* University of Wyoming press release

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.  – The Wyoming Cowgirls showed great fight and resiliency Thursday night on the road at New Mexico, hanging on to win a wild five-setter against the Lobos. Set scores went 25-18, 26-24, 12-25, 20-25 and a marathon fifth set, 24-22. The win is the first conference victory of the season for the Cowgirls.

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Wyoming (5-10, 1-2 MW) got off to a fast start in the contest, controlling much of the match’s first set to jump out to an early lead. In the second set, the Cowgirls staved off a late three-point deficit at 21-18 and then scored five of the frame’s final six points to escape with the 26-24 victory and led the match, 2-0. However, from there on, the Lobos (10-3, 1-2 MW) responded, controlling the third set from start-to-finish and then scraped out a win in the fourth, pushing the match to a deciding fifth set and looked to be in control.

UW had match-point in the fifth, six different times, and eventually put New Mexico away with three consecutive points to escape the marathon fifth set with a victory.

Naya Shimé, who was fantastic on the night, recorded eight kills in the final set alone and finished the match with a career-best 26 kills on 60 swings. Shimé also notched a season-best six blocks in the win and added five digs. Kayla Mazzocca led the Cowgirls with nine total blocks in the win as Wyoming out-blocked UNM 11-10 overall.

In the fifth, Wyoming trailed most of the way, and was down 13-10, until it scored four-straight points to reach its first match-point of the set at 14-13. The Cowgirls trailed by as many as four points, earlier in the fifth before rallying.

The Cowgirls also got a 20-kill performance from Corin Carruth, who had 55 attacks in the contest. Carruth also tallied a career-best 16 digs for her fourth double-double of the season.

Wyoming also had a double-double effort from setter Kasia Partyka, who was sensational with career-bests in assists with 59 and digs with 18 and led the team with a pair of service aces on the night. Partyka led a Cowgirl offense that hit .238 in the win. The Lobos, meanwhile, hit .213.

Wyoming also got great defensive matches in the back row from Hailey Zuroske and Zoee Smith. Zuroske tallied a match-high 19 digs from her libero position while Smith had a career-best 14 digs against UNM. On the night, the Cowgirls had 20 more digs than New Mexico.

UW now shifts its focus to another road matchup in less than 48 hours as the Cowgirls will look to make it a 2-0 week at Air Force in a 4 p.m., contest Saturday, Oct. 1.

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