ThunderWolves victorious in must-win match against Western State

ThunderWolves victorious in must-win match against Western State

PUEBLO, Colo. (November 12, 2015) Facing a must-win match to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Colorado State University-Pueblo volleyball team took care of business Thursday night knocking off Western State Colorado University 3-1 (25-18, 21-25, 25-19, 25-22.

Now the Pack, 11-15 (9-9 RMAC), must hope for a Colorado Christian University loss if they want to advance to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament. Western State falls to 13-16 (10-8 RMAC). They will be either the sixth or seventh seed in the RMAC Tournament.

The ThunderWolves defense shut down Western State's offense. CSU-Pueblo limited the Mountaineers to a .027 hitting percentage for the game. The Pack also rejected 14 total attacks from Western State. 

Four kills from Oni Lattin (Sr., Houston, Texas) helped the Pack push their lead to 20-14 in the first.  The Mountaineers rallied within three, but CSU-Pueblo took four of the next five points to make it 24-18.

 In the longest volley of the set, Megan Schultz (Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) clobbered down the final kill to give the Pack a 25-18 win in the first set. Schultz hit a perfect .1000 in the opening frame with three kills on three attacks. 

Jordan Bruere (Sr., Rio Rancho, N.M.) delivered a pair of key service aces in game one. The Pack limited Western State to a .000 hitting percentage in the first set.

The second set stayed close early with both teams trading points to a 13-13 tie. Western would eventually pull away and take the second set 25-21. 

Lattin knocked down another five kills in the second set. She hit an impressive .667 at the break. Tania Ranilovic (Jr., Belgrade, Serbia) picked up a pair of kills off the bench.

In the third set, the Pack rode their point streaks. A three-point run gave the Pack a 20-16 lead. The Mountaineers closed within two, but CSU-Pueblo went on a five-point run to take a 24-18 lead.

Melissa Nichols (R-Fr., McKinney, Texas) spiked down two of her three kills in this run to give the Pack set point. After Western State forced a sideout, the Mountaineers hit a serve into the net to give the Pack a 25-19 win in set three.

The Pack controlled set three defensively, limiting Western State to a -.128 hitting percentage. CSU-Pueblo had five blocks in the third set. Lattin collected his first three rejections of the night in set three.

Western State tried to fight back in the fourth set. They held a 22-19 lead late, but then the Pack responded. CSU-Pueblo went on a six-point run to close out the Mountaineers 25-22 and keep their playoff hopes alive.

Lattin had two of her four blocks in the final set during the Pack's six –point run. The senior finished her last game at Massari Arena with 12 kills, seven rejections, and a .318 hitting percentage.

Bruere notched her second double-double of the season with 11 assists and 12 digs. Alex Sansavera (R-Sr., San Antonio, Texas) recorded 21 assists in her final game at Massari Arena.

In addition to Bruere, three other Pack players finished the night with double digit digs: Katie Burnett (Jr., Austin, Texas) record a team-high 19 digs. Mariangel Perez (Jr., Catia La Mar, Venezuela) collected 11 digs and Brooklin LeBon (So., Frederick, Colo.) snagged 10 digs as well.

Head Coach Jen Gomez improved to 10-0 against Western State as a coach. The Pack have swept Western State in each of the last five seasons.

With their regular season finished, the Pack will have to cheer on No. 19 Colorado School Mines as they play Colorado Christian Saturday Nov. 14 at 2 p.m. If the Cougars lose, the Pack would clinch a playoff spot with:  1) An Adams State University win and a Chadron State College win, 2) An Adams State win and a Chadron loss, or 3) An Adams State Loss and a Chadron loss. Adams State and Chadron both play Saturday.


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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.