CSU-Pueblo 3, Johnson & Wales 0
DENVER, Colo. - CSU-Pueblo used a non-conference game against a winless NAIA team, Johnson & Wales, to regain confidence and get reserves some court time in a 3-0 win Thursday night.
The ThunderWolves handed Johnson & Wales its 43rd consecutive loss as the Pack used the match as a tune-up for its final string of conference games, which continues Friday night at Mesa State.
The Pack had two close sets in the three-set sweep as its lineup was tinkered with all night long by coach Chris Jonson. CSU-Pueblo won the first set 25-20 before storming to a 25-7 second-set win, the largest individual set win for a ThunderWolf team since a 30-8 win in a 2003 victory over Texas A&M Commerce during the first days of the rally-scoring system. It was just the second time in the rally scoring era (2001-present) that a CSU-Pueblo team has held an opponent to less than 10 points in a set win.
The third set was a nail-biter, though, as the Pack held on for a slim 27-25 win to drop the Wildcats to 0-20 on the season.
The Pack was led by a handful of regular starters who were largely present for the whole match - Randee Hayes (Fr., Littleton, Colo.) had eight kills with a .429 hit percentage while Bernadette Pitre (So., Clifton, Colo.) turned in a match-high 11 kills, hitting .333. Reserves having key moments included setter Linnea Gingerich (So., Keenesburg, Colo.) who recorded three kills and ten assists, both career highs, and Lindsay Tapia (Fr., Pueblo, Colo.), who became the first ThunderWolf other than Ashley Michel (So., Brighton, Colo.) to play libero for the Pack this season, recording five digs during action in the third set.
CSU-Pueblo will play Mesa State Friday night in Grand Junction. A loss will likely sink the Pack's hope of a playoff appearance this season.