PUEBLO, Colo. (October 7, 2014 - Massari Arena) – After dropping the first set, the Colorado State University-Pueblo volleyball team (11-7, 5-4 RMAC) rebounded to win the next three games in convincing fashion en route to a 3-1 (29-31, 25-22, 25-13, 25-10) victory over visiting Western State Colorado University, Tuesday.
The win, the fourth in their last five matches, improves the ThunderWolves to 11-7 on the season and 5-4 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference tilts. The 11 victories eclipses last season's win total of 10. The Mountaineers remain winless at 0-13 and 0-9 in league play.
The Pack's dominance at the net continued Tuesday, as they tallied a season-high 15 stuffs. CSU-Pueblo has now out blocked its opponent in eight out of nine RMAC matches. The ThunderWolves also held the statistical advantage in hitting percentage, .223 to .065, kills, 51-46, assists, 49-41, and digs, 59-57.
Playing without top outside hitter, Mariangel Perez (So., Catia La Mar, Venezuela), the Pack received a big offensive night from Morgan Wilkening (Jr., Fleming, Colo.). The junior tallied a career-high 18 kills to go along with 12 digs to complete her fifth double-double of the season. Jordan Bruere (Jr., Rio Rancho, N.M.) paced the Pack in assists with 17, while freshman Elena Michalski (Longmont, Colo.) replaced the injured Alex Sansavera (R-Jr., San Antonio, Texas) and recorded a career-high 12 helpers. Alex Winkler (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) continued the trend of career highs, registering a new high-water mark of nine blocks to lead both squads. Katie Burnett (So., Austin, Texas) tallied a match-high 20 digs out of the libero position.
For the Mountaineers, Tepora Su'a recorded a contest-best 33 assists. The remaining statistical leaders for Western were Crystal Powell (15 kills), Morgan Stansberry (14 digs) and Hailey Rehage (5 blocks).
In the opening set, the ThunderWolves found themselves down, 19-17, late in the action. CSU-Pueblo ripped off a 7-1 run to set up game point, at 24-20. The Pack couldn't close out Western State, however, as the visitors rallied to pull out a 31-29 win to go on top 1-0 in the match.
The second set was neck-and-neck throughout the majority of play. The Pack went on a 9-5 spurt to open up an 18-14 advantage. The Mountaineers clawed back into the frame, evening the set at 22 apiece. Unphased, CSU-Pueblo tallied the final three points of the game to earn a 25-22 victory and even the match at one set each heading into the intermission.
The Pack dominated the remaining two sets. In set three, the home team led from start to finish, closing the set on a 6-0 run to win, 25-13. The fourth and final set was much of the same as the ThunderWolves finished the game on an impressive 17-2 explosion to seal a 25-10 set victory and 3-1 match win. CSU-Pueblo posted a .440 hitting percentage in the final set and also received three service aces from Michalski.
The ThunderWolves will play their next seven matches on the road, beginning Saturday at Adams State University. Match time between the Pack and the Grizzlies is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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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.