|Posted September 19, 2008|
Raucous crowd can't will Pack to victory
One of the biggest crowds to watch a CSU-Pueblo volleyball game in nearly five years wasn't enough for the ThunderWolves Friday as visiting Western New Mexico boasted a deadly accurate front line, upending the Pack three sets to none.
The ThunderWolves' fortunes were practically set in stone during a competitive first set that saw the Pack squander a 20-16 lead only to lose 28-26. Successive attack errors helped the Mustangs to uncork four straight points, taking a 23-22 lead before ping-ponging the lead back and forth and earning the win.
The first set loss set the stage for a ThunderWolf effort that couldn't overcome a tough front line attack by Western New Mexico.
Led by Alzie Auelua and Natali Murdock, who boasted attack percentages of .545 and .462, respectively, the Mustangs seemed to hit paydirt with every volley. The Mustangs led for nearly every point of the remaining sets, despite the fact that the ThunderWolves didn't commit a great deal of unforced errors.
Leading the Pack's charge was Bernadette Pitre (Fr., Clifton, Colo.), filling in for the Pack's injured front line stalwart, Caitlyn Jewell (Sr., Pagosa Springs, Colo.), Pitre led all Pack attackers with 10 kills and a .300 attack percentage in her first start.
"Bernie did a great job jumping in," Pack coach Chris Jonson said. "She stepped in and led the team right away. She's ready to go and be a force on this team, and we're excited to see what she can develop into."
Pitre is one of a crop of freshman on the team making their presence felt.
"The freshmen are stepping up," Pack coach Chris Jonson said. "I'm very proud of the job they're doing, and their ability to keep execution errors to a minimum."
The ThunderWolves will look to get their first conference win of the season Saturday when the Pack hosts New Mexico Highlands at 7 p.m. at Massari Arena.
Notes: The ThunderWolves' home crowd of 419 was the team's largest since 539 fans came out to a Halloween night game against Adams State in 2003.