CSU-Pueblo falls in 5 sets to No. 22 West Texas A&M

CSU-Pueblo falls in 5 sets to No. 22 West Texas A&M

CANYON, Texas (September 4, 2015) ~ The Colorado State University-Pueblo Volleyball team pushed No. 22 West Texas A&M University to five sets, but the Buffs were able to escape WTAMU Fieldhouse with a 3-2 victory over the ThunderWolves Friday in the BritKare Lady Buff Classic.

With the loss, CSU-Pueblo concludes day one of the tournament with a 1-1 record after defeating Eastern New Mexico, 3-1, earlier in the day. West Texas improves to 2-0 in the tournament and on the season.

After setting a program record with a .381 hitting percentage against Eastern New Mexico, the Pack hit just .130 versus the Buffs. WT hit .139 to hold the edge in that category to go along with the advantage in kills, 57-53. The ThunderWolves owned the edge in assists, 50-46, and digs, 65-56. Both teams recorded 12 total team blocks.

Mariangel Perez (Jr., Catia La Mar, Venezuela) led a trio of CSU-Pueblo players in double digit kills with 15. Caitlin Broadwell (So., Lawrence, Kan.) notched 14 kills, while hitting .379.  Oni Lattin (Sr., Houston, Texas) tallied 10 kills and a match-high eight blocks. Elena Michalski (So., Longmont, Colo.) had a strong day, posting her first career double-double on a career-best 22 assists and 15 digs.

The Buffs came out strong in set one, opening up an early 10-3 lead. A timeout by Pack Head Coach Jen Gomez settled the ThunderWolves down as they went on an 8-3 run to trim the deficit to three, at 14-11, and force a timeout by West Texas. The Buffs maintained their lead until a solo block by Lattin evened the score at 22 apiece late in the match. CSU-Pueblo's comeback fell just short as the home team tallied the final three points to earn a 25-22 victory.

In set two, WT once again jumped out to a lead, at 13-8, midway through the stanza. Just like they did in the first set, the Pack rallied late in the game. With the Buffs leading 20-15, CSU-Pueblo reeled off 10 out of the next 13 points to come from behind for a 25-23 win. The late run was highlighted by back-to-back service aces by Lindsey Moss (Fr., Creede, Colo.) to break a 22-22 tie.

The third set started out neck-and-neck throughout the early stages. WT held a slim 9-8 lead before a 12-7 spurt extended its lead to 21-15. CSU-Pueblo was unable to mount a similar rally to those it had orchestrated in the first two sets as the Buffs earned a 25-19 win to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

Set four started out similarly to the third set. With the score 12-11 in favor of the Buffs, the ThunderWolves used a 10-4 run to vault their way into the lead and take a 21-16 edge. WT pulled to within two on three separate occasions, but the Pack held on for a 25-22 win to force a fifth and final set.

In the decisive fifth set, CSU-Pueblo trailed by just one, at 8-7, half way through the stanza. The Buffs had one last run in them as they outscored the ThunderWolves, 7-3, over the remainder of the set to win 15-10 and earn a 3-2 match victory.

The Pack close out play in the BritKare Lady Buff Classic with two matches Saturday. CSU-Pueblo plays Lubbock Christian at 10:00 a.m., before concluding the tournament against Dallas Baptist at 2:30 p.m.

- 30 -

As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.