Cowgirl Volleyball Opens Regular Season With Two Victories

Aug. 24, 2012

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

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The Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team (2-0) began its 2012 regular season with back-to-back victories in the UniWyo Wyoming Invitational over Presbyterian College (0-2) and the University of San Francisco (1-1) on Friday, in Laramie. The Cowgirls defeated Presbyterian 3-1 and swept San Francisco 3-0 in their first two matches of the regular season. It is the second time in three seasons the Cowgirls have started the regular season 2-0.

"I think today we had two great team efforts," Wyoming head coach Carrie Yerty said. "It is very nice our front line hit the ball very well today because that takes a lot of pressure of Jodi Purdy. Reese Plante played on fire today and is really opening up our right side. I couldn't have asked for our kids to come out and play better today."

Wyoming vs. Presbyterian

The Cowgirls opened the tournament against the Presbyterian College Blue Hose on Friday afternoon with a four-set victory. In the first set, Presbyterian made a service error on the first play and gave the serve to junior Cowgirl Calli Miller who led UW to six-consecutive points including one ace. Junior Reese Plante and senior Jodi Purdy added two kills each during the 7-0 run. Following a PC timeout, the Cowgirls made their first error making the score 7-1. The teams traded points to the middle of the set, but with the score 13-8, the Cowgirls went on a 12-1 run and closed out the set winning 25-9. Leading the UW run via serve was junior Rachel Keyes who served for the final eight points of the set. Plante led the scoring in the first set with 5.5 total points on three kills, one service ace and three block assists. Purdy added five points on five kills, while Miller added 4.5 points on three kills, one ace and one block assist. Setting up the kills for UW was Keyes who added nine assists in the first set.

The second set opened with the Cowgirls on a 10-1 run led by servers Keyes and freshman Kaitlyn Johnson who served for two and eight points, respectively. The Blue Hose stopped the Johnson serve making the score 10-2, but the Cowgirls proved too much going on a 15-7 run over the next 22 points to close the set out 25-9. Leading UW's points in set No. 2 was senior Camille Coffman who recorded 4.5 points on four kills and a block assist. Redshirt freshman Bridget Shanahan recorded three kills and one block assist for 3.5 total points in the second set. Miller and Plante each added three points to the UW total.

Presbyterian battled the Cowgirls in the third set to avoid the three-set sweep earning a 20-25 victory. The teams traded points early before UW jumped out to a 15-10 lead, but the Blue Hose put up a run of their own scoring 10 of the next 15 points to earn the 20-25 victory. The Blue hose scored a 15-1 kill-to-error ratio in the third set helping them to victory. Wyoming's seven errors were during the set were the most of any set during the match and proved to be the deciding factor. Sophomore Erin Kirby and Purdy led UW's scoring in the third set with three points each on three kills.

The Cowgirls returned to their dominate play in the fourth set, jumping out to a 10-5 lead. Presbyterian pulled the match to 11-9 with a 4-1 run. Following a Whitney Smith kill the Cowgirls never looked back scoring 14 of the next 19 points for the 25-14 victory. Senior Purdy led the Cowgirls scoring in the game-winning set with four points on three kills and two block assists. Junior Plante added three points on one kill, one ace and two block assists.

Wyoming vs. San Francisco

In their second match of the day, the Cowgirls battled the Dons of the University of San Francisco. In the first set, the teams traded the first eight points. With the score tied a four apiece USF committed back-to-back errors opening the door for a 12-6 Cowgirl run making the score 16-10. The teams battled splitting the next eight points, but after a Purdy kill making the score 21-14 the Cowgirls never let the Dons back in the set. Wyoming scored four of the next seven points including the set-winning block by Kirby and Shanahan. Leading UW's scoring in set No. 1 was Purdy with five points on five kills, while also adding three digs. Senior Plante continued her excellent day adding 4.5 points on four kills and a block assist. Miller and Coffman each added three points for UW with three kills apiece. Keyes added eight assists and junior libero Becky Stewart recorded five digs in the first set.

The second set opened with freshman Johnson serving three-consecutive points. The Dons were able to pull the match even before Keyes set up Plante for a kill to give UW a 4-3 lead. Led by kills from Purdy, Miller, and Shanahan, as well as six-straight serves by Stewart the Cowgirls went on a 12-4 run to take a 16-8 lead. The teams again traded points over the next 11 plays and UW took a 21-14 lead. Following a San Francisco timeout, the Dons went on a 7-3 run including back-to-back kills to make the score 24-21. With the set drawing closer senior Plante closed the door on the Dons with a kill set up by sophomore Whitney Smith to give the Cowgirls a 25-21 victory in set two. Plante controlled the second set for the Cowgirls accounting for seven points on three kills, two solo blocks, two assisted blocks and one service ace. Keyes and Smith each added five assists for the Cowgirls. Libero Stewart also recorded eight digs.

The matches' third and final set was played much closer by both teams as neither team gained more than a four-point advantage throughout the set. The Cowgirls led the entire third set including to a 24-22 advantage. They played three match points allowing the Dons to gain their only lead of the set at 25-24. Following a UW timeout, senior Purdy stepped up with a kill to bring the score even at 25 and gave the UW the serve. San Francisco could not answer the Purdy kill and committed two-consecutive attack errors giving Wyoming the 27-25 victory. The senior and junior duo of Purdy and Plante led the Cowgirls in scoring the final set adding five points apiece. Purdy had five kills and seven digs during the set and Plante added four kills and one ace to that total. Wyoming's setters Keyes and Smith added eight and six assists, respectively.

The Cowgirls will return to the floor on Saturday, Aug. 25 with two matches in the UniWyo Wyoming Invite. At 1:30 p.m. they will host Eastern Washington, followed by a matchup with Seattle University at 7 p.m.

Other action in the UniWyo Wyoming Invitational:

Scores from today's other three matches are as follows:

9 a.m. -- Seattle University (1-0) defeating Presbyterian College (0-1), 3-1

11 a.m. - San Francisco (1-0) defeating Eastern Washington (0-1), 3-1

5 p.m. - Seattle University (2-0) defeating Eastern Washington (0-2), 3-1