The University of Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team will host its second non-conference tournament this weekend. Presented by UniWyo Federal Credit Union, the Cowgirls will welcome Eastern Michigan, Jacksonville and No. 21 Purdue to Laramie for the UniWyo Invite. UW will play at 6:30 p.m. MT on Friday against Eastern Michigan before playing at noon on Saturday against the Jacksonville Dolphins. Wyoming will then close out the tournament with Big Ten member Purdue Saturday night.
“All three teams we will face this weekend will be a challenge,” UW head coach Chad Callihan said. “I think we are a balanced team and can get contributions from a number of players, but we can’t take any nights off. It’s been a good week of practice so far, and we know there is much to work on, but you always want to do well and take care of the matches at home. I think a positive for us is when a look across the net I don’t see us physically outmatched. It’s coming down to execution and those are things we can correct. I’d be a lot more concerned if I felt we didn’t match up well against our opponents, and I know that’s not the case. ”
After the first weekend of play, Emily Lewis is leading the Cowgirls offensively. Lewis has recorded 45 kills (3.75 kps) which is seventh best in the Mountain West. Marissa Harmon has run the offense for the Brown and Gold and is fifth in the conference with 10.33 assists per set. Defensively, Jackie McBride and Madi Fields have anchored UW after one weekend of play. McBride is sixth in the MW with 1.17 blocks per set, while Fields’ 4.25 digs per set is eighth.
The Eastern Michigan Eagles are 2-2 on the season and have been led by Jordan Smith with 50 kills (3.12 kps). Most recently, Eastern Michigan picked up wins over Robert Morris and Butler last weekend. EMU swept Robert Morris before defeating Butler in four sets. Mallory Rajewski has a team-high 95 assists (5.94 aps), while Camille Schomer had recorded 76 digs (4.75 dps). Additionally, Samantha Falco, who was named the Mid-American Conference West Division Defensive Player of the Week, has 28 total blocks (1.75 bps) for the Eagles.
The Jacksonville Dolphins are 2-1 on the season after winning twice at the Big Orange Bash, hosted by Clemson. Wins over Lamar and Bethune-Cookman came in four sets for the Dolphins last weekend. Mallory Mattingly has a team-high 47 kills (3.62 kps) as Alleah Stamatis is averaging 5.77 assists per set. Mackenzie Swan recorded 50 digs (3.85 dps) in Jacksonville’s first three matches, while Hannah Marchand’s 12 total blocks (1.00 bps) is leading the team. With 12 blocks, 25 kills and four service aces Marchand was named the ASUN Conference Freshman of the Week.
No. 21 Purdue will makes its first trip to Laramie since 1998 and will be bringing a perfect 3-0 record to the UniWyo Sports Complex. Purdue swept through its own Mortar Board Premier tournament last weekend by picking up three-set wins over Oral Roberts, Cleveland State and Alabama. Danielle Cuttino has a team-best 39 kills (4.33 kps) as Ashley Evans has 109 assists (12.11) through three matches. Furthermore, Brooke Peters has 40 digs (4.44 dps) for the Boilermakers.
Friday’s match with the Eagles will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools, as UW is leading the all-time series with Jacksonville 1-0 with Wyoming winning the first matchup in 2003. Purdue holds a 4-2 all-time advantage against the Cowgirls. UW and Purdue most recently met last year at Purdue’s Mortar Board Premier, with the Boilermakers taking a 3-0 sweep.
Live video of Wyoming’s matches will be available through the link above prior to first serve. Live stats for each match will also be available at the link above, and fan are welcome to follow @wyo_volleyball for live updates throughout the weekend.
Press Release courtesy of Wyoming Athletics.
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