Nov. 19, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -
In the opening round of the 2011 Mountain West Volleyball Tournament, the Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team (21-10 overall) needed four sets (25-23, 27-25, 20-25, 25-21) to earn the victory over the New Mexico Lobos (14-14 overall) on Friday night in Albuquerque. The Cowgirls now move on to the semi-finals of the tournament to face the number one seed Colorado State Rams. The match is set for Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on The Mountain Sports Network. It's the first time the Cowgirls had earned a tournament victory since becoming members of the Mountain West Conference.
"I'm so excited not only for our team but this program," said head coach Carrie Yerty. "To earn the program's first tournament match in the Mountain West Conference is a great accomplishment. We had some great performances by a number of individuals. Tomorrow will be another challenge for against Colorado State, but we are looking forward to taking it on."
Three Cowgirls finished the night in double figures led by Jodi Purdy. She recorded a double-double with 13 kills and 11 digs, while adding four total blocks. Calli Miller followed by 11 kills and a career high 18 digs, and Reese Plante finished with 12 kills, six blocks and a .500 (12-1-22) hitting percentage. Becky Stewart had a match high 23 digs. Wyoming hit .224 (54-18-161) and had 11 total team blocks.
Kelly Williamson recorded a match high 23 kills to lead the way for the Lobos. Ashley Newman added 13 kills and Chantale Riddle finished with 11 kills and 14 digs. New Mexico hit .188 (62-27-186) for the match.
Wyoming scored the first two points to begin the match, which was answered by a couple of points by New Mexico to make the score 2-2. The Cowgirls ran off six straight points to give them a six-point advantage, 8-2. The Lobos tried to chip away at the lead after a timeout scoring five of the next eight to pull within four, 11-7. UW would extend the lead back to six, 15-9, with a small run. New Mexico continued to battle as they went on a 7-3 run to make it a two point set, 18-16. A kill by Reese Plante ended the run, but the next four points from UNM gave them their first lead of the set, 20-19. The Cowgirls tied it up on the next point and then both teams traded the next couple of scores. With the score 23-22 in favor of the Lobos, Wyoming scored the final three points to take the first set, 25-23.
In the second set, the Cowgirls jumped out to the early 5-3 lead, which was answered with four straight by New Mexico to give them their first lead 7-5. A service error by the Lobos stopped the scoring drought for Wyoming as they scored the next three points to go ahead by one, 8-7. A point from New Mexico made it eight all and the two teams played even over the next seven points making the score 11 all. Wyoming scored four of the next five to make the score 15-12, but the Lobos responded with a 5-1 scoring run giving them a one point advantage, 17-16. After the Cowgirls tied it up on the next sideout, it was a full on battle between the two teams as neither one could gain any momentum. Wyoming would go up by one, 23-22, but two points from the Lobos gave them set point, 24-23. The Cowgirls regrouped and scored the last five of seven points to win the set 27-25 to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Lobos came out strong in the third set as they opened up a 7-2 lead. Wyoming earned the next couple of points to stop the run, but New Mexico extended it back to six, 11-5. The Cowgirls tried to chip away at the lead and pulled to within three, 16-13. Three straight points from the Lobos put them back up by six, 19-13. Unfortunately, Wyoming was only able to close the gap to three points as UNM won the third set, 25-20.
It was close in the early part of the fourth set until the Cowgirls took a small 6-4 lead, which they extended four, 9-5. New Mexico closed the gap with a 5-2 run to make the score 11-10. UW stopped the run with the next couple of points to give them a 15-12 advantage. They would continue to hold that two or three point lead for the next several points. With the score 20-17 in favor of Wyoming, the Lobos made it a one point set, 20-19. The Cowgirls remained composed and scored the final five of seven to take the set, 25-21, and the match, 3-1.