Cowgirls Finish Preparations For First Road Test At KU Jayhawk Classic
The University of Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team will take its 8-0 record on the road this coming Friday and Saturday, Sept. 7-8 at the Kansas Jayhawks Classic in Lawrence, Kan. The Cowgirls will open the tournament with two matches on Friday. The first match at 8:30 a.m. MT will pit the Wyoming against Arizona State and the second set for 4:30 p.m. MT will match UW against College of Charleston. The tournament will come to a close on Saturday, with Wyoming taking on host school Kansas at 5:30 p.m. MT.
"This weekend will be a very important road weekend for us," Cowgirl volleyball head coach Carrie Yerty said. "We are going to see bigger size and a lot faster offense from our opponents this weekend. We are obviously going into this weekend to pick up some wins. We will need everyone to be playing well this weekend. I know our ladies are fired up to see a higher level of competition and see where we stack up with some excellent teams. Even going on the road our preparation will be very similar to what it was over the past couple weeks."
Entering their first road tournament, the Cowgirls boast an 8-0 record and two tournament championships. It is their second 8-0 start in three seasons and their second 8-0 start in school history. Leading the Cowgirls this season is 2012 UniWyo Cowgirl Classic MVP Jodi Purdy, who has scored 94 points and is averaging 3.62 per set. Her 3.62 points per set is currently the 10th-best in the Mountain West. Cowgirls Erin Kirby and Reese Plante lead the Cowgirls in hitting with both averaging more than .400 on the season. Kirby is hitting .422, which is third-best in the MW, while Plante is hitting .420 which is one place behind Kirby in the conference in fourth. Each averages 2.04 kills per set. Plante is also third in the conference in blocks with 36 for an average of 1.81 per set. Leading the Cowgirl offense is junior setter Rachel Keyes who has 157 assists on the season for an average of 6.28 per set. Keyes currently ranks eighth in the MW in assists. Junior libero Becky Stewart is averaging a team-best 4.15 digs per set (108 total digs), which is third best in the MW.
About Arizona State: Arizona State enters the tournament with an unblemished 6-0 record. Two players in Macey Gardner and Erica Wilson are each averaging four or more kills per set. Gardner is leading the team with 4.67 kills per set, while Wilson is averaging 4.33. Setter Allison Palmer is averaging 11.62 assists per set with 279 total on the season. She also has 2.46 digs per set. The team leader in digs per set is defensive specialist Stephanie Preach who is averaging 4.92 digs per set. The Cowgirls and Sun Devils have played nine times with ASU leading 7-2 overall. ASU won the last match 3-1 on Sept. 19, 2009. Head coach Jason Watson is in his fifth season at the helm of the Sun Devil program.
About College of Charleston: College of Charleston is 3-2 overall on the season. They are led in scoring by Darcy Dorton who is averaging four kills per set along with 2.86 digs per set. The Cougars have two setters who are averaging at least five assists per set. Kallie McKown has the most assists at 126 and is averaging 5.73 per set, while Taeler Davis has 115 assists and is averaging 6.39 per set. Defensively, Emily Shelton is leading the squad with 5.18 digs per set. The Cowgirls trail the Cougars 2-0 in the overall series losing their last match, 3-1, on Sept. 17, 2011. Sixth-year head coach Jason Kepner leads the Cougars.
About Kansas: Kansas is currently 5-1 on the season having won its last three matches. The Jayhawks only loss of the season came against Arkansas who is currently receiving votes in the AVCA Top-25 poll. KU is led by Caroline Jarmoc who is averaging 3.76 kills per set and hitting .422 on the season. She also leads the team in blocks per set with 1.43. Sara McClinton is second on the team in scoring with 3.71 kills per set. Setter Erin McNorton is averaging double-figure assists per set at 12.71. Defensive specialist Brianne Riley is averaging 5.57 digs per set. The Jayhawks are hitting .279 as a team and averaging 15 kills per set. Kansas leads the overall series with Wyoming 3-1, winning the last match, 3-2, on Sept. 12, 2008. The Jayhawks are led by head coach Ray Bechard who is in his 15th year.