PORTLAND, Ore. – The Wyoming Cowgirls swept their way to the best start in program history Friday afternoon at the Portland Invitational with a victory over Eastern Washington. Wyoming is now 8-0 to begin 2023 after winning 25-20, 25-22 and 25-19.
The Cowgirls took control late in all three sets, turning the tide in all three in the later stages. UW closed the first with five consecutive points to end things and take an early 1-0 lead in the match. In the second, the Cowgirls finished by scoring five of the set’s final seven points, breaking a 20-20 tie with three-straight points before scoring back-to-back points at 23-22 to close out the second.
In the third, Wyoming got off to a strong start, taking a 9-3 lead early on before the Eagles surged back. EWU got the deficit to within one point, multiple times with the latest coming at 17-16. From there, the Cowgirls would go on a 7-1 run to push the lead to match point at 24-17. Sarah Holcomb closed things with a kill at 24-19 as UW earned its fourth sweep of the young season.
The Cowgirls were firing on all cylinders offensively against Eastern Washington after struggling in the previous night’s matchup on the offensive end. Friday, the Cowgirls hit a season-best .404 in the victory. Rylee Schulz was tremendous in the contest, leading the way with 16 kills while hitting .433. Tierney Barlow added 10 kills with a .438 efficiency. Corin Carruth and Holly Eastridge chipped in with eight and six kills, respectively and also tallied high hitting percentages. In fact, no Cowgirl that registered an attack in the match hit lower than .300.
Kasia Partyka paced Wyoming with 41 assists in the win and also added seven digs and a trio of kills. In the back row, a pair of Cowgirls notched double-digit digs. Skylar Erickson led UW with 13 digs while Sierra Grizzle had 10. Zoee Smith led the way with three service aces on the afternoon. As a team, UW registered five aces while EWU had six. Defensively, Wyoming held a 6-5 edge in team blocks.
Wyoming now shifts its focus to Saturday against CSUN in search of its third consecutive 3-0 week. It will be the Cowgirls’ third match in three days. Saturday’s contest begins at noon, Mountain Time.
BY: Kevin DeVries – University of Wyoming Athletics