Aug. 28, 2009
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball Team (2-0 overall) opened up the 2009 season and the UniWyo Cowgirl Classic with a straight set win over Rutgers (25-17, 25-17, 25-13), and a 3-1 victory over the South Dakota State Jackrabbits (25-16, 23-25, 26-24, 25-20), on Friday, in Laramie.
"I was very impressed with how calm we were as a team, especially our freshmen," said UW head coach Carrie Yerty. "I know there were some butterflies but they were fired up. It was a long pre-season to play the same people so it was good to get out there and have them see someone new.
"Our serving was very consistent today, which threw them off in their serve receive. Also, we blocked so well today, which was a nice improvement. I'm excited about our blocking, passing and overall it was a solid match for us."
In the first set against Rutgers, it took each team several points to get the jitters out as the scoring went back and forth. With it all even at four all, the Cowgirls went on a 7-2 run to go up five, 11-6. Rutgers battled back by scoring seven of nine to tie it up at 13. Wyoming remained steady and held the Scarlet Knights to just four points the remainder of the set, while closing things out on a 12-4 run to win 25-17.
The two teams traded points in the early going of the second set. The Cowgirls seemed to gain some momentum and take a 12-8 lead, which would grow to nine, 19-10, with a 7-2 run. After Rutgers stopped the string of points, Wyoming pulled away by scoring the final five of eight points to take the set, 25-17, and a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Cowgirls continued their momentum into the third set as they went up 10-4 in the early going. They increased their lead to eight, 16-8, with a 6-4 run. The Scarlet Knights tried to mount a comeback as they pulled to within five, 18-13, but that's as close as they would get. Wyoming would run off seven straight points to take the set, 25-13, and the match 3-0.
Freshman Jodi Purdy led the way with 11 kills, nine digs and a .643 (11-2-14) hitting percentage. Camille Coffman had six kills and six blocks. Wyoming hit .329 (36-12-73) for the match and had ten total team blocks.
Rutgers was led by Caitlin Saxton with eight kills followed by Hannah Curtis with six.
Against South Dakota State, the scoring was close in the first set as neither team could gain a significant advantage. With the score tied at six, the Cowgirls went on a small run to go up 10-7. SDSU score three of four to pull within one, 11-10, but Wyoming answered back with a 7-2 run to extend the lead back to six, 18-12. The Jackrabbits were only able to make it a five point difference as the Cowgirls came away with a 25-16 first set win.
It was close to begin the second set as the two teams were tied seven all through 14 points. The Jackrabbits gained some momentum with a 7-2 run to go up 14-9. Wyoming scored three straight to pull within two, 14-12, but SDSU continued to maintain their lead. Down four, 19-15, the Cowgirls pushed points by scoring seven of 11 to make it a one point set, 23-22. Unfortunately, their comeback would fall short as the Jackrabbits won the set, 25-23.
It was a back and forth battle in the third set as the score was very tight. With it tied at seven all, the Cowgirls went on a 5-1 run to go up four, 12-8. South Dakota State responded by scoring seven of ten to pull even at 15. Wyoming answered back with four straight to make it 19-15. Unfortunately, the Jackrabbits stormed back with a 5-1 run of their own to tie it up at 21 and eventually took the lead 23-22. In exciting fashion, the Cowgirls would hold off a set point and score three unanswered to win the set 26-24.
The Cowgirls came out and built a small 6-3 lead in the fourth set. SDSU answered back to pull within one, 10-9, but three straight by UW gave them a four point advantage, 13-9. With a 7-6 run it gave them a five point lead, 20-15, but the Jackrabbits scored three straight to make it a two point set, 20-18. Wyoming kept their composure and scored the final five of seven to win the set, 25-20, and the match 3-1.
Wyoming had three players in double figures led by junior JennaRae Jester. She recorded 11 kills and three blocks while hitting .769 (11-1-13). Camille Coffman added 11 kills and six blocks, while Jodi Purdy finished with 11 kills and seven digs. The Cowgirls hit .188 (53-28-133) for the match.
South Dakota State was led by Kelli Fiegen with 19 kills, two blocks and a .324 (19-7-37) hitting percentage. She was followed by Fiona Jones with 12 kills and six digs. The Jackrabbits hit .128 (45-28-133) fro the match.
"Tonight South Dakota was a very tough opponent," said Yerty. "I think our team stayed very composed during runs from the other side of the net. Jandranka came in, did a good job passing and had some nice kills. JennaRae (Jester) hit unbelievable tonight, and Camille Coffman did a nice job blocking. I'm proud of them for just battling all night."
Wyoming will close out the tournament against the Idaho State Bengals, on Saturday, August 29. The match is set to begin at 7 p.m.