Volleyball defeats Fort Lewis in four sets

Volleyball defeats Fort Lewis in four sets

PUEBLO, Colo. – The Colorado State University-Pueblo volleyball team (10-7, 4-4 RMAC) used a strong offensive performance to knock off the Fort Lewis Skyhawks, Saturday inside Massari Arena. The ThunderWolves notched season highs in hitting percentage (.295), kills (65) and assists (57) en route to a 3-1 (28-30, 25-11, 25-20, 25-17) win.

The victory improves the ThunderWolves to 10-7 overall and evens their Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference record at 4-4. The 10 wins matches the Pack's win total from the 2013 season. The loss drops the Skyhawks to 5-11 on the season and 2-6 in conference matches.

CSU-Pueblo out-hit Fort Lewis, .295 to .162. The ThunderWolves held the edge in every other major statistical category, including kills, 65-49, assists, 57-47, digs, 73-66, and blocks, 11-7.

For the first time this season, the Pack had four players notch double-doubles. Mariangel Perez (So., Catia La Mar, Venezuela) and Morgan Wilkening (Jr., Fleming, Colo.) both tallied 14 kills to pace the home team, while Perez added 15 digs and Wilkening chipped in with 11 digs. The ThunderWolves' setting duo of Alex Sansavera and (R-Jr., San Antonio, Texas) and Jordan Bruere (Jr., Rio Rancho, N.M.) registered 26 and 25 assists, respectively. Sansavera tallied 12 digs, while Bruere posted 10 digs to complete their respective double-doubles.  Oni Lattin (Jr., Houston, Texas) and Alex Winkler (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) anchored the Pack's strong play at the net defensively, notching five blocks apiece to pace both squads. Katie Burnett (So., Austin, Texas) tallied a match-high 21 digs from the libero position.

The Skyhawks were led offensively by Ashley Wells' contest-best 17 kills. Heather Danny led the visitors with 21 assists, while libero Ally Dell'Amico had a team-high 20 digs. Shelby Lehman matched Lattin and Winkler for the match-high in blocks with five.

The first set featured 15 ties and 16 lead changes. CSU-Pueblo opened up a 10-8 lead, before the Skyhawks went on an 8-3 scoring run to move ahead, 16-13. The remainder of the match was a see-saw affair. The ThunderWolves had set point on three different occasions, but Fort Lewis fended off each one and eventually earned a 30-28 win.

The Pack responded strong in the second game. With the score 8-6 in favor of the home team, CSU-Pueblo blitzed the Skyhawks the rest of the way, outscoring the visitors 17-5 to close the set and even the match at one apiece. The ThunderWolves hit an outstanding .379 in the set compared to an -.057 mark for Fort Lewis.

CSU-Pueblo once again used a scoring spurt to pull away from the Skyhawks in set three. After 22 points, the game was even at 11. The Pack went on an 8-2 run to seize control of the set, before eventually going on to win, 25-20, to move ahead, 2-1, in the match.

The ThunderWolves put the finishing touches on their sixth home win of the season with a convincing 25-17 victory in the fourth set. CSU-Pueblo hit .324 in the frame.

The ThunderWolves will remain at home, Tuesday for a conference tilt versus Western State Colorado University. Game time against the Mountaineers is set for 7 p.m. at Massari Arena and will be a "Pink Out" in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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