At 3-1, Pack off to best start since 2006.
By Anthony Sandstrom, CSU-Pueblo Athletics
GUNNISON, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - Sept. 10, 2010) - Taking on a Dixie State team that won 18 games last season, CSU-Pueblo turned in one of its most impressive wins in recent memory, outlasting the Red Storm in five sets on a neutral court at Western State College Friday.
Led by an outstanding effort by Ashley Wilkinson (Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo.), who netted 15 kills and broke .400 in the hitting percentage department for the second consecutive match, and a 17-kill effort by Alea Wildman (Jr., Denver, Colo.), which equalled her career-high for a five-set match, the ThunderWolves showed great tenacity in claiming the win.
The tide turned in the Pack's favor in the fourth set, when the ThunderWolves shrugged off the potential match-clinching win to dominate, scoring a 25-16 win and forcing a deciding fifth-set. Using three aces in the set and committing only three attack errors, the Pack rode a five-kill set by Wildman to establish momentum for the match-winner.
In the fifth set, CSU-Pueblo showed mental toughness, claiming the win despite committing six unforced errors and a near implosion at the end.
Leading 14-10 in a match-point situation, two Pack attack errors helped allow Dixie to tie the set at 14.
But a big kill by Gina Abbott (So., Salinas, Calif.), who saw her first action as a ThunderWolf, turning in 13 kills, put the Pack back at match point. Then the match ended with a bang as Britny Doole (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) slammed home a service ace for the 16-14 match-clinching win.
Now at 3-1, CSU-Pueblo is off to its best start since 2006, the last season it had qualified for the RMAC Tournament. With two matches on tap tomorrow, the first a rematch with Dixie State before taking on Western State, the Pack has a shot at securing a 5-1 start, which would be its best start since 1997, when the team reached the RMAC title game and qualified for the NCAA Division II National Tournament.