Wyoming Opens Season 4-0 And Wins UniWyo Wyoming Invite

Aug. 25, 2012

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

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The University of Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team won the 2012 UniWyo Wyoming Invitational after posting a perfect 4-0 record. On Saturday, in Laramie at the UniWyo Sports Complex, Wyoming defeated Eastern Washington (0-4) in its first match moving their record to 3-0. In their second match, the Cowgirls pulled away from the Seattle Redhawks (2-2) winning in four sets to capture the tournament title. The Cowgirls opened their season 4-0 for the second time in three seasons, the third time since 2002 and the second time under head coach Carrie Yerty. Adding to the Cowgirls excellent weekend, junior libero Becky Stewart was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, while senior Jodi Purdy and junior Reese Plante earned all-tournament team honors.

"I think any time you start 4-0 it is a great confidence booster for your team," Yerty said. "Through these first four games our team has played with a great level of intensity, but we have been very focused and relaxed on the floor. As for Becky earning the tournament MVP she has really linked our team so far. She has great reading skills and can move all over the floor."

Wyoming vs. Eastern Washington

The Cowgirls opened the first set against Eastern Washington with a 5-0 run on kills by Jodi Purdy, Erin Kirby and a combined block by Purdy and Kirby. EWU came back and scored four of the next seven points to make the score 8-4. Led by a Plante kill and a Purdy service ace the Cowgirls mounted a 7-2 run making the score 15-6. Wyoming did not let up advancing the lead to 22-11 before Eastern Washington managed a 6-0 run on three UW attack errors. With the score 22-17, junior Calli Miller came up with kill that shut the door on the Eagles. Following the Miller kill, UW scored two straight points including the set-winning block by Kirby and Miller. Miller led UW in points in the first set scoring five on four kills and two block assists. Kirby added 4.5 points on three kills and three block assists. Junior Rachel Keyes assisted on six kills for UW.

After trading the first eight points of the second set, the Cowgirls went on a 4-0 run on Purdy kills, a Whitney Smith ace and a combined block by Katharine Feldman and Plante to give UW a 8-4 advantage. After the Eagles ended the Cowgirl run with a kill, UW went on another run scoring six of the next eight points making its lead 14-8. The teams traded the next 15 points but the Cowgirl lead was insurmountable and the Cowgirls closed the set 25-14. Senior Purdy and junior Plante led in points with five and 4.5, respectively. Purdy scored her five points on five kills, while Plante added three kills and three block assists. On the defensive end, libero Stewart recorded seven digs. Sophomore setter Smith added five assists in the second set.

The final set began with the Cowgirls and the Eagles trading the first 12 points. With the game tied at six apiece Eastern Washington scored three straight points making the score 9-6. The Cowgirls answered that with a 10-1 run on back-to-back Miller kills, followed by combined blocks from Plante, Miller and Feldman to take the lead, 16-10. Wyoming rattled off nine of the next 12 points on Miller, Plante and Purdy kills as well as a service ace from freshman Kaitlyn Johnson to win the third set and the match 25-15. Miller led the Cowgirl scoring with 4.5 points on four kills and one block assist. Purdy, Plante and Camille Coffman each added three points apiece in the third set. Purdy and Coffman each had three kills, while Plante had one kill, one ace and two block assists. Setters Keyes and Smith added six assists, while libero Stewart added five digs and one assist.

For the match, Purdy recorded her second double-double of the season with 10.5 points and 10 digs. Also in double-figure points were Plante (10) and Miller (10). Keyes added 15 assists, while Smith added 14. Stewart hit double figures in digs with 15.

Wyoming vs. Seattle

The first set, the Cowgirls and the Redhawks battled keeping the set close all the way to 14-13 UW. The Cowgirls scored eight of the next 10 points taking a 22-15 lead. Seattle stormed back to pull within five at 24-19, but a Plante kill closed the set for UW at 25-19. Miller led the Cowgirl scoring in the first set with five points on four kills and two block assists. Plante hit a perfect 3-3 on attacks in the set and added two block assists for four total points. Purdy added three points on three kills. Keyes and Smith added five and six assists, respectively. Defensively, Stewart recorded five digs.

Set No. 2 began the same way as the first with the teams trading the first 16 points. With the score 9-7, Wyoming made its first run. Plante started the 7-3 run with a kill, followed by back-to-back blocks from Shanahan and Kirby, as well as kills from Shanahan, Miller and two from Kirby. Following the run the score went Wyoming 16, Seattle 10. The Cowgirls reeled off nine of the next 13 points including, blocks by Plante and Coffman and the set-winning kill by Shanahan. Kirby led the scoring in the second set with 4.5 points on three kills and three assisted blocks. Shanahan added four points for UW on two kills and four block assists. Purdy also added two kills and one block assist for 3.5 points. Keyes led the way with seven total assists.

In the third set, Wyoming and Seattle stayed close throughout with neither team gaining more than a two point advantage throughout. With the set tied at 22 the teams traded points to 25 before Seattle scored two-consecutive points to take the set. As with their only set loss on Friday evening, the Cowgirls recorded the most errors in the third set with eight. Miller led the scoring with 4.5 points on four kills and one block assist. Purdy and Kirby each added four points each.

The fourth and final set played much the same as the third with neither team able to gain a decisive advantage. UW and SU traded points all the way to a 20-20 tie. Seattle scored two straight points on Wyoming errors to take a 22-20 lead. Back-to-back kills from Kirby and Coffman tied the match back at 22. The Redhawks scored on a kill to take a 23-22 lead, but a well-timed Purdy kill and an attack error by SU gave the Cowgirls a 24-23 advantage. On final play of the match, Cowgirls Plante and Shanahan combined to block a Seattle attack giving the Cowgirls the 25-23 set win and the match victory. Kirby led UW in scoring in the fourth set with six kills. Plante added three kills and a block assist for 3.5 points, while Purdy added three points on three kills. Keyes proved to be an offensive weapon in the set adding nine assists for UW.

For the match four Cowgirls scored in double-figures led by, Kirby with 15 total points on 12 kills and six block assists. Purdy added 12 kills, one ace and a block assist for 13.5 points, while Miller added 11.5 points on 10 kills and three block assists. Also in double figures was Plante who scored 10 points on seven kills and six block assists. Keyes added 28 assists for the match and fellow setter Smith added 16. Libero Stewart added 13 digs to the Cowgirl total.

Other action in the UniWyo Wyoming Invitational:

9 a.m. Eastern Washington (0-3) vs. Presbyterian (1-2), 3-0

11 a.m. San Francisco (2-1) vs. Seattle (2-1), 3-0

5 p.m. Presbyterian (1-3) vs. San Francisco (3-1), 3-0

2012 UniWyo Wyoming Invitational Team Places, MVP and All-Tournament Team:

Tournament MVP and All-Tournament team honors are as follows. The team was chosen as follows, the first-place team received the MVP and two individuals, the second-place team also received two individuals, while third and fourth-place teams each earned one selection.

First place team - Wyoming (4-0)

MVP - Becky Stewart, L, Jr.

All-Tournament Team members -
Jodi Purdy, OH, Sr.
Reese Plante, OH, Jr.

Second place team - San Francisco (3-1)

All-Tournament team members -
Valentina Zaloznik, OH, So.
Jocelyn Levig, OH/MB, Sr.

Third place team - Seattle (2-2)

All-Tournament team member -
Kaytlyn Dill, OH, Sr.

Fourth place team - Presbyterian (1-3)

All-Tournament team member -
Mary Trimpe, L, RsSo.

Fifth place team - Eastern Washington (0-4)