Sept. 17, 2011
CHARLESTON, S.C. -
The Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball Team (9-5 overall) closed out the Hampton Inn Invitational with a split record on Saturday in Charleston. They swept the Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders (8-7 overall) in three sets (25-16, 26-24, 28-26) but fell to the College of Charleston (7-7 overall) in the championship match in four sets (27-29, 20-25, 25-20, 25-22). They finished the tournament in second place, while Jodi Purdy and Tamara Kitic were named to the All-Tournament Team.
It was the Cowgirls who got off to a good start in the early part of the match against Texas A&M Corpus Christi as they took a 7-3 lead. The Islanders responded with a 5-1 run to even it up at eight all. Nine unanswered by Wyoming helped them regain a nine-point advantage, 17-8, but TAMUCC scored six straight of their own to pull within four, 18-14. The Cowgirls would re-group and score the final seven of nine points to take the first set 25-16.
The two teams were all tied up at three through the first six points of the second set until two of three points by the Islanders put them up 6-4. Wyoming scored four straight to take their first lead of the set, 8-6, but Texas A&M Corpus Christi answered right back with five unanswered to give them an 11-8 advantage. The Cowgirls battled back by scoring six of eight to gain a slight 14-13 lead. The momentum shifted the other way as the Islanders scored five in a row to put them up four, 18-14. Wyoming chipped away at the lead with an 8-3 run to go up by one, 22-21. They would score the next two points to earn set point, 24-21, but TAMUCC scored three straight to tie it up at 24 all. The Cowgirls held their composure and came away with the set 26-24 to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Islanders took an early 4-2 lead to begin the third set, which was answered with three of four points by Wyoming to even it up at five all. A 5-2 run from TAMUCC helped them regain a three point advantage, 10-7. The Cowgirls responded with five straight points to give them a 12-10 lead. The Islanders chipped away and scored the next six of eight to put them up by two, 16-14. After Wyoming tied it up at 16 all, the two teams went back and forth neither gaining a real advantage. With the score at 22 all, the Cowgirls ran off the next two of three points to earn match point but the Islanders would get the next two scores to earn set point, 25-24. Wyoming responded with two straight points to earn match point, 26-25. After Texas A&M Corpus Christi tied it up one more time, Wyoming scored the final two points to win the set 28-26 and the match.
Two Cowgirls finished the match in double-figures led by junior Jodi Purdy. She recorded 20 kills plus 13 digs. Reese Plante followed with ten kills and four blocks. Becky Stewart led the way with 18 digs while Calli Miller and Emily Rochelle each added ten digs. They hit .250 (55-19-144) for the match and out blocked the Islanders 8.5-5.0.
Wyoming took an early 3-1 lead to begin the match against College of Charleston which was answered with a 4-1 run by the Cougars to put them up 5-4. The Cowgirls scored six of the next eight points to help them regain a three point lead, 10-7. The Cougars would even it up at 11 all and then eventually take the lead 14-13. Wyoming scored the next point to tie it up and went on a 4-2 run to give them a two-point advantage, 18-16. CofC got the next two points on the board which made it 18 all. This time, the Cowgirls ran off five of eight to get the score to 23-21, but the Cougars scored three straight to give them set point. Wyoming would hold off three set points and earn their own before falling 29-27 in the first set.
The momentum continued with the Cougars as they opened up with a 6-1 lead to begin the second set. After the Cowgirls ended the run, they scored the next two points to pull within four, 8-4. College of Charleston would run off the next six of the next seven to extend the lead back to nine, 14-5. Wyoming ended the run with two straight points which was answered with four of seven to give the Cougars an eight point lead, 18-10. The Cowgirls tried to chip into the lead and went on a 6-2 run to close the gap to four, 20-16. The College of Charleston scored the next three of four to regain a six point lead, 23-17. Wyoming wouldn't give up and ran off three points to pull within three, 23-20. Unfortunately, it would be enough as the Cougars scored the last two points to win the set, 25-20, to go ahead 2-0 in the match.
Wyoming seemed to regroup in the third set as they took a 9-3 advantage. The Cougars would score the next two of three points to end the run, but the Cowgirls went on a 6-3 run to give them an eight-point lead, 16-8. The College of Charleston scored the next two points to make it a six point set, 16-10, which was answered with Wyoming ran off six of ten to make the score 22-14. Despite being out scored the remainder of the way, the Cowgirls won the set 25-20.
In the fourth set, Wyoming went up early with a 6-3 lead. After a timeout by CofC, they would go on a 7-4 run to even it all up at ten. The Cowgirls ended the run, the Cougars scored five of seven to make it a two-point set, 15-13. Wyoming answered with a 4-2 run to pull ahead by one, 18-17, but College of Charleston scored five straight to make it 22-17. The Cowgirls would mount one more comeback but it would fall short as they lost the set, 25-22, and the match, 3-1.
The Cowgirls were led by Jodi Purdy with a season high 21 kills, plus 16 digs and a .234 (21-6-64) hitting percentage. She was followed by Reese Plante with nine kills and three total blocks. Wyoming hit .247 (61-18-174) for the match.
Wyoming returns home next week as they open up Mountain West play. They will host conference newcomer Boise State, on Thursday, Sept. 22, and the Air Force Academy Falcons, on Saturday, Sept. 24. Both matches will be played in the UniWyo Sports Complex.