GW Volleyball Stumbles on First Day of UniWyo Cowgirl Classic

Sophomore Kelsey Newman

Sept. 1, 2012

Wyoming 3, GW 0 | FGCU 3, GW 0 | @GW_Volleyball

LARAMIE, Wyo. - The George Washington volleyball team opened play at the UniWyo Cowgirl Classic on Friday but dropped a pair of straight-set matches to Florida Gulf Coast and the host Cowgirls at UniWyo Sports Complex.

In the first match of the day, the Colonials dropped a 3-0 decision to Florida Gulf Coast (3-2). Set scores were 23-25, 20-25, 22-25.

The first set saw the teams battle through 12 lead changes and five ties. After exchanging points in the first half of the set, the Eagles found themselves with a 14-11 advantage before a 6-2 run put the Colonials ahead 17-16.

Later in the set, FGCU held a 21-19 lead, but an attack error and consecutive net violations allowed the GW to regain a slim 22-21 lead. However, the Eagles were able to outlast the Colonials to claim the first set 23-25.

The Colonials swung .207 (11k-5e-29a) in the second set, but had trouble offsetting the FGCU attack. The Eagles hit .353 with just six errors in the frame while totaling three of their 8.5 total team blocks on their way to a 20-25 victory.

The final set was the closest of the match, with no team leading by more than two points until late in the frame. FGCU was able to pull away late, taking a 23-18 advantage, but the Colonials refused to go away quietly. Four consecutive points - via kills by Rachael Goss, Lauren Whyte and Jamie Armstrong and a solo block from Whyte - got the Colonials to within two points of the lead at 21-23. A kill from the Eagles' Christine Pinder stopped the run, but a solo block from Jessica Lubic got the Colonials within two points at 22-24. However, a service error by the Colonials stalled the comeback bid.



For the match, the Colonials hit .191 (35k-17e-94a) while the Eagles swung .234 (46k-21e-107e). Whyte led all players with 12 kills, four digs, one ace and one block for a match-high 13.5 points. Armstrong hit .353 (8k-2e-17a) with four digs while Goss added six kills and three digs and Taylor Knox added five kills, two aces and two digs. Lubic posted a season-high 35 assists in the loss.

Christine Pinder and Olivia Mesner led the Eagles with 10 kills apiece with Mesner adding five blocks (one solo, four assists).

In the nightcap, the homestanding and undefeated Cowgirls (6-0) unleashed a relentless attack in the first two sets to jump out to a quick 2-0 lead. In the first frame, Wyoming hit .526 with just one error to take the set 25-9. The second set saw the Cowgirls swing .370 en route to a 25-12 victory.

The Colonials rebounded in the third set, limiting Wyoming to a .170 attack percentage and playing point-for-point throughout the frame.

With the Cowgirls leading 17-15, the Colonials used an ace by freshman Maddy Doyle and a kill from Whyte to pull even at 17-17. A kill by freshman Margarethe Skjelbred briefly gave the Colonials the lead. After trading points, GW saw its last lead at 21-20 disappear as the Cowgirls eeked out a 25-23 victory to clinch the match.

Whyte, along with Wyoming's Erin Kirby, led all players with 10 kills. Armstrong and sophomore Kelsey Newman each added three kills.

GW (0-5) will continue play at the UniWyo Cowgirl Open on Saturday with matches against UMKC (1 p.m. ET) and Bethune-Cookman (7 p.m. ET). Follow @GW_Volleyball
on Twitter for live in-match updates.

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