Cowgirl Volleyball Hits The Road For Two MW Matches

Oct. 23, 2012

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

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Coming off back-to-back Mountain West victories, the Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team will hit the road for two conference matches coming up Thursday and Saturday. Wyoming will travel to Reno, Nev., on Thursday, for a match with the Nevada Wolf Pack (4-17 overall, 1-7 MW), set to begin at 8 p.m. MT. The Cowgirls will continue the road trip on Saturday, with a meeting against the San Diego State Aztecs (14-7 overall, 5-3 MW) beginning at 2 p.m. MT. Wyoming enters the weekend of action with a 15-8 overall record and a 3-5 mark in the MW.

The Cowgirls are coming off two conference victories last weekend over Air Force and Boise State. Against the Broncos, senior outside hitter Jodi Purdy recorded her ninth double-double of the season and the 54th of her Cowgirl career. She is three shy of tying the MW record of 57 career double-doubles set by BYU's Chelsea Goodman. Also with an excellent weekend was junior middle blocker Reese Plante who recorded 18 kills and no errors on 33 attempts, with nine block assists and one service ace. Plante's play earned her the first MW Player of the Week honor of her career. As a team the Cowgirls are currently ranked No. 9 in the NCAA in blocking averaging 3.08 per set. Leading the UW blocking is sophomore Erin Kirby who currently ranks No. 11 in the nation in blocks per set averaging 1.49 (124 total).

In conference rankings, Kirby and Plante both rank in the top 10 in blocking. Kirby is second in the conference in blocks with 1.49 per set. Plante also ranks highly in the MW in blocks averaging 1.25 per set which is sixth-best in the conference. Plante and Kirby also rank in the top 10 in hitting percentage. Plante moved up to No. 5 with a .320 average (160-42-369), while Kirby is ranked eighth with a .293 average (129-42-297). Junior libero Becky Stewart leads the league in digs per set averaging 4.69 on the season. Purdy is currently third in the conference in total aces with 27 and is averaging 0.32 per set. In points per set, Purdy is fourth in the conference with a 4.03 average. She is also in the top 10 in kills per set averaging 3.57, which is sixth-best in the conference.

A look at the Wolf Pack: Nevada enters Thursday's match with a 4-17 overall record and 1-7 in the Mountain West. The Wolf Pack is led by Tessa Lea'ea, who is averages 3.12 kills and 1.39 blocks per set. Following Lea'ea in kills per set is Janelle Batista who averages 2.40 kills per set and 2.99 points per set. Leading the Nevada offense is Dana Holt who adds 9.01 assists per set. Defensively, Kelly Chang leads the Wolf Pack in digs with 2.87 per set followed by Kara Kasser who averages 2.45 per set. The Cowgirls defeated the Wolf Pack in five sets in the first meeting this season in Laramie on Sept. 27. Wyoming leads the overall series 4-0. Ruth Lawanson is in her second season as the head coach of the Wolf Pack.

A look at the Aztecs: San Diego State enters Saturday's match with a 14-7 overall record and 5-3 mark in the MW. The Aztecs are currently 8-0 at home this season. The Aztecs are led by Raegan Shelton who is averaging 2.99 kills and 3.54 points per set. Andrea Hannasch follows Shelton with 2.76 kills and 1.05 blocks per set. Chloe Mathis and Tanna Aljoe lead SDSU in assists with 4.38 and 4.14, respectively, per set. Libero Kristi Jackels leads the Aztecs in digs averaging 3.81 per set. In blocking, Emily Harris is averaging a team-high 1.34 per set. In the teams first match of the season, San Diego State won a five-set battle in Laramie on Nov. 29. The Aztecs lead the all-time series with the Cowgirls 32-11. SDSU is coached by Deitre Collins-Parker who is in here fourth season at the helm of the Aztec program.