Sept. 16, 2011
CHARLESTON, S.C. -
The Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball Team (8-4 overall) opened up the first day of competition at the Hampton Inn Invitational on Friday with two victories. They swept UNC Wilmington (4-6 overall) in the first match of day in three sets (25-14, 25-21, 25-20), while closing out the day with a four set win (25-8, 18-25, 25-20, 25-20) against North Florida (4-6 overall).
"We showed versatility mixing up our offense," said head coach Carrie Yerty. "I thought Tamara had a great day for us offensively. She was not only a terminator but took the other team out of it by serving aggressively. Jodi has been consistent this tournament and did a nice job mixing it up and playing with finesse. It's nice to have Reece come back. She was a spark for us in the second match. Becky led the way in the back row for us. Hope to come back tomorrow and come away with two wins."
The Cowgirls started off quickly against UNC Wilmington as they took a 6-1 early lead. The Seahawks scored three of the next four to pull within three, 7-4. A 6-4 run from Wyoming would extend their lead back to five, 13-8. UNCW responded with a 4-1 run of their own to make it 14-12. It was never close after that as the Cowgirls scored the final 11 of 13 and the last seven in a row unanswered to take the first set 25-14.
UNCW came out as they aggressor in second set as they opened up with 6-3 advantage, but five straight by the Cowgirls gave them their first lead 8-6. Over the next several points, Wyoming continued to hold on to a two to three point lead until the Seahawks made a small run to bring the score to within one, 12-11. The Cowgirls would build the lead back to three 18-15 by scoring six of the next ten points. UNCW Wilmington would even it up at 19. Wyoming got back on track and closed out the set on a 6-2 run to win it 25-21 to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
The two teams traded scores through the first eight points as it was all tied up at four all. Wyoming would go on a 6-2 run to give them four point advantage 10-6. They would extend it to seven, 14-7, by scoring four of the next five points. UNCW tried to chip into the Cowgirls lead pulling to within three, 16-13. Wyoming would end the run and go back up by five, 19-14, but the Seahawks wouldn't go away easily as they would make it a two point set, 21-19. The Cowgirls kept their composure and closed out the set 25-20 and the match, 3-0.
Two Cowgirls finished the match in double-figures led by junior Jodi Purdy. She recorded a team high 13 kills while adding eight digs and hitting .478 (13-2-23) for the match. Tamara Kitic added a season high ten kills and four service aces. Libero Becky Stewart finished with a team high 13 digs. Wyoming hit .348 (41-9-92) for the match. UNC-Wilmington was led by Sarah Fitzgerald with 11 kills while hitting .192 (11-6-26) for the match. Haley Collins finished with 14 digs, while Kelsey Bendig added 25 assists and 12 digs. They hit .172 (34-17-99) for the match.
It was a good start for the Cowgirls to begin the match against North Florida. With the score 3-2 in favor of Wyoming, they went on a 7-2 run to give them a 10-4 advantage. After UNF scored the next point, the Cowgirls scored six straight to extend that lead to 11, 16-5. Wyoming closed out the set by running of 10 of 13 points to take it 25-8.
North Florida scored the first two points of the second set, but three straight from the Cowgirls gave them a 3-2 lead early. The Ospreys responded with six straight points to put them back up 8-3. Wyoming would end the run by scoring the next point which was answered with another five straight to extend the lead to nine, 13-4. The Cowgirls tried to battle back and went on a 6-3 run to pull within five, 16-11. UNF responded with four of the next six points to give them a seven point lead, 20-13. UW made one final pushed and closed the gap to four, 21-17 unfortunately their comeback would fall short as the Ospreys took the second set, 25-18.
The momentum shifted back the Cowgirls way as they went up 7-1 to start the third set. Over the next several points, Wyoming continued to maintain a five to six point lead, but with the score 11-5 in favor of Cowgirls the momentum shifted. North Florida went on a 10-2 run to gain a two-point advantage, 15-13. After UW tied it up at 15 all, the scoring went back and forth with neither team gaining an advantage. With it all tied up at 20 all, the Cowgirls scored the last five points to win the match, 25-20.
In the fourth set, Wyoming gained the early lead, 7-4, which was answered with a 5-2 run to even it up at nine all. North Florida would score the next two of three to earn their first lead of the set, 11-10. The Cowgirls answered with four straight points to put them up three, 14-11. After a point by UNF, Wyoming went on a 10-2 run which extended the lead to eight, 22-14. The Ospreys made one last charge but the Cowgirls would hold them off and win the set, 25-20, and the match 3-1.
Three Cowgirls finished the match in double-figures with Jodi Purdy leading the way. She recorded 15 kills and ten digs, along with four total blocks. Reese Plante followed with a career high 13 kills, while adding five total blocks. Calli Miller recorded ten kills and a career high 15 digs. Wyoming hit .270 (53-15-141) for the match and out blocked the Ospreys 8-5.
North Florida was led by Paige Pridgeon with 18 kills and 11 digs. She was followed by two players with eight kills, while Nicole Baran finished with a team high 17 digs. The Ospreys hit .126 (45-27-143) for the match.
Wyoming will close out the weekend tomorrow with two matches. They will face the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders beginning at 12:00 p.m. MT, and the host College of Charleston Cougars at 5:00 p.m. MT.