ThunderWolves fall short in thriller with UCCS

ThunderWolves fall short in thriller with UCCS

Pack runs match to five sets, but can't get over the hump in deciding set.

PUEBLO, Colo. ( - Oct. 14, 2010) - CSU-Pueblo was came within a hair of scoring an upset over archrival UC-Colorado Springs Thursday, driving the match to a fifth set but falling short 15-12 to the Mountain Lions.

CSU-Pueblo came close to claiming its first win over UCCS since 2005, and outplayed the Mountain Lions, according to the stat sheet, setting up more successful attacks and showing a great deal of dominance at the front line.  But untimely errors, especially in tense, set-deciding situations, were the difference.

One big situation that the ThunderWolves fell short was in the second set.  The Pack held a 21-18 lead in the second set, but surrendered six consecutive points, three coming by way of ThunderWolf attack errors, as the Mountain Lions surged ahead 23-21 and held on for the come-from-behind 25-23 win.

UCCS nearly lost the lead in the third set, watching a 23-20 lead dissipate into a 23-all tie.  But a couple Pack attack errors gave the Mountain Lions critical points and led to another 25-23 set win.

The ThunderWolves cruised in the fourth set, claiming a 25-20 win, but a slow start in the deciding fifth set all but sealed the Pack's fate.

After going up 2-0, CSU-Pueblo surrendered six straight points, four by ThunderWolf errors, and the Pack could never recover, losing 15-12 in the tiebreaking set.

The loss drops the Pack to 6-11 overall and 2-8 in RMAC play, and CSU-Pueblo is quickly falling out of the race for an RMAC playoff spot. 

The loss was also a double-edged sword for the Pack, as it surrendered all the volleyball points in the "Steel and Silver Series," an all-sports competition between UCCS and CSU-Pueblo, to the Mountain Lions.  In the only meeting of the season in volleyball between the two schools, UCCS wins the season series 1-0 and claims the points.

In each of the 10 intercollegiate athletics programs that both schools sponsor – men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, men's golf, women's cross country, softball, volleyball, and women's indoor and outdoor track and field – the school that earns the most wins in head-to-head competition is awarded four points. If the head-to-head competitions are split evenly, each school is awarded two points. The school with the best cumulative grade point average among student-athletes in the school's common sports will also be awarded five points.

CSU-Pueblo currently trails UCCS 10-4 in the "Steel and Silver Series" standings, having only claimed a season series win in men's soccer.  UCCS has won the season series in women's soccer (one win and a tie) and volleyball (one win).  Additionally, UCCS has clinched at least two points by virtue of higher finishes than the ThunderWolves in two RMAC men's golf tournaments this season.

The Pack will continue its three-match home stand Friday when it hosts 18th-ranked Metro State at Massari Arena.