PUEBLO, Colo. (Massari Arena) – The Colorado State University-Pueblo volleyball team closed the regular season on a high note Saturday, sweeping visiting Western New Mexico University, 3-0 (25-13, 25-20, 27-25), on Senior Night. Prior to the match, Pack head coach Jen Gomez and the rest of the ThunderWolves recognized the team's lone senior Taylor Fox (Sr., Santa Cruz, Calif.) as part of Senior Night activities.
With its fifth win in a row, CSU-Pueblo improves to 17-11 overall and 11-7 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play. The 17 victories are the most for the Pack since the 1997 season, while the 11 league wins is their top mark dating back to 2004. The ThunderWolves five-match winning streak is their longest stretch of victories since the 2012 squad opened the year with six consecutive wins.
Western New Mexico concludes its regular season at 10-15 overall and 7-11 in RMAC contests. The loss eliminated the Mustangs from postseason contention.
The Pack finished the contest with an outstanding .319 hitting percentage, while holding the Mustangs to a .093 mark. The .319 percentage is CSU-Pueblo's highest tally since hitting .352 against New Mexico Highlands University, Sept. 25, 2012. The ThunderWolves controlled the remainder of the statistical fields, including kills, 50-36, assists, 48-35, digs, 56-47, and blocks, 8-2.
Jordan Bruere (Jr., Rio Rancho, N.M.) picked up her 14th double-double of the season for the Pack, registering 19 assists and 13 digs. Morgan Wilkening (Jr., Fleming, Colo.) finished with a match-high 12 kills, while hitting a stellar .423. Alex Sansavera (R-Jr., San Antonio, Texas) paced both teams with 22 assists, while Katie Burnett (So., Austin, Texas) notched a contest-best 16 digs from the libero position. Megan Schultz (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Tanja Ranilovic (R-So., Belgrade, Serbia) both finished with a match-high five blocks.
For Western New Mexico, Leeta Grap and Sheila Menezes tied for the team-lead in kills with nine each, while Grap recorded a team-best 12 digs. Melanie Hughes topped the Mustangs in assists with 18.
The Pack opened the contest with their most dominating first-set win of the season, rolling past the visitors, 25-13. With the score close at 8-6, CSU-Pueblo cruised through the remainder of the set, outscoring the Mustangs 17-7 the rest of the way.
In set two, the ThunderWolves never trailed and didn't let Western New Mexico get any closer than three from the midpoint of the game until the end. CSU-Pueblo posted a .389 hitting percentage, helping to propel it to a 25-20 win and a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Pack posted a come-from-behind victory in the third set to finish off the sweep. Western New Mexico led by as many as four, at 17-13, but CSU-Pueblo rallied to pull out a 27-25 win.
With the regular season now complete, the ThunderWolves turn their attention to next week's RMAC Volleyball Tournament, which gets under way Tuesday. The fifth-seeded Pack will travel to face No. 4 seed Regis University at 7 p.m. CSU-Pueblo will be making its first tournament appearance since 2011.
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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.