Cowgirls Impress in Day 1 in Lubbock, Off to Best Start Since ’14
* University of Wyoming press release
LUBBOCK, Texas -- The Wyoming Cowgirls had an impressive start to the Texas Tech Red Raider Classic Friday, picking up a pair of wins on the day to move to 5-0 to begin the 2023 campaign.
The five consecutive wins to open the season is Wyoming’s best start to a year since it won seven-straight in 2014.
UW swept Texas A&M-Commerce in the morning and closed things with a four-set, come-from-behind victory over the host-Texas Tech in the nightcap.
The Cowgirls opened the day by making quick work against Commerce. Wyoming didn’t let the Lions reach 20 points in any set on its way to a 25-14, 25-18, 25-13 dismantling. UW hit a season-high .429 as a team in the sweep and held Texas A&M-Commerce to just a .101 clip.
Offensively, the Cowgirls clicked on all cylinders as four student-athletes had 10-or-more kills, with a fifth, Holly Eastridge, tallying eight. Sarah Holcomb and Rylee Schulz led the way with 11 kills each while Tierney Barlow and Corin Carruth both had 10 kills. All five hit at least .357 or better in the contest with Holcomb’s .600 leading the way. Holcomb also led the Cowgirls at the net with three total blocks.
Kasia Partyka averaged over 14 assists per set in the win over the Lions has she had 43 on the day. Partyka also added a pair of blocks and three kills in the victory. Defensively, Skylar Erickson notched a then-career-high with 17 digs.
Both teams tallied five blocks in the match, but the Cowgirls did a lot of damage at the service line, tallying seven aces with Barlow recording a career-best three. Wyoming had 53 kills against Commerce with the Lions recording just 22.
Against the Red Raiders, the Cowgirls fell behind in the match early, losing the opening set, 25-17. In the second, UW won a nail-biter, 28-26 to even up the match.
The second set featured 20 ties and four lead changes. After winning the second, the Cowgirls controlled the rest of the match, winning set three 25-17 and the fourth, 25-13.
Wyoming hit .265 for the match, while holding TTU (4-1) to a .119 team hitting percentage. The Red Raiders opened the contest hitting .316, but hit just .114, .105 and -.051 in the succeeding sets. The Cowgirls ended the match hitting .444 in the fourth.
Barlow and Carruth were sensational offensively for the Cowgirls in the win over Texas Tech, recording 18 and 17 kills, respectively. The 18 kills set a new career-high for Barlow as she hit .536 for the match while Carruth hit .351. Barlow and Holcomb led the Cowgirls with five blocks each in the win.
Rylee Schulz added 11 kills in the contest while Holcomb chipped in with eight and hit .316.
Partyka, meanwhile, recorded her first double-double of the season and the 12th of her career as she notched 51 assists and 17 digs. Erickson had the first 20-plus dig performance of her career in the nightcap, recording 21 while also leading the way with a pair of service aces. Sierra Grizzle also tallied a career-high defensively with 11 digs.
For the match, the Red Raiders edged the Cowgirls 13-11 in total blocks and had five aces to UW’s three. Wyoming was stellar defensively and with its passing on the night, recording 81 digs to TTU’s 56.
The Cowgirls look to make it a 6-0 start to the season Saturday morning at 10:30 as they close out the tournament against Louisiana.
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