Wyoming Volleyball Set To Open Up Regular Season Play
Aug 28, 2013
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Friday, Aug. 30
Saturday, Aug. 31
The Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team and first year head coach Chad Callihan will begin the 2013 campaign on Friday, August 30 by hosting the UniWyo Wyoming Invitational. They open up the tournament against the Stetson Hatters at 1:30 p.m. and the Idaho Vandals at 7:00 p.m. They will take on the Montana State Bobcats the following day at 1:30 p.m. and the Drake Bulldogs, at 7:00 p.m., to close out the weekend. The matches can be followed on www.gowyo.com.
With four starters and eight letterwinners returning to a squad that finished 21-11 overall and 8-8 in the Mountain West a year ago, the Cowgirls were selected eighth in the Mountain West preseason coaches' poll. Two all-conference selections, Erin Kirby and Becky Stewart, return in 2013. Kirby was selected for the second year in a row after leading the Cowgirls and the league in blocks. She also finished the year ranked third overall in the country in that same category. Stewart was a first time honoree after a solid junior campaign at the libero position. She led the team and was second in Mountain West matches in digs a year ago. Other returning letterwinners include seniors Rachel Keyes, Calli Fry and Reese Plante, junior Whitney Smith, and sophomores Kaitlyn Johnson and Bridget Shanahan. Wyoming also welcomes eight newcomers to the team as well.
The Vandals come into the 2013 season with three preseason All-Western Athletic Conference selections including the Preseason Player of the Year in middle blocker Alyssa Schultz. The junior averaged 2.19 kills per set to go along with 1.42 blocks per frame. Idaho was picked to finish second in the WAC preseason coaches' poll after the Vandals finished the 2012 season with a 17-14 record as they ended their season with a 3-1 loss to New Mexico State in the WAC Championship. The Vandals lost six seniors and five starters from last year's squad. Debbie Buchanan is heading into her 14th season at the helm of the Vandals as she has record a record of 196-188.
Montana State comes into the 2013 season with six letterwinners and three starters returning from a 2012 team that went 15-14 overall and finished sixth in the Big Sky Conference. Montana State was picked to finish eighth in the Big Sky Conference in the league's annual coaches' poll. Sophomore Eli Svisco is the Bobcats' top returner as she averaged 2.25 kills per set a season ago. Defensively, junior libero Nicole Baker led MSU as she averaged 3.81 digs per set. Head coach Kyle Weindel is in his second season with the Bobcats as he is 15-14 in his career with a 9-11 record in the Big Sky Conference.
The Drake Bulldogs come into the 2013 campaign with eight letterwinners returning, five of them being starters. Drake recorded a 5-24 mark in 2012 and 4-14 in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Bulldogs were picked to finish tenth in the MVC by coaches in the league. Junior Amanda Platte is poised to lead Drake's offense as she was second on the team as she averaged 2.33 kills per frame in 2012. Defensively, the Bulldogs are led by Sarah Madden as she averaged an impressive 5.81 digs per set last season. Drake head coach Darrin McBroom is in his first season after spending the last four seasons at Iowa Western Community College where he posted a 177-25 record.
Stetson is coming off of a 4-31 campaign in 2012 while finishing 0-18 in the Atlantic Sun Conference. They return nine letterwinners and five starters from last season The Hatters were picked to finish tenth in the 2013 Atlantic Sun preseason coaches' poll. Senior outside hitter Kaley Melville finished runner-up in the online fan voting for the A-Sun Preseason Player of the Year. Melville averaged 2.74 kills per set and 2.78 digs per frame last season. Defensively, senior middle hitter Ellen Hawks recorded a school record 115 blocks a season ago ranking second in the A-Sun. Head Coach Tim Loesch is 13-49 overall as he begins his third season with the Hatters.