Nov. 14, 2012
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team has finished preparations for its final Mountain West road trip of the season this weekend. The Cowgirls will travel to Boise, Idaho, on Thursday for a match against the Boise State Broncos (15-13 overall, 6-6 MW), followed by a meeting with Air Force in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Saturday. Both matches are set to begin at 7 p.m. MT.
Wyoming volleyball is coming off back-to-back victories last weekend, defeating Fresno State in straight sets on Thursday and downing UNLV in four sets on Saturday. Leading the Cowgirls was sophomore middle blocker Erin Kirby who recorded 18 kills and no errors on 32 total attacks. She also blocked 14 total attacks. For her efforts against Fresno State and UNLV, she earned her first career MW Player of the Week honor. Against UNLV, junior libero Becky Stewart recorded 16 digs to pass 1,000 for her career. She joins senior Jodi Purdy as the second Cowgirl to reach that mark in 2012. Stewart is also the seventh Cowgirl in UW volleyball history to reach 1,000 digs. She has 493 digs on the season, which is the Cowgirl single-season record.
Statistically, the Cowgirls are currently ranked No. 2 in the country and No. 1 in the MW in total team blocks averaging 3.21 per set. The Cowgirls also lead the conference in opponent hitting percentage allowing .138 (1294-754-3925). Individually, Kirby is also ranked nationally in blocking averaging 1.67 blocks per set which is third-best in the nation and the best in the conference. Kirby is also fifth in the conference in hitting percentage averaging .323 (169-47-378). Stewart's 493 digs are the most in the MW conference and her average of 4.65 per set is also best in the league. Senior Purdy is ranked third in the MW in kills, points and services aces per set averaging 3.45 kills, 4.22 points and 0.28 aces. Junior middle Reese Plante is also top 10 in two MW categories. Plante has the sixth-best blocking average in the league averaging 1.21 per set. She is also seventh in the conference in hitting percentage averaging .306 (192-51-461).
A look at the Broncos: Boise State is currently 15-13 overall on the season and 6-6 in MW play. The Broncos are winners of four of their last five. Leading BSU is Liz Harden who is averaging 3.39 kills per set and hitting .273 (353-108-898). Alyssa Gammel is averaging 3.41 per set with 348 for the season plus 2.52 digs per set for BSU. Setters Casey Rose and Sarah Baugh lead Boise State in assists averaging 6.56 and 5.20 per set, respectively. Defensively, Kersti Whitney leads BSU in digs averaging 4.30 per set with 447 total on the season. Leading the Broncos in blocking is Brittany Reardon who averages 0.91 per set. This will be the 15th meeting between the Cowgirls and the Broncos. UW leads the all-time series 8-6 after defeating Boise State 3-1 at home on Oct. 20. The Broncos are coached by Shawn Garus who is in his fourth season at the helm of the BSU program.
A look at the Falcons: Air Force enters the weekend's match with a 9-17 overall record and 3-9 mark in conference play. The Falcons have lost six of their last seven including a three-set loss to the Cowgirls on Oct. 18. The Cowgirls and the Falcons will be meeting for the 36th time with UW leading the all-time series 30-5. The Cowgirls have also won 17 in a row over the Falcons. Leading the Academy is Cami Richan who is averaging 3.02 kills per set. Felicia Clement is second on the team averaging 2.60 kills per set. Setter Hillary Keltner is averaging 9.57 assists per set, while also adding 2.53 digs per set. Leading the Falcon defense is Maiya Perich who is averaging 4.41 digs per set. Air Force is led by third-year head coach Matt McShane.