ThunderWolves down Colorado College in home opener, 3-1

ThunderWolves down Colorado College in home opener, 3-1

PUEBLO, Colo. (September 9, 2014) ~ The Colorado State University-Pueblo volleyball team (3-2) opened the home portion of its 2014 schedule with a 3-1 victory against Colorado College on Tuesday evening at Massari Arena.

The Pack collect their third win in a row to improve to 3-2 overall, while handing the Tigers their first loss of the season. Colorado College drops to 8-1 on the year.

For the contest, the ThunderWolves outhit the Tigers, .166 to .130. CSU-Pueblo also held the statistical advantage in assists, 48-46, digs, 75-71, and team blocks, 8-5.

Alex Sansavera (R-Jr., San Antonio, Texas) and Mariangel Perez (So., Catia La Mar, Venezuela) both posted double-doubles to pace the Pack. Sansavera notched a match-high 20 assists and 11 digs, while Perez tallied a team-best 13 kills and 16 digs. Oni Lattin (Jr., Houston, Texas) was a force in the middle, stuffing six Tiger attack attempts to lead both squads. Sophomore Katie Burnett (Austin, Texas) dug out a contest-high 20 digs.

For Colorado College, Courtney Birkett registered a match-high 14 kills through three sets before having to come out due to an injury. Sarah Barker and Rebecca Watson tied for the team lead in assists with 15 each, while Sophie Merrifield posted 20 digs to tie Burnett for the match high.

In set one, the Pack broke open a 13-13 tie with a short 5-1 scoring run, forcing a Colorado College timeout. The Tigers responded out of the timeout, cutting the gap to one at 19-18, but that's as close as they would get. Leading 24-22, Lattin blocked Abbe Holtze to seal the set one victory for CSU-Pueblo. The ThunderWolves recorded their best hitting percentage of the night in set one, converting on 15 of 40 attempts for a mark of .275. Perez led the way with four kills in the first frame.

The Tigers captured set two, 25-16, to even the contest at one apiece. With the score tied at one early in the set, the visitors went on a 15-6 run to seize control of the momentum and the set.

Set three was tight throughout with neither team holding a lead of greater than three points. With the score tied at 17, the Pack opened up a three-point lead after a service error and a kill each by Perez and Alex Winkler (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.). Colorado College trimmed the lead to one, at 23-22, but CSU-Pueblo collected the final two tallies of the set on kills by Tanja Ranilovic (R-So., Belgrade, Serbia) and Morgan Wilkening (Jr., Fleming, Colo.).

In the clinching set, the ThunderWolves posted a wire-to-wire victory. A 6-1 run extended the Pack's lead from 13-12 to 19-13 midway through the frame. Leading 24-19, Wilkening and Lattin put the finishing touches on the home squad's third consecutive win, teaming up to block Susannah Phillips to close out the victory.

The ThunderWolves return to action at home this weekend, co-hosting the CSU-Pueblo/UCCS Classic. The Pack open the tournament on Friday morning at 11 a.m. against University of Nebraska Kearney.           

 # CSU-Pueblo #

As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.