PUEBLO, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - Nov. 10, 2012) - CSU-Pueblo came back to end its season with a win Saturday night, closing out Fort Lewis in five sets, 25-22, 19-25, 23-25, 25-12, 15-13.
The win puts the ThunderWolves at .500 for the season with a 15-15 record, giving the Pack its first back-to-back seasons with a .500 or better record since 1996 and 1997.
In the team's final home game, which saw the team recognize outgoing seniors Michelle Lambayan (Sr., Aiea, Hawaii) and Angela McAdams (Sr., Blinn, Texas), the Pack's supporting cast did everything it could to help send off its seniors with a win.
In the early going, it seemed like things would be bouncing the Pack's way. After falling behind 15-8 in the first set, CSU-Pueblo inched its way back into the game, only to catch fire when it needed to. The ThunderWolves went on a 7-0 run, all behind the service of Lambayan, to turn a 19-13 Fort Lewis lead into a 20-19 Pack lead.
It used that momentum through the end, converting the final four points, which including two kills by Morgan Wilkening (Fr., Fleming, Colo.) to gain the 25-22 win.
But all the momentum was lost in the second and third sets as the Skyhawks were strong in claiming a 25-19 second set win, then jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the third set that handstrung the ThunderWolves and put their backs against the wall.
Needing a big set, the Pack got it in one of its most thoroughly dominant sets of the season. CSU-Pueblo ran roughshod over Fort Lewis with a 25-12 fourth set win, out-hitting the Skyhawks by a ridiculous .552 to .062 and forcing the decisive fifth set.
After a back-and-forth set, the ThunderWolves finally got some momentum, scoring five straight points and using two Pack blocks to turn a 10-8 deficit into a 13-10 lead. From there, the ThunderWolves just held strong to beat the Skyhawks down and claim the 15-13 match-clinching win.
In a suitable "changing of the guard" game, it was the underclassmen that were the top dogs for the ThunderWolves, led by 14 kills from Wilkening and a 13-kill, .462 effort from Brianna Bryant (Jr., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.).