DURHAM, N.H. – Lauren Laquerre (Concord, N.H.) and Kirsten Bates (Calgary, Alberta) registered 16 and 14 kills, respectively, to lift the University of New Hampshire volleyball team to Friday night’s 3-1 win over the University of Wyoming in the opening day of play at the second-annual Holly Young Invitational at Lundholm Gymnasium. The Wildcats improve to 4-7 with the win, while the Cowgirls are now 7-4.
The set scores were 17-25, 27-25, 26-24 and 26-24. In action earlier in the day Arizona State defeated Harvard, 3-0. Set scores in the Harvard/ASU match were 25-16, 25-16 and 25-7. All four teams will play a pair of matches apiece in the second of competition on Saturday beginning with Arizona State/Wyoming at 10 a.m.
Laquerre hit at a .282 clip for the match and added a pair of blocks, while Bates also had two blocks and chipped in defensively with nine digs. Starsha Tunstall (East Providence, R.I.) posted a career-high five kills, hit at a .300 clip and had a team-best five blocks. Kate Uitti (Pinckney, Mich.) based the Wildcat offense with 38 assists, she is now just 42 assists away from 3,000 for her career.
UNH broke out to a 4-1 lead in the first set only to see it erased by a 9-1 run by Wyoming that made it 10-5. The Cowgirls extended the lead to 16-10 and held a lead of four or more for the remainder of the set. Wyoming hit at a match-best .296 during the set and tallied 11 kills. The Wildcats once again jumped out to an early lead scoring the set’s first four points and building a 6-1 lead. Wyoming responded with four straight points to cut it to 6-5. UNH answered with a 9-0 run of its own to make it 15-5. The Cowgirls than went on the offensive with a 9-1 run to make it 16-14. Six-straight points from New Hampshire made the score 20-14, but Wyoming once again answered as it trailed 24-21 and broke three-straight set points to knot it at 24-24. UNH broke a set point of its own and scored the final three points of the set for the 27-25 win. The third set was a back-and-forth affair throughout. UNH opened a 3-1 lead out of the gate and held a 10-5 lead before a 6-0 Cowgirl run made it 11-10. The score was 13-13 until the Wildcats scored four-straight to make it 17-13. Wyoming answered with four in a row to make it 17-17. Wyoming broke set point at 24-23 to tie it, but the Wildcats scored the final two points to take a 2-1 set lead. In the fourth and final set, UNH once again grabbed the lead early holding a 6-2 edge. New Hampshire held that lead through the middle part of the set controlling a 19-14 lead. The Cowgirls scored the next five points to tie it. The set would be tied four more ties including a 24-24 deadlock after Wyoming broke set points twice. The Wildcats completed the win with a Bates kill, followed by a service ace.
New Hampshire opens the second day of competition with Ivy League foe Harvard at 12:30 p.m. and wraps up the weekend with Arizona State at 7 p.m. UNH’s match against Arizona State is UNH’s annual “Pack the Arena” match when the Wildcats will attempt to break the school’s single-match attendance record of over 2,400. Tickets to the tournament and all UNH home games are online at www.UNHWildcats.com. Other matches on Saturday including Wyoming vs. Arizona State (10 a.m.) and Harvard vs. Wyoming (4:30 p.m.).
VOLLEYBALL DOWNS WYOMING, 3-1, IN OPENING NIGHT OF HOLLY YOUNG INVITATIONAL