrunners defeated the Cowgirls 3-0. UTSA is led by Laura Groff who is in her third year with the program.

In their final match of the weekend, UW will face a very tough Minnesota Golden Gopher team. The Gophers enter this week's matches with a mark of 1-1 after defeating Colorado State and falling short to USC in their opening weekend of play. They are also ranked fifth in the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 25 preseason poll.

Minnesota welcomes back five starters and 11 letterwinners to a team that finished 26-11 and 15-5 in the Big 10 Conference, which earned them a trip to the NCAA Tournament and a spot in the Final Four last year. Two players to watch will be senior outside hitter Erin Martin and junior libero Paula Gentil, who were both named to the Preseason All-Big Ten Team. This will be only the second meeting between the two schools as Wyoming leads the series 1-0. The last time the two teams met was Sept. 18, 1987 with the Cowgirls coming out on top with a 3-0 victory. They are coached by Mike Hebert who is in his ninth year with the Golden Gophers.

Ticket prices for single matches are $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children or students without a student i.d. All Wyoming students will be allowed free admission with their Wyoming student i.d. A tournament pass for the entire weekend will also be available. They are $20.00 for adults and $15.00 for ages 18 and under, which includes all six matches of the tournament.