Playoff bound: Pack crushes Western State

CSU-Pueblo head coach Jen Gomez (center right) addresses the team during a time out in the Pack's three-set win over Western State Oct. 25.

ThunderWolves headed to playoffs for first time since 2006.

PUEBLO, Colo. ( - Oct. 25, 2011) - For the first time since 2006, CSU-Pueblo is headed for the RMAC Tournament, securing a spot after a three-set annihilation of Western State Tuesday night in the home regular season finale, winning 25-9, 25-16, 25-16.

CSU-Pueblo rolled through the Mountaineers from the outset, forcing Western State to hit an atrocious -.055 on the night while the ThunderWolves hit .272, a number largely skewed since most of the third set was played with reserves.  Halfway through the third set, the ThunderWolves had committed just five attack errors the entire night.

The Pack front line was nearly unstoppable, evidenced by the nights turned in by Bernadette Pitre (Sr., Clifton, Colo.), who had 13 kills to just one error, and Alea Wildman (Sr., Denver, Colo.), who hit .455 in gathering 13 kills. 

Michelle Lambayan (Jr., Aiea, Hawaii) also had a standout night from behind the service line, registering seven aces, a CSU-Pueblo three-set record, shattering the previous mark of four held by teammates Ashley Wilkinson (Sr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Amanda Stark (Sr., Highlands Ranch, Colo.)

The game came during the team's 5th Annual "Block Out Breast Cancer Awareness" night, sponsored by State Farm Insurance, which recognized cancer survivor Rochelle Kelly-DeVargas as the guest of honor and helped raise funds for the St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center Breast Center of Excellence campaign. 

CSU-Pueblo, now 13-10 overall and 9-6 in conference play, heads to Adams State Saturday for a pivotal showdown with the Grizzlies as the race to the Western Division title hangs in the balance.