* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowgirls held off Colorado State Tuesday night in a thriller, winning the first edition of the 2023 Border War in four sets.

The Cowgirls won 25-22, 25-23, 19-25 and 26-24 to pick up their first conference win of the season.

UW (12-4, 1-4 MW) got things started by rallying to win the first set. The Cowgirls trailed by as many as six, 16-10 in the opener before tying things at 19-19. After the Rams (8-8, 2-3 MW) pushed the lead back out to two, 21-19, Wyoming responded with three consecutive points to take a late lead.

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After CSU tied the set at 22-all, the Cowgirls got three consecutive kills to close out the set and take an early lead on the night.

The second set was just as hotly-contested as the first, only Wyoming didn’t fall as far behind in the second and led for a good portion of the frame. The Cowgirls trailed late, however at 22-20 before knotting things up with back-to-back points. After the Rams went ahead 23-22, Wyoming again ended a set with three-straight points and led two sets to none.

In the third, it was all Colorado State as the Rams controlled the set from start-to-finish, forcing a fourth set. In the fourth, CSU looked like it was in control much like the third, leading at one point, 21-14 and then 22-16. But the Cowgirls wouldn’t go away, going on a 4-0 run to cut the deficit to just two points. After A CSU point made it 23-20, UW got three consecutive points to knot things up at 23-23.

The Rams forced set point next, but again, the Cowgirls finished with three-straight points to end a set and escaped with the victory. Rylee Schulz provided four kills down the stretch for Wyoming in the fourth.

A trio of Cowgirls finished with double-digit kills, led by Tierney Barlow’s 15. Barlow also hit an efficient .440 on the night. Schulz finished the contest with 14 kills and recorded another double-double as she added 10 digs. Corin Carruth finished the night by tallying 13 kills and had four block assists.

Defensively, the Cowgirls were sound, holding CSU to under .200 (.194) hitting as a team. Sierra Grizzle led the way with a career-best 17 digs in her first-career start at libero. Kasia Partyka added 14 while Skylar Erickson chipped in with nine. At the net on defense, Sarah Holcomb led UW with eight total blocks.

As a team, the Brown & Gold had 11 blocks to CSU’s nine.

Partyka recorded another double-double in the win, her seventh of the season and 18th of her career. In addition to her 14 digs, Partyka tallied 44 assists. She helped pace a Cowgirl offense that hit .212 on the night.

UW now looks to make it a 2-0 week as it closes out a four-match homestand Thursday night. The Cowgirls play host to San Jose State at 6:30 inside the UniWyo Sports Complex.

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Gallery Credit: DJ Johnson/ 7220sports.com

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