Wyoming Volleyball Hits The Road For Its Final Tuneup Before MW Play

Sept. 12, 2012

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

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The University of Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team will travel to Muncie, Ind., for the Ball State Tournament, on Friday and Saturday Sept. 14-15, as its final tuneup before beginning Mountain West play. The Cowgirls enter the tournament with a 9-2 overall record. The tournament will begin for Wyoming against the Wright State Raiders on Friday, at 2:30 p.m. MT. UW will play two matches on Saturday, beginning at 11:30 a.m. MT, against the Pittsburgh Panthers followed by a meeting with the tournament host Ball State Cardinals at 5 p.m. MT.

"I thought we played a phenomenal match against Arizona State last weekend and it was unfortunate that we had to turn right around and play Charleston because we were not mentally prepared after such an emotional win.," Wyoming volleyball head coach Carrie Yerty said. "That was a very good learning experience for us and I know this weekend we will be much more prepared to play back-to-back games. We will be better prepared to control our emotions and recover very quickly. There are three good teams at the tournament this weekend and the better teams we can play the more confident and prepared we will be for the Mountain West schedule beginning next week."

Wyoming volleyball enters the weekend with a 9-2 overall record. Last weekend in the first match of the Kansas Jayhawks Classic, the Cowgirls won a five-set thriller against previously unbeaten Arizona State. After a quick turn-around on Friday, the Cowgirls fell to College of Charleston in four sets and fell to host Kansas on Saturday, in three sets. The two losses were the Cowgirls first of the season and their first time losing back-to-back matches since falling to College of Charleston (Sept. 17) and Boise State (Sept. 22) last season. Wyoming is currently ranked in the top three of three categories in the Mountain West. The Cowgirls are second in opponent hitting percentage allowing .115 (428-274-1336). UW is also second in the conference in blocking with 105 total to average 2.76 per set. In service aces, the Cowgirls are currently third, averaging 1.45 per set (55 total). Individually, junior libero Becky Stewart is second in the conference in digs per set averaging 4.89. Junior Reese Plante leads the team in hitting percentage and is ranked third in the MW hitting .392 (73-15-148). Erin Kirby is also ranked in the conference in hitting, she is currently ninth with a .328 percentage (56-15-125). Plante and Kirby are also ranked in the top 10 in blocking earning fourth and sixth, respectively. Plante is currently averaging 1.29 blocks per set, while Kirby is averaging 1.22 blocks per set. Senior outside hitter Jodi Purdy leads the Cowgirls in points with 136.5 for an average of 3.56 per set. She is also ranked fifth in the MW in aces with 13 total to average 0.34 per set. Junior setter Rachel Keyes is also ranked in the top 10 of the MW in assists with 5.86 per set with a total of 217.

About Wright State: Wright State is currently 1-12 on the season. They are led in scoring by Heidi Splinter who has 130 kills on the season. She is averaging 2.95 kills per set and 3.30 points per set. Splinter is second on the team in digs per set with 2.77. Also with 100-plus kills this season for the Raiders is Marisa Aiello who has 112 on the season. Aiello is leading the WSU in hitting percentage averaging .257. She is averaging 3.05 points per set. Setter Ashleigh Lucco has 393 assists on the season for an average of 8.73 per set. She is also averaging 2.22 digs per set. Katie Glassmeyer is leading the Raiders in digs with 195 on the season for an average of 4.33 per set. This will be the second meeting between the Cowgirls and the Raiders with UW winning the last meeting 3-0 on Sept. 27, 1990. Wright State is led by head coach Susan Clements who is in her first year with the school.

About Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh enters the weekend with an 8-2 overall record having won seven-consecutive matches. Offensively, they are led by Jasmine Dittrich who has 70 kills and 88.5 points on the season. She is averaging 2.06 kills per set and 2.60 points per set. Leading the Panthers in kills per set is Monica Wignot who is averaging 2.50. Kate Yeazel hitting at team-high .320 (45-12-103). Setting up the Panther hitters is Lindsey Zitzke who is averaging 10.44 assists per set. She is also third on the team in digs averaging 2.53 per set. Leading the defense is Margy Acton who is averaging 5.13 digs per set with 159 total on the season. Pittsburgh leads the all-time series with the Cowgirls 2-0 having won the last meting 3-1 in Laramie on Sept. 16, 2000. The Panthers are coached by Toby Rens who is in his fifth year.

About Ball State: Ball State brings a 4-6 record into the tournament. Leading in kills is Kara Bates who is the only Cardinal with 100-plus kills with 135 on the season. She is averaging 3.86 per set while also averaging 4.20 points per set. Jacqui Seidel is averaging 10.57 assists per set. She is also third on the team averaging 2.66 digs per set. Catie Fredrich who has 184 digs on the season is the top player with an average of 5.26 per set. This will be the second meeting between the Cowgirls and the Cardinals. Wyoming leads the series 1-0 after defeating Ball State 3-0 at home on Sept. 15, 1989. The Cardinals are coached by Steve Shondell who is in this third season with the team.

"Ball State and Pittsburgh are like us, bubble teams that are looking to make the NCAA tournament," Yerty said. "This weekend is going to be especially important for us to get some good wins."

Cowgirl fans can follow the weekend's matches at this link: