Cowgirl Volleyball Receives Highest Preseason Pick Since Joining The MW

Aug. 14, 2012

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The University of Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball team was picked to finish third in the preseason Mountain West poll by the conference's coaches announced Tuesday by the league. The third-place ranking is the highest the Cowgirls have been picked since joining the MW in 1999. Along with the team ranking, senior outside hitter Jodi Purdy was selected by the conference coaches as the Preseason MW Co-Player of the Year. Purdy was also named to her third-consecutive preseason All-MW team.

The Cowgirls were selected third in the conference with 66 total points and one first-place vote. At the top of the preseason conference poll was Colorado State with 80 points and eight first-place votes. The 2011 Mountain West runner-up San Diego State was selected second by the coaches with 69 points. Conference newcomer Fresno State was picked to finish fourth (45 points) with UNLV rounding out the top five with 42 points. The final four teams in the poll were New Mexico in sixth (40 points), Boise State in seventh (36), Nevada in eighth (16) and Air Force in ninth (11).

"I think our team is very deserving of one of the top preseason slots," Cowgirl volleyball head coach Carrie Yerty said. "We have had great back-to-back seasons and we return all but one starter from last season. With the high selections comes the pressure to back it up and perform. How we truly finish will depend on how we handle pressure. Our conference is as strong as it has been since I have been at Wyoming, maybe even in the last 10 years. I hope the top half of our conference can win their preseason schedule to elevate our conference RPI and see more than one team in the NCAA Tournament."

Purdy, the Winterset, Iowa, native, ranks among the top 30 on several MW all-time career lists. She ranks 26th all-time with 1,157 kills, 19th with 103 service aces, 22nd in digs with 960 and 23rd in points with 1,373. The senior is a two-time All-MW honoree and three-time preseason All-MW selection. Purdy was named preseason Co-POY with Colorado State's senior middle blocker Dana Cranston.

"I truly believe Jody is the most skilled all-around player in the conference," Yerty said. "She may not touch the highest or be the biggest player, but when you put her whole game together she is the best. What help makes her so great is how solid our core of players are around her."

The Cowgirls open regular season play at home on Friday, Aug. 24 with the UniWyo Wyoming Invite. They host Presbyterian at 1:30 p.m., followed by a match with San Francisco at 7 p.m.

2012 ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST PRESEASON WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL TEAM

Player Cl. Pos. Team

Dana Cranston Sr. OH Colorado State

Brieon Paige Sr. MB Colorado State

Megan Plourde Sr. MB Colorado State

Andrea Hannasch Sr. MB San Diego State

Jodi Purdy Sr. OH Wyoming

Setter:Johnna Fouch Jr. S San Diego State

Libero:Izzy Gaulia Sr. L Colorado State

Co-Preseason Players of the Year: Dana Cranston, Colorado State; Jodi Purdy, Wyoming

2012 MOUNTAIN WEST PRESEASON WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL COACHES' POLL

Pl. Team (1st place votes) Points

1. Colorado State (8) 80

2. San Diego State 69

3. Wyoming (1) 66

4. Fresno State 45

5. UNLV 42

6. New Mexico 40

7. Boise State 36

8. Nevada 16

9. Air Force 11