PUEBLO, Colo. (September 12, 2014) ~ The Colorado State University-Pueblo volleyball team (4-3) capped off day one of the Steel & Silver Classic with its first sweep of the season, downing the University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks, 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-20), on Friday evening at Massari Arena.
The win gave the ThunderWolves a split of today's two matches. In the morning, CSU-Pueblo fell to No. 6 University of Nebraska Kearney, 3-1 (25-15, 29-31, 29-27, 25-13). The victory over the Nanooks improves the Pack's record to 4-3 on the season, while the Nanooks fall to 0-6.
CSU-Pueblo held a decided advantage in hitting percentage, .260 to .119, but Alaska Fairbanks tallied three more kills than the Pack, 40-37. The ThunderWolves outblocked the Nanooks, 7-4, while the visitors captured more assists, 39-37, and digs, 46-39.
Leading the way for the Pack in kills with 14 was sophomore Mariangel Perez (Catia La Mar, Venezuela). Alex Winkler (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) was stout in the middle, blocking four attack attempts by the Nanooks. Alex Sansavera (R-Jr., San Antonio, Texas) posted a team-best 16 assists, while sophomore Katie Burnett (Austin, Texas) tallied 11 digs to pace the ThunderWolves.
For Alaska Fairbanks, Sam Harthun notched a match-high 19 digs, while teammate Miranda Grieser recorded 34 of the team's 39 assists in the contest. Samantha Hesterman had 10 digs to top the squad, while Riley Podowicz matched Winkler for the match-high in blocks with four.
In the opening set, CSU-Pueblo tallied the first point of the frame and never relinquished the lead after that, holding off a late Alaska Fairbanks rally to earn a 25-22 victory. The ThunderWolves spread the scoring around, as seven different players notched at least one kill in the set.
The Nanooks jumped out to a narrow 8-7 lead early in set two. That would turn out to be the last lead of the stanza for the visitors. The Pack collected five out of the next seven points to take a 12-10 lead. CSU-Pueblo did not trail the remainder of the set and finished of the frame on a kill by Perez and a block-assist by Winkler and Morgan Wilkening (Jr., Fleming, Colo.) to earn another 25-22 win.
The ThunderWolves completed the sweep with a 25-20 victory in set three. The home team erased an 11-7 deficit with a 10-3 scoring run to take control of the set. With the score 18-17 in favor of CSU-Pueblo, the Pack notched seven of the final 10 points of the frame to seize the victory. Megan Schultz (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) was strong in the final set for the ThunderWolves, registering kills on four of six attack attempts.
CSU-Pueblo returns to the court tomorrow for day two of the Steel & Silver Classic. The Pack open the day at 11 a.m. against Lindenwood University, before closing out the tournament at 7 p.m. against Pittsburg State University.
# 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.