PUEBLO, Colo. (October 22, 2014) – The Colorado State University-Pueblo volleyball team enters the final weekend of the regular season on the brink of clinching a spot in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Volleyball Tournament for the first time the 2011 campaign. The ThunderWolves welcome New Mexico Highlands University to Massari Arena Friday at 7 p.m., before concluding the regular season Saturday at 7 p.m. versus Western New Mexico University. Friday night's match will be Parents Night, while head coach Jen Gomez and the rest of the program will honor senior Taylor Fox (Sr., Santa Cruz, Calif.) as part of Senior Day ceremonies, Saturday.
CSU-Pueblo News and Notes
- With wins in each of their last three matches, the ThunderWolves are 15-11 overall and 9-7 in RMAC contests entering this weekend's contests.
- The 15 victories are the most in a single season since the 2012 squad also won 15 contests, while the nine league wins are the most since the 2011 campaign when the Pack won 10 matches.
- Last time out, the Pack used a match-changing 32-30 victory in set three to propel itself to a 3-2 (25-23, 18-25, 32-30, 19-25, 15-3) win over the visiting Adams State University Grizzlies, Friday. It was the first win for CSU-Pueblo over the Grizzlies since Oct. 28, 2010.
- Five different ThunderWolves set new career highs against Adams State. Morgan Wilkening (Jr., Fleming, Colo.) paced three players in double-digit kills with 23. Alex Sansavera (R-Jr., San Antonio, Texas) registered 35 assists to go along with 15 digs for her 10th double-double of the season. Mariangel Perez (So., Catia La Mar, Venezuela) tallied a career-best 20 digs, while adding 15 kills for her team-leading 18th double-double of the year. Alex Winkler (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Tanja Ranilovic (R-So., Belgrade, Serbia) rounded out the Pack players with career highs with 10 blocks and 10 kills, respectively.
- For her efforts last week, Winkler was honored as the RMAC Defensive Player of the Week. It was Winkler's first career weekly conference award and first honor for CSU-Pueblo since Sept. 10, 2012 when Angela McAdams was tabbed the offensive player of the week.
- The ThunderWolves are currently fifth in the RMAC standings, one game clear of Colorado Christian University and Adams State, who are both 8-8.
- Numerous playoff and seeding scenarios exist for the Pack. One more win clinches a tournament berth, while two wins seals the fifth seed.
- CSU-Pueblo's win versus Adams State was just its second five-set victory in six chances. The Pack also defeated UCCS, 3-2, Sept. 18.
- In home contests, the ThunderWolves have won three matches in a row and are 8-4 overall.
- Earlier this season, the Pack fell to Highlands in five sets. In the last 11 meetings between the two squads, CSU-Pueblo is 9-2.
- On Oct. 17, the ThunderWolves handed Western New Mexico a 3-1 defeat, marking their first win against the Mustangs since Sept. 24, 2011.
- Prior to Saturday's contest, the Pack's lone senior Fox will be honored. The former ThunderWolves women's basketball standout has competed in 11 matches and 22 sets this season. The Santa Cruz, Calif., native has tallied 17 digs, two assists and one kill.
- ThunderWolves statistical leaders:
Kills: 356 – Mariangel Perez
Assists: 546 – Alex Sansavera
Digs: 456 – Katie Burnett (So., Austin, Texas)
Blocks: 124 – Oni Lattin (Jr., Houston, Texas)
- ThunderWolves among RMAC statistical leaders (as of Nov. 3):
Kills: Mariangel Perez (2nd/356)
Assists: Alex Sansavera (9th/546), Jordan Bruere (Jr., Rio Rancho, N.M.) (10th/470)
Digs: Katie Burnett (5th/456)
Blocks: Oni Lattin (1st/124), Alex Winkler (3rd/110)
- ThunderWolves among NCAA statistical leaders (as of Nov. 3):
Blocks: Oni Lattin (6th/124), Alex Winkler (21st/110)
A look at Highlands
- The Cowgirls are 11-16 overall and 5-11 in RMAC tilts.
- In the conference standings, Highlands is in 11th and is not in contention for a postseason berth.
- In their last contest, the Cowgirls snapped a four-match losing streak, downing Eastern New Mexico University, 3-1, Tuesday.
- Highlands is 7-10 in contests played away from home, including a 2-5 mark in league road tilts.
- The statistical leaders for the Cowgirls are: Alicia Moreno (273 kills), Shayli Schulz (473 assists), Tianna Matthews (78 blocks) and Jessica Piper (411 digs).
A look at Western New Mexico
- The Mustangs enter the final weekend of the regular season in a tie for the eighth position in the RMAC standings with a 7-9 league record and a 10-13 overall mark.
- Western New Mexico saw its four-match winning streak halted by No. 13 Colorado Mesa University, Saturday.
- In contests played away from home, the Cowgirls are 5-9 overall and are just 2-5 in RMAC road tilts.
- Prior to Saturday's match against CSU-Pueblo, Western New Mexico will play at Western State Colorado University, Friday.
- The statistical leaders for the Cowgirls are: Leeta Grap (203 kills), Kylie Fraga (406 assists), Heather Verrill (102 blocks) and Barbara Soranzo (256 digs).
With the regular season complete following the conclusion of this weekend's matches, the ThunderWolves turn their attention to the RMAC Volleyball Tournament which begins Tuesday. Should the Pack earn a berth in the eight-team field they will find out their opponent and destination Sunday.
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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.