ThunderWolves down Eastern N.M. in season opener, 3-1

ThunderWolves down Eastern N.M. in season opener, 3-1

CANYON, Texas (September 4, 2015) ~ Led by Mariangel Perez's (Jr., Catia La Mar, Venezuela) 18 kills the Colorado State University-Pueblo Volleyball team used a strong offensive performance to down Eastern New Mexico University, 3-1 (25-20, 25-11, 19-25, 25-21), in the opening match of the BritKare Lady Buff Classic Friday at the WTAMU Fieldhouse.

With the victory, the ThunderWolves up their record in season openers to 13-24 and improve to 5-14 in the all-time series against the Greyhounds. Dating back to last season, CSU-Pueblo has won six out of its last seven contests.

The Pack offense was in midseason form Friday morning, posting a .381 hitting percentage as a team. The .381 mark sets a new program record for a hitting percentage in a four-set contest during the rally scoring era. CSU-Pueblo outhit ENMU .381 to .152 in the match.

The ThunderWolves tallied 54 kills, while committing just 11 errors. The Greyhounds notched 48 kills, but racked up 27 errors. CSU-Pueblo also held the advantage in assists, 52-45, digs, 47-44 and total team blocks, 7-6.

Perez paced the Pack with 18 kills and 10 digs for her 20th career double-double. Oni Lattin (Sr., Houston, Texas) and Yenifer Calcano (R-Sr., San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic) tied for second on the team with eight kills apiece. Lattin topped the team with six blocks. Alex Sansavera (R-Sr., San Antonio, Texas) recorded a team-leading 27 assists.

CSU-Pueblo jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in set one. The run was highlighted by three consecutive block assists by the ThunderWolves' front line. ENMU bounced back with a 7-1 run to take a 7-6 advantage. The Pack regained the momentum with a 12-5 scoring spurt to open up an 18-12 lead. The Greyhounds managed to cut the deficit to three, at 19-16, but CSU-Pueblo recorded six out of the final 10 points to close out a 25-20 set-one victory.

Set two was dominated by the ThunderWolves from start to finish. CSU-Pueblo jumped out to a 6-1 lead, forcing a timeout by ENMU. The stoppage did not slow down the Pack momentum as they extended their lead to eight, at 12-4, midway through the set. After another Greyhounds' timeout, the ThunderWolves closed out the game with a 13-7 run to claim the set, 25-11, and take a 2-0 advantage in the match. The Pack hit an impressive .500 in the set-two win.

After the intermission, ENMU came out strong in set three, racing out to a 20-9 advantage. CSU-Pueblo battled back to cut the deficit to as few as five points on three different occasions, but the Greyhounds held on for a 25-19 victory.

Leading 2-1 in the match, the ThunderWolves closed out the Greyhounds in set four. CSU-Pueblo trailed 2-1 after the first three possessions, but an 8-2 run put the Pack in front 9-4. The remainder of the match was controlled by the ThunderWolves as they went on to finish off the 3-1 victory with a 25-21 win in set four.

CSU-Pueblo returns to action at the BritKare Lady Buff Classic Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. (MDT) versus No. 22 and host West Texas A&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.