Wyoming Volleyball Wins Home Opener

Sept. 3, 2004

LARAMIE, Wyo. - The Cowgirl volleyball team (1-0 overall) earned an exciting five game victory (30-23, 28-30, 31-29, 26-30, 15-7) on Thursday night by defeating the Idaho State Bengals (0-2 overall) in the opening game of the UniWyo Cowgirl Classic.

Wyoming opened up the first game by taking a very early 6-3 lead, but Idaho State came back with five unanswered to take their first lead of the game. The two teams stayed close until the Cowgirls regained a two point advantage 14-12, and then never looked back. They would run away with the game 30-23.

In the second game, it was tight scoring as neither team gained a big lead until a small run from UW put them up 13-10. The Bengals tied things up at 15 all, but the Cowgirls scored the next five of seven to go back up by three. After that the momentum shifted back to Idaho State as they would close out the game on a 13-8 run to even up the match 1-1.

The Cowgirls gained the upper hand with a 13-8 lead in the third game. Despite falling behind, the Bengals clawed their way back into the game by scoring the nine of thirteen points to even the game up at 17 all. The battle was on as the scoring went back and forth until Wyoming could finally pull out a 31-29 win, and a 2-1 game lead.

Idaho State came out fired up out of the break in game four. With the score tied at eight all, they would go on a 11-7 run to take a four point lead. The Cowgirls pulled to within two, 23-21, but unfortunately the Bengals would force a game five by taking the game 30-26.

It was all Wyoming in the fifth and deciding game. They would come out and score four unanswered before Idaho State could get on the board. In the end, the Cowgirls would take the game 15-7 and the match 3-2.

"If you look at the stats, we out played them most of the game," said head coach Pat Stangle. "There were a couple of times that we lost our composure and that allowed them back in the match. We talked about that going into game five, not being superheroes, but doing the things we ask of them in practice and executing. So for a bunch of freshmen and a few upperclassmen I thought they really kept it together.

"Anytime you can be in a situation like tonight, and gain more experience in a five game match only allows them to get better. I thought they came out, passed well and ran the offensive system, which helped out in the end."

Four of six Cowgirls starters finished the night in double-figures, which included three freshmen. Rachel Smith led the way on the night with a career high 21 kills, seven digs and a .212 hitting percentage. She was followed by senior Sara Maytorena with 20 kills and 16 digs, freshmen Shelby Heggie with 12 kills and Lauren Scott with ten. Freshman libero Michelle Weydert also had a career night with 14 digs. As a team, they finished the night hitting .291 (78-25-182) compared to .173 (70-38-185) by the Bengals.

The Cowgirls will continue in the tournament tomorrow night by hosting the UTSA Roadrunners, and the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday night. Both matches will begin at 7:00 p.m.