Michel takes digs record as Pack sweeps Western State

Michel takes digs record as Pack sweeps Western State

Pack wins fourth straight and eighth match in last nine.

GUNNISON, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - Sept. 27, 2011) - CSU-Pueblo senior libero Ashley Michel (Sr., Brighton, Colo.) took over the title of CSU-Pueblo career digs leader Tuesday as the ThunderWolves won its fourth straight with a sweep over Western State.

The diminutive Michel, affectionately known as "Squirt" by her teammates, was again solid with a 20-dig effort, lifting her to school dig record previously held by Tessa Accomasso, who played at CSU-Pueblo from 2000-03.  She was in the background as the Pack front line battled without recently-injured outside hitter Janae Heiser (Sr., Westminster, Colo.) and weathered some struggles in her stead.

Stepping up were Alea Wildman (Sr., Denver, Colo.) and Bernadette Pitre (Sr., Clifton, Colo.), each of which turned in 16-kill efforts and hit percentages of .464 each.  Setter Kacy Griffin (So., San Antonio, Tex.), who entered Tuesday as the ninth-ranked setter in the nation, kept up her pace by turning in 38 assists in the three-set sweep.

But more important than numbers were the ThunderWolves' ability to make late charges to win the first and third sets. 

The Pack trailed 21-19 in the first set, struggling to get balls over the Western State front line, which registered ten blocks in the match, and went on a run to storm to the win.  CSU-Pueblo converted six straight points, including two kills by Pitre, to win 25-21.

In the third set, the ThunderWolves were trailing by as much as 16-13 and 19-18 later on, but CSU-Pueblo again circled the wagons.  The Pack converted seven of the final eight points, this time getting three kills from Wildman down the stretch, to win 25-20.

With the win, CSU-Pueblo has now won eight of its past nine matches, marking their first 8-1 span since 2004.  The ThunderWolves will return home Friday to host Adams State.