*courtesy University of Wyoming media relations
Ft. Collins, Colo. (Sept. 18, 2013) -- The Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball Team (7-4 overall, 0-1 MW) opened up the 2013 MW conference season with a tough task as they faced the 22nd ranked Colorado State Rams (9-0 overall, 1-0 MW). They would fall in three sets (23-25, 22-25, 21-25) on Wednesday night in Ft. Collins. Senior Becky Stewart became the all-time school leader in digs with 1,280.
"CSU made a key play here or there and where little more disciplined in a couple of areas," said head coach Chad Callihan. "We had a couple of defensive breakdowns. I'm proud of our team for putting us in a position to even be there at the end of the sets. I thought we competed well tonight. We are still battling a couple of mental hurdles but we are improving and close to where we want to be. We battled against a fantastic team tonight."
Mikaela Ryshtylo led the way with nine kills and three service aces. She was followed by Erin Kirby with eight kills, six blocks and a .412 (8-1-17) hitting percentage. Libero Becky Stewart finished the match with 23 digs. The Cowgirls hit .195 (40-18-113) for the match and nine total blocks.
"Becky (Stewart) did a great job for us tonight and was a real sparkplug. She has done well all season especially being a senior and a new coaching staff of buying into what we want to accomplish. She played a great match."
CSU was led by Marlee Reynolds with a team high 12 kills, while three others finished with ten kills each. The Rams hit .266 (50-16-128) for the match.
The two teams were even through the first four points until the Rams ran off four straight points to go ahead 6-2. A service error by Adrianna Culbert stopped the scoring by Colorado State but they would extend their advantage back to five, 10-5. The Cowgirls ran off three of the next four points to pull within three, 11-8. The Rams scored the next two points making it 13-8. UW tried to chip away at the lead again with a 6-2 run bringing it to a one-point set, 15-14. A kill from Marlee Reynolds got CSU back in the scoring column and they extended it back to three 18-15. The Cowgirls kept their composure and eventually tied it up at 19 all. After a Ram timeout, they scored the next three of four to go up 22-20. A kill from Fry and an attack error by CSU made it 22-22. After each team scored a point, Colorado State finished the out the set with two kills, 25-23.
The Rams took a small 3-1 lead to begin the second set but the Cowgirls stormed back with a 9-4 run to take a 10-7 advantage. Colorado State regrouped and ran off the next four straight points to go ahead by one, 11-10. A block assist from Kirby and Fry stopped the scoring drought for UW making it 11 all. Over the next ten points it continued to stay even at 16 all. Two points by Wyoming gave them a slight 18-16 advantage, but the Rams scored three straight to regain a 19-18 lead. After the Cowgirls tied it up on the next side out, the two teams traded the next couple of points. With the score tied at 21 all, the Rams scored the next four of five to take the second set, 25-22, and a 2-0 lead in the match.
The momentum stayed with Colorado State in the third set as they jumped out to a 6-2 lead. The Cowgirls scored five of the next seven to pull within one, 8-7. The Rams quickly regained an 11-8 advantage, but the Cowgirls answered with a 4-1 lead to tie it up at 12 all. CSU responded with a 6-3 run of their own to go ahead by three, 18-15. UW chipped away at the lead and scored four of the next five points to even it up at 19 all. Unfortunately, CSU scored the final five of seven to win the set, 25-21, and the match 3-0.
The Cowgirls return to non-conference action with two matches against Utah Valley and UC Riverside, on Friday, Sept. 20 in Colorado Springs.