Cowgirl Volleyball Goes 2-0 To Open Up UniWyo Wyoming Invite
Aug 30, 2013
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Saturday, Aug. 31
The Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball Team (2-0 overall) opened up the first day of competition on Friday at the UniWyo Wyoming with two match sweep. They defeated Stetson (1-1 overall) in the first match of day in three sets (25-23, 25-22, 36-34), while closing out the day with a five set thriller (23-25, 26-28, 25-21, 25-16, 15-12) against the Idaho Vandals (1-1 overall).
"I thought this team showed a lot of poise," said head coach Chad Callihan. "They kept their composure when things weren't going well. With a new staff, we're trying to learn personalities, new systems and we were shaky, but able to get settled down. The newcomers really came in and gave us a nice boost. I'm very pleased with hard they worked tonight.
"Erin Kirby had a solid day for us all around especially her blocking. She was a real impact player when we needed some big plays. I thought this evening Reese Plant did that for us, then Kayla Slofkiss and Courtney Chacon subbed in during the match and gave us the spark we were looking for."
The Cowgirls came out quickly running off six of the first seven points to give them an early 6-1 advantage against the Hatters. Stetson answered with a 7-2 run to even it up at eight all, eventually taking an 11-9 lead. The Hatters maintained a slight edge over the next couple of points until the Cowgirls ran off six of the next eight to go ahead by two, 16-14. Stetson continued to keep the set tight as they regained the lead 19-17. After a Wyoming timeout, they would regroup and tie things up at 21 all. The Hatters scored on a kill by Madison Akins, but Cowgirls responded with four of the next five points to win the set 25-23.
Wyoming was the aggressor in the second set as they jumped out to the early 10-2 lead behind five total blocks by Erin Kirby. A service error by the Cowgirls ended the scoring drought for Stetson which started a 5-2 run to close the gap to five, 13-8. The Cowgirls increased their lead back to seven, 18-11. The Hatters continued to battle and play tough. They made another 10-4 run which evened up the score at 22 all. A service error followed by two Kirby kills gave the Cowgirls a 25-22 win in the set and a 2-0 lead in the match.
In the third set, it was all even through the first 16 points, 8-8. A kill by Kayla Henderson gave UW a one point lead, 9-8, which was answered by scoring six of nine points to give them a 14-12 advantage, which they would extend to 18-15. The Cowgirls evened things up at 18 all, but the momentum continued on the side of Stetson. They not only took the lead back at 19-18 but eventually earned two set points 24-22. Wyoming fought off both with two straight attack errors by the Hatters. The scoring went back and forth as both teams had several opportunities to win the set. With the score tied up at 34 all, a kill by Mikaela Ryshytylo followed by a Stetson error gave the Cowgirls the set 36-34 and the match 3-0.
Two Cowgirls finished the match in double-figures in kills led by Bridget Shanahan. She recorded a career high 13 kills and a .423 (13-2-26 hitting percentage. Erin Kirby followed with 11 kills and a season high 11 total blocks. Becky Stewart finished with a match high 19 digs while Mikaela Ryshytylo and Rachel Keyes each added ten digs. Wyoming hit 47-16-137 (.226) for the match and had 15 total team blocks. Stetson was led by Kaley Melville with 17 kills and 12 digs. She was followed by Tiffany Creamer with 15 kills. The Hatters hit .117 (49-32-145) for the match.
Wyoming started off strong again in the match against Idaho jumping out to an early 5-1 lead. Idaho chipped away at the lead and tied it up at nine all. After the Cowgirls scored the next point, the Vandals built up a four point advantage, 19-15, with a 10-5 run. A service error by Idaho stopped the run and the Cowgirls would climb their way back into it with a 6-3 run of their own to make it 22-21. Wyoming was able to hold off two set points, but the Vandals would take the first set 25-23.
After the Cowgirls gained a small 3-1 lead in the second set, the Vandals scored six of the next seven to go ahead by three 7-4. A kill from Mikaela Ryshytylo started a 5-2 run for Wyoming and tied up the score at nine all. The lead went back up two, 14-12, but the Cowgirls would tie it up at 14 and take the lead 16-15. Over the next several points the scoring went back and forth as neither team could take a real big advantage. Finally, the Cowgirls earned set point 24-23 off a kill from Erin Kirby. Idaho tied it up on the next point and they continued to trade points. Unfortunately with it all even at 26, the Vandals scored the final two points to win the set, 28-26, to go up 2-0 in the match.
Idaho came out with all of the momentum in the third set as they took a commanding 10-1 lead. A kill by Ryshytylo would jump start a 9-0 scoring run to pull them to within one, 11-10. The run would be ended by Meredith Coba of the Vandals with a kill. The Cowgirls scored three of the next four to tie it up at 13 all, but it was answered with a 4-1 from Idaho putting them up three, 17-14. There was no giving up in Wyoming as they clawed their way back into it with strong play from freshmen Ryshytylo, Courtney Chacon and Kayla Slofkiss. They would take a two point advantage, 20-18, eventually pulling away to win the set 25-21.
The teams would trade points in the early going of the fourth set until the Cowgirls went ahead by three 6-3. The Vandals pulled to within one, 8-7, but Wyoming ran off the next six of eight to make it a five point lead, 14-9. They maintained a three to four point lead over the next stretch of points. Up by four, 19-15, they closed out the set on a 6-2 run to win the set 25-16 to force a fifth and deciding set.
Idaho went ahead early 2-1 with a kills and block assist, which was answered with two kills by Ryshytylo and a service aces from Reese Plante. Alyssa Shultz made it 4-3 on the next side out, but a block solo from Kirby sparked the Cowgirls to go on a 9-5 run to give them a 13-8 lead. It was a struggle to get those final two points as the Vandals continued to battle. They would pull to within two, 14-12, but a kill by Kirby closed out the set 15-12 and the match 3-2 for Wyoming.
Four Cowgirls finished the evening in double-figures led by Reese Plante and Erin Kirby. Plante finished with 16 kills and hit .500 (16-1-30) for the night, while Kirby recorded 15 kills and eight total blocks. Redshirt freshman Mikaela Ryshytylo added 16 kills and ten digs, while Bridget Shanahan had 12 kills. Wyoming hit .281 (76-28-171) for the match and had 12 total blocks. Alyssa Schultz led the way with 17 kills and ten total blocks for the Vandals.
Wyoming will close out the weekend tomorrow with two matches. They will face the Montana State Bobcats beginning at 1:30 p.m. before wrapping things up against the Drake Bulldogs at 7:00 p.m.