Oct. 18, 2012
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
After three-consecutive road matches, the Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team returned home on Thursday, and defeated the Air Force Falcons (8-13 overall, 2-5 Mountain West) in three-straight sets (25-17, 25-19, 25-22). The victory advances the Cowgirl record to 14-8 overall and 2-5 in the MW. Wyoming also snapped a season-worst three-match losing streak, while extending a 17-match winning streak against the Falcons.
"It was really nice for us to be back home," Wyoming head coach Carrie Yerty said. "We had great fans and great support all night. Air Force is a team that never goes away and is a good team. I think our blocking really took them out of their game tonight."
Leading the Cowgirls was senior Jodi Purdy who recorded 11 kills, for her 15th match of the season with double-figure kills. Purdy also added two service aces and two block assists during the match. Junior Reese Plante hit a season-best .727 (8-0-11) and led UW in that category, while also chipping in four block assists. Fellow junior Calli Miller added seven kills and four block assists to the UW totals. Cowgirl setters Rachel Keyes and Whitney Smith each recorded double-figure assists with 20 and 11, respectively. The double-figure assist output was Keyes 22nd of the season, and for Smith it was her 19th of the season. Junior libero Becky Stewart recorded her 19th match with double-figure digs this season finishing with 11. Sophomore Erin Kirby led the Cowgirls with six block assists. As a team the Cowgirls recorded 11.5 total team blocks.
The first set opened with the two teams trading the first eight points to tie at four. The Cowgirls went on a 3-0 run on a Plante kill and an Air Force attack error, followed by a Camille Coffman kill. The Falcons answered with a 5-0 run, on two kills and three Cowgirl errors. With a 9-7 Air Force advantage the Cowgirls went on a 3-1 run on a Miller kill and Miller and Kirby combined block to tie the set at 10. The Cowgirls scored five of the next seven points to take a 15-12 lead. From that point the Cowgirls went on a 6-0 run led by Plante and Purdy kills as well as a Plante and Coffman combined block, followed by a Keyes service ace. With the score 21-12, Air Force attempted a comeback scoring four of the next six points to make the score 22-16. The Cowgirls closed the set with Coffman and Miller kills, and the final point came on a Kirby, Smith and Miller combined block. The final set score went UW 25, AFA 17.
Air Force started the second set with a service error and Cowgirl Kirby following that up with a block to give Wyoming a 2-0 advantage. Air Force rebounded scoring three of the next four points to tie the set a three. The Cowgirls went on a 5-1 run, led by a Miller kill and a Coffman and Kirby combined block, to take an 8-5 lead. Wyoming continued its tough play advancing its lead to 13-8 before Air Force attempted a comeback. The Falcons scored four of the next six points to pull within three at 15-12. The Cowgirls pulled away in the set with a 7-4 run set off by a Purdy kill giving them a 22-16 lead. Air Force scored three of four points to pull within four at 23-19. UW closed the set with two-straight points on two Air Force errors. The Cowgirls won the set 25-19 and took a 2-0 set advantage.
Purdy opened the second set with an attack error, but followed that with back-to-back kills to give the Cowgirls a 2-1 advantage. The teams traded points to a 4-4 tie before the Cowgirls scored four-consecutive points, led by a Coffman kill and Plante and Coffman combined block, to take a 8-4 lead. Air Force scored six of the next eight points to tie the set at 10 each. The teams traded the next four points and tied at 12 before the Cowgirls went on a 5-0 run. A Miller and Kirby combined block and a Purdy service ace led the Cowgirl run and gave them a 16-12 advantage. Air Force scored three-straight points and make the score 18-15. The Cowgirls advanced their lead to 20-16, before Air Force attempted a comeback scoring four of the next six points to make the score 22-20 in favor of UW. The Cowgirls closed the set and the match on a kill from Plante followed by back-to-back kills from Purdy. UW won the set 25-22 and the match 3-0.
The Cowgirls will stay at home for their next match hosting Boise State on Saturday, Oct. 20, with the first serve set for 7 p.m. The match will be a Breast Cancer Awareness match with the Cowgirls wearing pink uniforms and fans are encouraged to wear pink with them. Fans who wear pink will receive admission to the match for $1. The first 350 fans to the match will receive a pink rally towel. Fans can also pledge a dollar amount for each dig made by the team and that money will be donated to the Wyoming Foundation for Cancer Care.
"Saturday is going to be a tough match for us," Yerty said. "We are starting to build our confidence back, but we are going to need to fight hard on Saturday to get a win."