Cowgirls Stay Undefeated And Win Second-Consecutive Tournament

Sept. 1, 2012


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The Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team won its second-consecutive tournament with two victories on Saturday, in the UniWyo Cowgirl Classic. Wyoming won the tournament downing Florida Gulf Coast (4-3 overall) and UMKC (5-3 overall) in straight sets for its second-straight day of three-set wins. The Cowgirls advanced to 8-0 on the season, which is their second 8-0 start in three seasons. Earning Cowgirl Classic MVP honors was senior outside hitter Jodi Purdy, while junior setter Rachel Keyes and sophomore middle blocker Erin Kirby earned all-tournament honors.

"We are going to take the opportunity to celebrate this 8-0 start for tonight, but tomorrow we are back to business," Cowgirl head coach Carrie Yerty said. "This team is very resilient and are focused coming into every match. This team works really well together. I am confident in everyone and am able to put anyone in the match. It is huge when you have that kind of depth. These ladies have played hard and we just need to get better every day. Jodi is always a staple for us and she played excellent this weekend to earn the MVP of this tournament."

Wyoming vs. UMKC

With both teams entering the final match of the tournament 3-0, the match became the championship of the Cowgirl Classic.

The first set of the championship match began with both teams splitting the first six points to tie at 3-3. Wyoming and UMKC again traded points and tied the score at 10. The Cowgirls made their first run of the set scoring 11 of the next 16 points to take the lead, 21-15. The run was set up by Callie Miller, Camille Coffman and Reese Plante kills. Sparked by another Miller kill and back-to-back UMKC attack errors the Cowgirls took a 24-18 lead, before Plante closed the door on the set with a kill. Leading UW's scoring in the first set was Miller who recorded 4.5 with four kills and one block assist. Coffman added three points on two kills and two blocking assists.

The Cowgirls opened the second set on a 6-1 run, by way of Keyes kills, and two Coffman kills. Wyoming continued its dominate play scoring four of the next six points to take a 10-3 lead. A UMKC kill ended the Cowgirl run and made the score 10-4. Wyoming then reeled off 12 of the next 17 points, led by two Bridget Shanahan kills, and three-consecutive kills by Purdy and Plante. With the score 22-9 the Cowgirls closed the set scoring 3 of the next four points assisted by two attack errors from UMKC and a Makenzie Bartsch and Purdy combined block. UW won the second set 25-10. Purdy led UW scoring in the second set with 3.5 points on three kills and one block assist. Plante added three points on three kills. Defensively, libero Becky Stewart added seven digs in the set. Setter Keyes added five assists and five digs to the UW totals in the set.

The third set opened with another Cowgirl run, this time UW hit seven of the first eight points led by back-to-back Purdy kills and a Stewart ace. UMKC scored three-straight points to pull within three before a Coffman kill made the score 8-4. The teams traded the next eight points for a 12-8 UW lead. Wyoming scored six of the next eight points led by two Purdy kills and a Kaitlyn Johnson ace to make the score 18-10. The Kangaroos could not stop the Cowgirl offense as UW closed the set and the match on a 7-3 run. The run was started by a Kirby kill, two Bartsch kills and two-consecutive Purdy aces. The final point was scored on a Bartsch and Miller combined block. The Cowgirls swept the match winning the third set 25-13.

Leading the match scoring was Purdy with 12 points on seven kills, two aces, one solo block and two blocking assists. She also added five assists and six digs for UW. Coffman, Kirby and Miller each added six points for UW. Setter Keyes recorded a double-double with 13 assists and 10 digs along with one kill. Stewart added 15 total digs and one service ace for UW.

Wyoming vs. Florida Gulf Coast

The first set opened with a Kirby kill. The teams traded the next four points to make the score 5-4 in favor of Wyoming. A Plante kill, Keyes service ace and Purdy kill led a 6-4 UW run to make the score 11-8. Wyoming and Florida Gulf Coast traded points to 17-13 before the Cowgirls went on an 8-3 run to close the set. The Cowgirl run was led by Miller, Coffman, Keyes and Purdy kills as well as a Johnson ace that closed the set 25-16 in favor of UW. Coffman led UW in points in the first set with 4.5 on four kills and one block assist. Purdy chipped in four points on four kills. Keyes added eight assists, four digs, one ace and one unassisted kill in the first set.

Florida Gulf Coast opened the second set on a 3-0 run. The Cowgirls battled back to tie the score at five. With the score knotted at five the Cowgirls went on a 9-5 run led by back-to-back Purdy kills, a Purdy ace and three-consecutive attack errors by the Eagles. With UW leading 14-10, the teams traded points to 19-14 before, Wyoming went on a 6-4 run to close the set 25-18. During that run Bridget Shanahan recorded two kills with Plante adding one and Coffman and Kirby adding a combined block. Coffman scored 7.5 points, on six kills and three block assists, in the second set to lead all scorers. Purdy added seven points of her own in the second set on six kills and one ace. Keyes added double-digit assists in the second set with 11 while also chipping in six digs.

The third set was played much closer and FGCU took a 9-7 lead before an attack error and three-consecutive Cowgirl kills opened the door for a 10-2 run. Led by kills from Keyes, Kirby and Purdy the UW run gave the Cowgirls a 17-11 lead. Wyoming reeled off eight of the next 12 points to win the set on Miller and Bartsch kills. The Cowgirls won the set 25-15 and closed the match.

Purdy led all scorers in the match with 11.5 points on nine kills, two aces, and one block assist. Purdy also chipped in six digs to go along with her point total. Also in double-figure points was Coffman with 11, on nine kills and four block assists. Plante added 8.5 points on seven kills and three blocking assists. Setters Keyes and Smith each had double-figure assists with 18 and 11, respectively. Keyes added eight digs, while libero Stewart also added eight and two service aces to the Cowgirl total.

"Our team was very calmed and collected going into this afternoons match," Yerty said. "Rachel has been on fire this tournament. I liked that Camille hit excellent today. We continue to build as a team and gain confidence."

Saturday's Other Results:

9 a.m. Florida Gulf Coast over Bethune-Cookman, 3-0

11 a.m. UMKC over George Washington, 3-2

5 p.m. George Washington over Bethune-Cookman, 3-0

2012 UniWyo Cowgirl Classic 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, fourth and fifth-place teams each earned one selection.

First place team - Wyoming (4-0 in the Cowgirl Classic, 8-0 overall)MVP - Jodi Purdy, Sr., OH

All-Tournament Team members -Rachel Keyes, Jr., SErin Kirby, So., MB/RS

Second place team - UMKC (3-1 in the Cowgirl Classic, 5-3 overall)All-Tournament team members -Taryn Miller, Fr., LSkyler Muff, Fr., RS

Third place team - Florida Gulf Coast (2-2 in the Cowgirl Classic, 4-3 overall)All-Tournament team member -Kaitlin Holm, Jr., OH

Fourth place team - George Washington (1-3 in the Cowgirl Classic, 1-6 overall)All-Tournament team member -Maddy Doyle, Fr., DS

Fifth place team - Bethune-Cookman (0-4 in the Cowgirl Classic, 0-7 overall)

Next up for UW:

Next of for the Cowgirls will be a trip to Lawrence, Kan., on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 7-8 for the Kansas Jayhawk Classic.

"Next weekend is a huge weekend at the University of Kansas," Yerty said. "We are going to have to go and pick up some huge wins. I think this team is ready for that challenge."