DENVER, Colo. (Regis Fieldhouse) ~ The No. 5 seed Colorado State University-Pueblo volleyball saw its outstanding 2014 season come to an end Tuesday, falling at No. 4 seed Regis University, 3-1 (25-21, 22-25, 25-22, 25-16), in the quarterfinals of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament.
The ThunderWolves conclude the season with a 17-12 overall record, including an 11-7 RMAC record. 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. Regis improves to 19-8 on the season and advance to Friday's semifinal round against top seed Colorado Mesa University.
The Pack finished the match holding the edge in digs, 70-60. The Rangers owned the advantage in hitting percentage, .224 to .148, kills, 56-53, assists, 51-49, and blocks, 10-7.
Three players, Jordan Bruere (Jr., Rio Rancho, N.M.), Mariangel Perez (So., Catia La Mar, Venezuela), and Morgan Wilkening (Jr., Fleming, Colo.), tallied double-doubles to lead CSU-Pueblo. Bruere posted 19 assists and 11 digs for her 15th double-double of the year. Perez registered 13 kills and a match-high 17 digs for her team-leading 19th double-double of the season, while Wilkening notched her ninth double-double of the year on a team-best 14 kills and 12 digs. Alex Sansavera (R-Jr., San Antonio, Texas) paced the ThunderWolves in assists with 24, while RMAC Defensive Player of the Year Oni Lattin (Jr., Houston, Texas) tallied a match-high five blocks.
For Regis, Maggie Steward topped both teams with 16 kills and tied with Alessandra Orlandini for the team-lead in digs with 15. Rebecca Sponcil registered a match-high 37 assists, while Gina Morgan topped the squad in blocks with four.
The Rangers raced out to an 8-2 lead early in the first game. The Pack disposed of the early nerves, reeling off a 6-1 scoring run to pull within one, at 9-8. Another 8-2 spurt by the home team increased its lead to 17-10. CSU-Pueblo was able to pull within three late in the set, at 23-20, but the Rangers tallied the final two points of the stanza to win, 25-21.
The Pack bounced back with a hard-fought victory in the second game. The set featured 16 ties and six lead changes. The final tie came late in the frame at 21 apiece. Kills from Alex Winkler (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Megan Schultz (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) along with a pair of attacking errors by Regis gave the ThunderWolves a crucial set two win, evening the contest at 1-1.
After trailing early in the third set, the Rangers opened up a commanding 19-12 lead. CSU-Pueblo began to chip away at the lead, trimming the deficit to 22-17. The Rangers tallied the next two points to pull within one tally of closing out the game. The ThunderWolves scratched their way back to within a pair of points, but the home team held off the late rally attempt to win 25-22 and go up 2-1 in the match.
Facing the end of their season, the Pack kept the fourth set close early. The Rangers began to pull away mid way through the stanza and eventually went on to win 25-16 to earn a 3-1 match victory.
# 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.