Pack fights back to corral Cowgirls

Pack fights back to corral Cowgirls

PUEBLO, Colo. ( - Oct. 1, 2013) - Led by a stellar effort up front from Alex Winkler (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) and a double-double by Kacy Griffin (Sr., San Antonio, Texas), CSU-Pueblo won the final three sets Tuesday to down New Mexico Highlands in four, 23-25, 25-22, 26-24, 25-22.

CSU-Pueblo saw a 22-20 first-set lead disappear as New Mexico Highlands converted five of the final six points to steal a 25-23 win.  The slim loss was a sign of things to come as both squads played neck-and-neck for the rest of the night.

In the second set, the ThunderWolves began with a little bit of breathing room as they built a 3-0 lead thanks to two Cowgirl attack errors.  The Pack would maintain the lead until New Mexico Highlands tied it up 22-22, hinting at another late comeback.  

Luckily for the Pack, a few key digs kept rallies alive as the Cowgirls committed three straight attack errors to hand the set to CSU-Pueblo, 25-22.

The third set saw New Mexico Highlands this time build a big early lead, jumping out to a 7-2 advantage.  But the Pack would score 11 of the next 15 points, using two kills and a block by Winkler in the process, to jump out to a 13-11 lead.  

From there, the two squads traded points until the very end when back-to-back kills by Winkler and Skyler Conner (So., Edmond, Okla.) helped deliver a 26-24 win.

In the fourth and ultimately deciding set, CSU-Pueblo again had to wrest the lead away.

Highlands was leading 22-21, and big digs and solid up front play put the Cowgirls on its heels, resulting in two kills by Morgan Wilkening (So., Fleming, Colo.) and another by Winkler to score the match's final four points and win the clincher 25-22.

Winkler finished with 15 kills on the night, hitting .265 while Wilkening followed up with 13 kills at a .235 clip.  Griffin turned in 45 assists to go along with a match-high 19 digs.

CSU-Pueblo will next hit the court Saturday night when it faces Western New Mexico at 7 p.m. in another RMAC battle.