It might have been a case of "putting lipstick on a pig," but the ThunderWolves looked strong Friday night against Mesa State despite losing three sets to none to the top team in the RMAC West Division.
The Pack seemed to outplay Mesa State for the bulk of the match, twice showing chutzpah in overcoming early deficits to make the Mavericks sweat.
In the first set, the ThunderWolves fell 9-1 to begin the match, but managed to go 21-15 the rest of the way before Mesa claimed the 25-22 first set win. The overwhelming feeling was that if the game had gone to 30 instead of 25, the Pack may have very well pulled off a rousing comeback.
The second set was much of the same, with the Mavericks opening a 3-0 lead which was then stretched to 10-4. But the ThunderWolves inched closer to the Mavericks, forcing mistakes and getting as close as 22-18 before Mesa took a 25-20 win.
The third set was tied for the first portion before Mesa State ran away with the set and the win. After opening the set trailing just 11-10, the Mavericks converted 10 of the next 12 points to put it all away.
The big difference between the two teams was the effectiveness of each team's attack. The ThunderWolves had a team attack percentage of just .109 while Mesa State boasted a .236 attack percentage. This season, the ThunderWolves have allowed the highest opponent's attack percentage in the RMAC.
The Pack also had more of the worst kind of rally killers - service errors - than Mesa State, recording seven service errors to just three for the Mavericks.
The Pack will continue the final two games of their home stand Thursday night when they host their Steel and Silver Series rival, UC-Colorado Springs, at Massari Arena.