Aug. 31, 2012
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team opened play of the UniWyo Cowgirl Classic on Friday, Aug. 31 with three-set victories over Bethune-Cookman (0-5 overall) and George Washington (0-5 overall). With two victories the Cowgirls are 6-0 overall for the second time in three seasons and also the second time in program history. It is also their second 6-0 start under head coach Carrie Yerty the previous was an 11-0 start in 2010.
"I think 6-0 is a great start," Yerty said. "I do not know of any coach in the country that would not be excited with a 6-0 start. We need to not focus on the record, but focus on who we have left to play and how we can continue to build as a team. It was a great atmosphere in the gym both this afternoon and tonight and it is great to have the kind of fan support we do."
Wyoming vs. George Washington
Wyoming opened the first set of the final match of the day with a 10-1 run, led by three-consecutive service aces by junior libero Becky Stewart. The Cowgirls continued their dominate play running off 10 of the next 15 points to make the score 20-6. An assisted block by Makenzie Bartsch and Callie Miller started a 5-3 run that closed the set for the Cowgirls. The final play of the set was an assisted block by Bridget Shanahan and Reese Plante. Wyoming won in dominating fashion 25-9. Leading UW's scoring in the first set was Plante with four points on three kills and two assisted blocks. Shanahan also added four points on three kills and two block assists.
The second set played much closer with the teams trading the first six points. A Stewart ace opened the door for a 6-2 UW run that made the score 9-5. After trading points and the score 11-7, the Cowgirls scored five of the next six points on a Jodi Purdy kill, Miller and Kirby combined block and Kirby kill. A Colonial kill ended the UW run at 16-9. Back-to-back Kirby kills began another point streak for UW as it scored the next seven points to make the score 22-10. Three-consecutive kills by Katherine Feldman and Purdy won UW the set at 25-12. Kirby and Purdy led the scoring with 5.5 points each on five kills and one block assist. Camille Coffman and Shanahan each chipped in five points. Coffman recorded five kills and Shanahan had four kills and two block assists.
Trying for the three-set sweep the Cowgirls, opened the third set with a Jodi Purdy kill. From that point both teams traded points to a 5-5 tie. Wyoming went on a 7-2 run on Kirby, Miller and Purdy kills along with back-to-back block assists from Kirby and Coffman. Following the UW run the score went 12-7. The Colonials made a run of their own scoring eight of the next 11 points to tie the score at 15. The teams went back-and-forth for the next 12 points and tied the game at 21. A Coffman kill and two GW attack errors gave the Cowgirls a 24-21 lead. George Washington scored two-straight points before Plante shut the door with a kill giving UW the 25-23 victory, and the three-set match sweep.
Leading the Cowgirl scoring in the second match of the night was Kirby with 12 points on 10 kills and four block assists. Purdy scored in double figures in the nightcap with 10.5 points on nine kills, one ace and one block assist. Coffman added eight points on seven kills and two block assists. Libero Stewart set a career-high with four service aces and also recorded a team-high 12 digs. Setters Rachel Keyes and Whitney Smith each had double-figure assists with 22 and 10, respectively.
"I think our team executed excellent tonight," Yerty said. "We really needed to be able to pass tonight because (George Washington) is an excellent serving team. We did a great job in the passing game and were able to get our middle and right sides going. I thought Rachel Keyes was on fire tonight. She served the (George Washington) off the court and ran an excellent offense for us. Erin (Kirby) was jumping out of the gym and hit the ball excellent tonight."
Wyoming vs. Bethune-Cookman
The first set opened with an Kirby kill as the Cowgirls began with a 5-2 run, on Purdy, Plante and Coffman kills. The Wildcats pulled within one at 5-4, before Wyoming scored eight of the next 10 points. With a 13-6 advantage, the Cowgirls reeled off a 12-6 run to close the set. The Cowgirls were helped on their run by five Wildcat errors, two Makenzie Bartsch kills, a Purdy kill and an unassisted Plante kill. Leading the Cowgirls in the first set was Plante with 3.5 points on two kills, one service ace and one block assist. During the set Purdy recorded her 1,000 career dig. She became the sixth player in Cowgirl history to record 1,000 digs and 1,000 kills in a career. She is in sole possession of sixth place on the career digs list with 1,005.
"Jodi has really helped put this program on the map," Yerty said. "She is a tremendous athlete and I am very proud of her accomplishments. It also helps that she has an excellent supporting cast around her to help her be so successful."
The second set was played much closer through the first 20 points. The Cowgirls had a 11-9 lead before beginning a 7-2 run led by a blocks from Purdy and Kirby as well as Coffman and Kirby. With the score 18-11, the Wildcats scored two points to pull within five. Wyoming proved too much, scoring seven of the next nine points to win the set 25-15. Leading Wyoming in the second set was Purdy with 6.5 points on five kills, one ace and one blocking assist. Calli Miller chipped in 6.0 points to the Cowgirl total on six kills. Plante added 5.5 points of her own on four kills, one service ace and one blocking assist. Setter Keyes assisted on 16 UW points during set two.
The Cowgirls began the third set opening up a 10-6 advantage on two Miller kills, a Purdy kill and a Kaitlyn Johnson ace. From that point, Smith, Bartsch, Feldman and Plante each recorded kills to help UW to a 18-11 advantage. Wyoming closed the match with an 8-2 run, closed out by a Plante service ace to win the set 25-13 and the match three sets to none.
On the match, Plante led the Cowgirls in points with 10 on six kills, two aces and four block assists. Miller added 9.5 points to the UW total on eight kills, one ace and one block assist, while recording a .667 hitting percentage. Purdy scored nine points in the match for UW on seven kills, one ace and two block assists. Purdy and Miller added five and eight digs, respectively, along with their offensive numbers. Setters Keyes and Smith added 16 and 12 assists, respectively. Libero Stewart added eight digs and one assist for the match. As a team the Cowgirls recorded a season-best hitting percentage of .371.
"I feel like we could have executed some parts of our game better, but when you defeat a team 75 to 40 in total points you cannot expect much better," Yerty said. "I was happy we were able to work with our lineup and play some younger and less experienced players."
The UniWyo Cowgirl Classic will continue Saturday, Sept. 1 beginning at 9 a.m. The Cowgirls will play the same schedule as Friday with matches at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. against Florida Gulf Coast and UMKC.
Friday's Other Action:
9 a.m. UMKC (3-2 overall) over Bethune-Cookman (0-4 overall, recorded updated following first match), 3-0
11 a.m. Florida Gulf Coast (3-1 overall) over George Washington (0-4 overall, record updated following first match), 3-0
5 p.m. UMKC (4-2 overall) over Florida Gulf Coast (3-2 overall), 3-0