* University of Wyoming press release

PORTLAND, Ore., -- It took the full five sets, but the Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team got it done once again Thursday night in their opening matchup of the Portland Invitational against the host-Pilots.

Set scores went 25-21, 23-25, 25-14, 23-25 and 15-11 as the Cowgirls’ seven consecutive wins to start 2023 are now tied for the best start to a season in program history.

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In the fifth, Wyoming (7-0) trailed 8-7 halfway through the set as the two teams switched sides of the court. From there, the Cowgirls took control, scoring four consecutive points and going on an extended 6-1 run to take control in the latter stages, 13-9.

After Portland (3-4) got back-to-back points, UW ended the match thanks to a UP service error and then a Rylee Schulz kill.

It wasn’t always the prettiest display of volleyball on the night, as the Cowgirls hit a season-low .191 but held the Pilots to just a .062 hitting percentage. Wyoming recorded a season-high 10 service aces while committing 16 errors. Portland, meanwhile, had eight aces and had 11 errors.

Wyoming out-blocked Portland 12-9 on the night. Individually, Sarah Holcomb led the Cowgirls with six total blocks while Tierney Barlow and Holly Eastridge tallied four apiece.

Offensively, UW featured a balanced attack. Schulz led the way with 12 kills while Corin Carruth was another Cowgirl with double-digit kills with 10. Barlow and Holcomb tallied nine each with Holcomb leading the way with a .400 hitting percentage. Carruth hit .348 on the night.

Kasia Partyka recorded her third-straight double-double as she notched 33 assists and, along with Zoee Smith, tallied a team-high 11 digs. Skylar Erickson chipped in with eight digs from her libero position while Sierra Grizzle added six.

Wyoming will look to make it eight in-a-row Friday at 4:30 p.m., Mountain Time as it faces Eastern Washington at the tourney. A win for the Cowgirls would secure the best start to a season in program history.

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