Cowgirl Volleyball Finishes Second At Ball State Tournament

Sept. 15, 2012

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

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The Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball Team (11-3 overall) wrapped up their final non-conference tournament with a split on Saturday at the Ball State Tournament. In their first match of the day, they swept the Pittsburgh Panthers (9-5 overall) in three sets (25-16, 25-18, 25-18) followed by a four set loss (14-25, 25-18, 18-25, 23-25) against the host school Ball State (7-6 overall). Senior Jodi Purdy and junior Reese Plante were named to the All-Tournament Team.

"Obviously it was a great victory for us this morning against Pittsburgh," said head coach Carrie Yerty. "We had several players give us some consistency throughout the match. Jodi Purdy had a solid match, along with Camille Coffman who hit .429 match and Becky Stewart at the libero spot. Against Ball State, we did a nice job coming back in the second set after struggling early in the match. Unfortunately, we knew it would be a battle and came up short. We need to get back in the gym for a good week of practice and get ready to start Mountain West play against New Mexico."

In their first match of the day, the Cowgirls dominated the Panthers with their second-consecutive three-set victory winning the hitting battle .211 (41-18-109) to .028 (23-20-108). Leading the Cowgirls scoring was Jodi Purdy who recorded her second-consecutive double-double with 10 kills and 13 digs. She also hit a season high .391 percentage (10-1-23) for a total of 12.5 points. Calli Miller added 12 kills while hitting .226 (12-5-31). Junior Rachel Keyes recorded her second double-digit assist game with 14 total and libero Becky Stewart had 17 digs.

The Cowgirls opened the first set in dominating fashion on a 10-3 run led by kills from Purdy, Camille Coffman and Erin Kirby followed by back-to-back service aces by Whitney Smith. Pittsburgh snapped the Wyoming run with a kill and preceded to go on a 7-1 run to pull within one at 11-10. The Cowgirls answered with another long run scoring eight of the next 12 points to make the score 19-14. From that point Cowgirls Purdy and Miller took the set over scoring five of the next six points including back-to-back Miller kills to close the set at 25-16.

Wyoming began the second set much like the first beginning on a 7-3 run that was helped along by four Pittsburgh attacking errors and a Purdy kill. The teams traded the next four points to an 9-5 Wyoming lead before the Cowgirls scored four straight points to take a 13-5 lead. Again the teams went back-and-fourth trading points to a 19-11 score. Pittsburgh made a run from that point scoring seven of the next 11 points to pull within five points at 23-18. Miller and Coffman closed the set for the Cowgirls with back-to-back kills to win the set 25-18.

In the game-winning set, the Panthers and the Cowgirls played close for the first eight points tying at 4-4. A Bridget Shanahan kill and back-to-back kills by Purdy started the Cowgirls on a 4-0 run to take an 8-4 lead. The Cowgirls went on a 12-6 run led by four kills from Miller, two Reese Plante kills and one Purdy kill to take a 20-10 advantage. The Panthers attempted to make a comeback scoring eight of the next 12 points to pull the score to 24-18. Miller closed the set and the match with her fourth kill of the set giving the Cowgirls a 25-18 set and 3-0 match victory.

Wyoming would score the first point of the match against Ball State followed by two straight points from the Cardinals gave them a small lead. After the Cowgirls tied it up at two all, Ball State scored five straight to regain a 7-2 advantage. Two kills by Reese Plante and Calli Miller ended the run and brought Wyoming to within three, 7-4. The Cardinals responded by scoring eight of the next ten points to extend the lead back to nine, 15-6. It didn't get any better for the Cowgirls as hitting struggles and good offense from Ball State put them ahead by double-figures, 21-8. Wyoming tried to battle back and made a 5-1 run to close the gap to nine, 22-13. Out of a Cardinal timeout, Ball State scored the final three of four points to win the first set, 25-14.

The momentum shifted over to the Cowgirls to begin the second set as they scored the first eight of nine points to go ahead 8-1 led by three kills from Jodi Purdy. They would increase their advantage to double-figures, 15-4, with a 7-3 run and seem to take control of the set. The two teams traded points over the next 11 points as Wyoming continued to hold on to a 21-9 lead. Ball State would battle back as they scored five of the next seven points to close the gap to nine, 23-14. A block play would give the Cowgirls set point 24-16. The Cardinals held off three set points until a kill from Camille Coffman earned the 25-18 win in the set for Wyoming.

It went back and forth in the early part of the third set as it was all tied up at six through the first 12 points. Off a Wyoming hitting error, Ball State would start a 5-1 scoring run to take an 11-7 lead. After a Cowgirl timeout, they scored three straight started by a Camille Coffman kills to pull to within one, 11-10. The Cardinals answered by scoring six of the next seven to increase the lead back to six, 17-11. They would continue to hold the lead over the next several points even extending it to eight, 23-15. Wyoming would hold off several set points but Ball State would win the set 25-18 to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

In the fourth set, the scoring was close between the schools until a small run from the Cowgirls put them ahead by one, 9-8. The Cardinals scored the next three of four to take a one point lead, 11-10. After a kill by Erin Kirby tied it up at 11 all, Ball State went on a 6-2 run to give them a four point lead, 17-13. They would maintain a four to five point margin over the next several points. With the score 22-17 in favor of Ball State, the Cowgirls battled their way back into the set. They ran off six of the next seven to pull even at 23 all. Unfortunately a service error by the Cowgirls and a kill from Ball State gave them the 25-23 win in the set and a 3-1 victory in the match.

Two Cowgirls finished the match in double-figures led by senior Jodi Purdy. She recorded a match high 14 kills plus five digs and four total blocks. Camille Coffman followed with ten kills, while Becky Stewart finished with 15 digs. Wyoming hit .192 (49-19-156) for the match and had 9.5 total team blocks. Ball State had four players in double-digits. Kara Bates and Lauren Grant recorded 14 followed by Mindy Marx with 11 and Lisa Scott with 10. The Cardinals hit .264 (58-21-140) and eight total blocks.

Wyoming begins Mountain West play next week on the road. They will face the New Mexico Lobos, on Saturday, Sept. 22, in Albuquerque.