Wyoming Volleyball Goes 2-1 at James Madison Tournament
The Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball Team (6-1 overall) closed out the James Madison Classic by earning a split on the day. They would defeat the Presbyterian Blue Hose (1-6 overall) in three sets (25-13, 25-19, 27-25) in the first match of the day before falling to the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners (5-2 overall) in four sets (23-25, 25-19, 23-25, 16-25) on Saturday night. Seniors Reese Plante and Becky Stewart were each named to the All-Tournament Team.
"We've had several things we talked about improving upon over the past several weeks. Tonight, we finally ran into a team in Bakersfield who took advantage of those weaknesses," said head coach Chad Callihan. "Our ladies played hard and will continue to improve on our deficiencies."
The Cowgirls took an early 5-1 lead to begin the match, which they extended to seven points 10-3 with a 5-2 run. Presbyterian scored the next three points to close the gap to four, 10-6. Wyoming answered back with five straight points to regain a nine point advantage, 15-6. A kill from Rachel Hall ended the Blue Hose scoring drought but it was really never close after that as the Cowgirls took the first set 25-13. UW hit .333 (12-2-30) for the set and had 17 digs.
The momentum continued to stay with Wyoming behind some strong hitting and serving as they took a 6-2 lead. A couple of points by Presbyterian pulled them to within two, 6-4, but the Cowgirls scored four of the next five to regain a 10-5 advantage. The Blue Hose battled back with a 4-1 run of their own to make it a two point set, 11-9. A kill by Kayla Henderson stopped the Presbyterian momentum and started a 6-1 run for Wyoming as they regained a 17-10 lead. The two teams played almost point for point as the Cowgirls held on to take the set 25-19.
In the third set, the Blue Hose came out aggressive and took a small 5-3 lead. An attack error by PC and kill by Shanahan would even up the score at five all. A 5-2 run by the Cowgirls would give them a three-point advantage, 10-7. After the Blue Hose pulled to within one, 12-11, Wyoming ran off four straight points to make it 16-11. It continued to be a battle of wills as Presbyterian wouldn't go away as they went on a 9-4 run to pull even at 20 all. A kill by Laura Beach ended the scoring drought for the Cowgirls, but PC scored the next two points giving them a one point lead, 22-21. The scoring went back and forth until Wyoming gained the upper hand behind two straight attack errors by the Blue Hose giving them match point, 24-23. Presbyterian held off four match points before the Cowgirls wrapped up the set 27-25 and the match 3-0.
Wyoming was led by Bridget Shanahan with ten kills and a .320 (10-2-25) hitting percentage. Erin Kirby added nine kills and four total blocks followed by Mikaela Ryshytylo with eight kills. The Cowgirls hit .274 (42-13-106) for the match and had eight total team blocks. Presbyterian was led by Rachel Hall with nine kills and a .375 (9-3-16) hitting percentage. The Blue Hose hit .109 (32-20-110) for the match.
In the second match of the day, CSU Bakersfield took a small 3-1 lead to begin the first set. The Cowgirls responded with a 7-3 run to go ahead by two, 8-6. The Roadrunners scored the next five of six to regain a two-point advantage, 11-9. After a UW timeout, a kill by Reese Plante started a 5-0 run by the Cowgirls put them back up 14-11. It continued to be a game of runs as CSUB recaptured the lead 17-16 after another 7-2 run. Rachel Keyes evened it back up 17 all but the Roadrunners scored the next two points making it 19-17. Wyoming would show some determination with the next three of four points to tie it back up at 20 all. The score would change several times but in the end Bakersfield took the first set 25-23.
The momentum shifted the way of the Roadrunners as they scored four straight points to begin the second set. Wyoming answered with the next three to pull to within one, 4-3, but CSUB scored four of six to go back ahead 8-5. A kill by freshman Kayla Slofkiss started a stretch of five straight points to give the Cowgirls their first lead of the set 10-8. After Bakersfield evened it up at ten, Wyoming went back ahead by three, 13-10. It was again evened up at 13, but the Cowgirls went on a 7-3 run giving them a 20-15 advantage. Two points by CSUB stopped the drought. This time, Wyoming held on to win the set by six, 25-19.
Wyoming jumped out early in set three by taking the 5-1 advantage, which was answered by a 13-1 run by the Roadrunners to put them ahead by eight, 14-6. A kill by Erin Kirby ended the scoring drought by the Cowgirls and they would score the next seven of nine to close the gap to three, 16-13. Bakersfield would finally end the run and then the two teams traded scores back and forth. With the score 21-16 in favor of the Roadrunners, UW scored five straight to tie the score at 21 all. The teams would be even at 23 all, unfortunately Bakersfield scored the final two points to win the set 25-23.
The wind seemed to be taken out of the sails for the Cowgirls in the fourth set as they got down early 5-2. After a kill by Kirby, Bakersfield increased the lead to seven, 10-3, with five straight points. Over the next stretch of points, it didn't get favorable for Wyoming as the Roadrunners advantage grew to double-figures, 16-6. They would try and cut into the lead but could only get as close as seven. The Cowgirls would fall in the set, 25-16, and suffer their first loss of the season 3-1.
The Cowgirls were led by Erin Kirby who recorded nine kills and seven blocks. She was followed by Reese Plantewith eight kills and five blocks. Wyoming struggled hitting just 0.61 (38-28-163) for the match but had 12.5 total blocks.
Wyoming will continue non-conference play next weekend on the road. They will travel to Bloomington, Ind. to participate in the Hoosier Classic, Fri.-Sat., Sept. 13-14. They will face Indiana, UAB and Tennessee State over the weekend.