UW Volleyball Goes 1-2 at Hoosier Classic
The Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball Team (7-3 overall) finished up the Hoosier Classic by earning a split on the day. They defeated the Tennessee State Tigers in four sets (25-21, 25-18, 21-25, 25-19) in their final match of the day but lost to the UAB Blazers in a five setter (25-23, 17-25, 25-16, 25-27, 13-15) on Saturday in Bloomington. Senior middle blocker Reese Plante was selected to the All-Tournament team.
The Cowgirls got off to a good start in the first set against UAB as they went up 4-0. An attack error by UW got the Blazers on the board, which was answered with a 4-2 run to give Wyoming an 8-3 advantage. Over the next 11 points, the two teams traded scores as the Cowgirls continued to lead 14-8. UAB chipped away by scoring eight of the next eight to close the gap to two, 16-14. After a point by Wyoming stopped the run, the Blazers went on a 7-4 run to tie up the score at 20 all. Back to back points by the Cowgirls helped them regain a 22-20 lead. UAB battled back and scored three of the next four to tie it up again at 23. Wyoming kept their composure and scored the final two points to win the set, 25-23.
It was all even through the first eight points in the second set until a 10-2 run by the Blazers gave them a 14-6 advantage. A kill and service ace would start a small run by UW to bring them to within five, 16-11. UAB would respond by scoring six of the next eight to increase the lead back to nine, 22-13. The Cowgirls couldn't make enough of a comeback as they would fall, 25-17.
UW turned the tide in the third set as a couple of early kills gave them a 3-1 advantage. After the Blazers scored the next point, the Cowgirls scored next six of seven points putting them ahead, 9-3. After a kill by Sara Rishell, Wyoming extended their lead to double-figures, 17-7, with an 8-3 run. Three straight points by UAB stopped their scoring drought and pulled them to within seven, 17-10. That would be as close as it would get as the Cowgirls took the set 25-16 and a 2-1 lead in the match.
In the fourth set, the momentum shifted to the Blazers as they took an 11-5 lead. A kill by Mikaela Ryshytylo stopped the scoring drought for the Cowgirls, but UAB continued to maintain a 7-8 point lead. With the score 18-11 in favor of the Blazers, Wyoming started to climb their way back into the set closing the gap to two points, 21-19. They would eventually tie it up at 21 all and scored three of the next five to earn set point, 24-23. UAB answered with two straight points to earn set point, 25-24. The Cowgirls tied it up at 25, but the Blazers held on to take the set, 27-25.
UAB took control 5-2 early in the fifth and deciding set. Two kills and a block assist by Wyoming tied it up at five. The two teams traded scores until a small run by the Blazers put them ahead 10-7. After a Cowgirl timeout, they would rally and even the score at ten all. It was even through the next four points until UAB scored the final three of four points to take the set 15-13 and the match 3-2.
Wyoming had three players in double-figures led by Reese Plante and Bridget Shanahan. They each recorded 16 kills while Plante hit a team high .317 (16-3-41) for the match. Calli Miller had a season high ten kills, while Erin Kirbyrecorded 11 total blocks. The Cowgirls hit .180 (61-28-183) for the match and had 16.5 total blocks. UAB was led by Sam Skinner with 26 kills and 13 digs. Sara Rishell recorded 14 kills and Kiriana Hirini finished with 11. The Blazers hit .242 (66-23-178) for the match.
In the second match of the day, the Cowgirls faced the Tennessee State Tigers. No one seemed to gain any momentum in the first set as the scoring was fairly even through the first 20 points. With the score tied at ten, UW scored four of the next five points to go ahead by three, 14-11. The Tigers answered back with a 6-3 run to regain the lead by one, 17-16. After the Cowgirls scored the next point to even it up at 17, they would score the next five of six to make it 21-18. TNST would pull to within one, 21-20, but Wyoming closed out the set on a 4-1 run to win 25-21.
Tennessee State jumped out in front 8-5 to begin the second set. Wyoming answered with five straight points to take their first lead of the set 10-8. The Tigers evened it up at ten, but the Cowgirls responded with another 5-0 run to give them a 15-10 lead. TNST scored the next point to end the run, which Wyoming answered by scoring five of the next seven to extend their advantage to eight, 20-13. Despite being outscored down the stretch, the Cowgirls took the second set 25-18.
It went back and forth in the beginning of the third set until the Tigers took a small 10-8 lead. The Cowgirls scored the next two points to even it up at ten, which was answered with four straight by Tennessee State to give them a 14-10 advantage. A kill by Kirby started a small run to bring them to within two, 15-13. The Tigers ran off another four points to extend the lead back to six, 19-13. Wyoming tried to rally back and pulled to within three twice, but couldn't overcome the deficit falling in the third set 25-21.
Wyoming bounced back in the fourth set as they stormed out to a 9-3 lead. Tennessee State scored three of the next four to cut into the lead, 10-6. The Cowgirls responded with a 9-4 run to extend their advantage back to nine, 19-10. The Tigers chipped away at the lead and pulled to within four, 21-17, with a 7-4 run. Started by a kill from Kirby, the Cowgirls closed out the set 25-19 and the match 3-1.
Kirby led the way for the Cowgirls with 13 kills, ten blocks and a .571 (13-1-21) hitting percentage. Mikaela Ryshytylorecorded a team high 14 kills plus six digs, while Becky Stewart recorded 23 digs. As a team, they hit .316 (49-13-114) for the match and had 13 total team blocks. The Tigers were led by Naomi Wells with 13 kills and 13 digs. She was followed by Sherryce Butler with 12 kills and Arijana Anderson with ten.
The Cowgirls will begin conference play on the road before wrapping up the week with two non-conference matches. They will face the Colorado State Rams, on Wednesday, Sept. 18, followed by matches against Utah Valley and UC Riverside, on Friday, Sept. 20 in Colorado Springs.