Sept. 25, 2012
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Coming off its first Mountain West road game of the season at New Mexico, the Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team (11-4 overall, 0-1 MW) will open its home conference play on Thursday, Sept. 27 against San Diego State (8-5 overall, 0-1 MW) with the first serve set for 7 p.m. MT. Continuing the home stand, Wyoming will host Nevada (4-10 overall, 1-0 MW) on Saturday, Sept. 29 also beginning at 7 p.m. MT.
"I think we came out great in the first set against New Mexico last weekend," Cowgirl volleyball head coach Carrie Yerty said. "I thought after the first set last weekend we got a little tight and New Mexico came out firing those final three sets and we could not match their intensity. Coming home this weekend after a three-weekend road trip is a huge advantage for our team. We are very comfortable at home, not just because we have unbelievable fans, but because it helps us stay in routine."
The Cowgirls enter the weekend having lost its first MW match of the season in four sets to New Mexico. Since joining the MW in 1999, they are 6-7 in home conference openers going 1-1 in the previous two seasons. As a team, the Cowgirls enter the weekend leading the MW conference in opponent hitting percentage allowing a .128 average (595-358-1849). Wyoming has also been playing excellent defense averaging 2.78 blocks per set which ranks second in the conference. Senior outside hitter Jodi Purdy is ranked in the top 10 of the MW in three separate categories. She is currently third in the conference in points per set averaging 3.90 points. She is also averaging 3.13 kills per set which is sixth best in the conference. Her final top-10 statistic is service aces where she currently ranks second averaging 0.35 per set. Junior libero Becky Stewart is currently atop the MW in digs per set averaging 4.94. Fellow junior Reese Plante is also leading the MW in hitting percentage at .367 (97-21-207). Sophomore Erin Kirby leads the Cowgirl blocking defense averaging 1.30 blocks per set with 65 total.
A look at the Aztecs: The Aztecs enter the match with the Cowgirls with an 8-5 overall record and an 0-1 record in the Mountain West having lost their conference opener, 3-2, against Nevada. Summer Nash leads the Aztec scoring averaging 2.96 kills per set and 3.30 points per set. Nash currently ranks ninth in kills in the MW. Johnna Fouch is leading the SDSU offense averaging 5.98 assists per set which is seventh in the MW rankings. Defensively, Kristi Jackels is averaging 3.43 digs per set which is the seventh best in the MW. Also on defense Emily Harris is currently ranked fifth in the MW in blocking averaging 1.22 per set. Andrea Hannasch is also ranked in the top 10 in blocking. She is ranked seventh with an average of 1.10 per set. San Diego State leads the all-time series with the Cowgirls 31-11. Wyoming won the last meeting, 3-2, on Oct. 29, 2011 in Laramie. SDSU is coached by Deitre Collins-Parker who is in her fourth season at the helm of the Aztecs program.
A look at the Wolf Pack: Nevada is currently 4-10 overall on the season. They are 1-0 in the Mountain West after defeating San Diego State 3-2 on Saturday, Sept. 22. Leading the Wolf Pack attack is Tessa Lea'ea who is averaging 3.02 kills per set which is ranked eighth in the MW. She is also ranked fifth in the MW in points per set averaging 3.85. She is also leading the team in blocking averaging 1.44 per set. Leading Nevada in assists is Dana Holt who is averaging 8.81 assists per set which is fifth-best in the conference. Defensively, Two players in Kelly Chang and Kara Kasser are averaging two or more digs per set. Kasser is leading the Wolf Pack in digs with 2.91 per set, while Chang is averaging 2.46 per set. Wyoming leads the all-time series with Nevada 3-0 having won the last meeting 3-1 on Sept. 6, 1996 in Laramie. The head coach for Nevada is Ruth Lawanson who is in her second year.