PUEBLO, Colo. (September 13, 2014) ~ Led by three players with double-digit kills, the Colorado State University-Pueblo volleyball team (6-3) concluded play in the Steel & Silver Classic with a 3-1 (25-19, 18-25, 25-21, 25-22) victory over the Pittsburg State Gorillas on Saturday evening at Massari Arena.
The ThunderWolves, winners of three straight, improve to 6-3 overall on the season after finishing the weekend with a 3-1 record. Pittsburg State's season mark falls to 3-5.
CSU-Pueblo posted its best hitting percentage of the season, notching a .277 mark to the Gorillas' .195 percentage. The Pack hit an outstanding .343 in set one, .367 in set two and .316 in the fourth and final frame. The ThunderWolves recorded a season-best 59 kills, while Pittsburg State tallied 51 put-aways. The home team led in assists, 56-49, while both squads registered 10 blocks. The Gorillas posted 52 digs to CSU-Pueblo's 47.
Mariangel Perez (Catia La Mar, Venezuela), paced the Pack with a match-high 17 kills. The sophomore added 14 digs to complete her sixth double-double of the season. Alex Winkler (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Morgan Wilkening (Jr., Fleming, Colo.) both recorded season-highs in kills with 11 and 13, respectively. Alex Sansavera (R-Jr., San Antonio, Texas) matched a season-high in assists with 28, while Oni Lattin (Jr., Houston, Texas) equaled her season-best mark of six blocks in the contest.
For Pittsburg State, Madi Mosier tallied a team-high 12 kills, while Hayley Hansford recorded a contest-best 37 assists. Ashlen Schwartz led both teams with 18 digs. Ashley Bell matched Lattin for the match-high in blocks with six.
In the opening set, the Pack opened up a 13-9 advantage midway through the frame. Pittsburg State rallied to even the set at 16-all and again at 17-17. From that point on, Perez and the ThunderWolves took over, running off an 8-2 run to close the set and move ahead 1-0 in the match. Wilkening finished the stanza with five kills, while hitting .556.
The second frame was tight from the outset, and after 18 points, the score was even at nine apiece. The Gorillas outplayed CSU-Pueblo the remainder of the set, capturing a 25-18 victory to even the match at 1-1.
The two evenly matched opponents played the third set neck-and-neck. With the score flip-flopping back-and-forth, the ThunderWolves eventually seized the momentum, breaking a 19-19 tie with a 6-2 scoring spurt to earn the 25-21 win and take a 2-1 lead in the match.
The fourth and final set was very reminiscent of the third frame, as both teams found themselves in a 20-20 gridlock late in the set. Once again, it was the ThunderWolves who finished strong, receiving back-to-back kills from Winkler off of assists from Jordan Bruere (Jr., Rio Rancho, N.M.) to seal the 25-22 set victory and an overall 3-1 match win.
For her efforts in the two-day tournament, Perez garnered inclusion on the Steel & Silver Classic All-Touranment team. Perez posted 68 kills during the four matches, hitting .277. The sophomore also added 37 digs.
CSU-Pueblo continues its homestand on Thursday evening when the Pack open Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference action versus University of Colorado Colorado Springs. The contest is slated to begin at 7 p.m. at Massari Arena.
# 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.