ThunderWolves rally to tame Cougars in five

ThunderWolves rally to tame Cougars in five
LAKEWOOD, Colo. (September 16, 2016) – Down two sets to one, Colorado State University Pueblo Volleyball battled back to defeat Colorado Christian University 3-2. The Pack won its Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference opener 22-25, 28-26, 12-25, 25-23, 17-15. 

With its victory CSU-Pueblo improved to 3-7 (1-0 RMAC). Colorado Christian fell to 6-4 (0-1 RMAC).

Junior Elena Michalski (Longmont, Colo.)  recorded her second double-double of the season. Michalski finished her night with 31 assists and 12 digs as she facilitated the Pack's offense. She also had two of the Pack's nine service aces. 

Mariangel Perez (Sr., Catia La Mar, Venezuela) also picked up her second double-double of 2016. Perez totaled 13 kills and 15 digs. Like Michalski, she also served up a pair of aces. 

Caitlin Broadwell (Jr., Lawrence, Kan.) compiled a career-best 20 kills. In addition to a career-high in kills, Broadwell chipped in defensively with four digs and two blocks.

Senior Tanja Ranilovic (Belgrade, Serbia) matched her career-high with seven total blocks. Ranilovic also had three digs and three kills.

After an early seven-point run the Cougars had the Pack in a 9-4 hole in game one, but CSU-Pueblo would not go away easy as the Pack would tie the set at 15 and eventually take a 21-20 lead. Colorado Christian scored five of the final six points of the first set to sneak away with a 25-22 win in the first set.

The Pack trailed 22-18 late in the second set. CSU-Pueblo would score 6 of the next seven points to take a 24-23 lead for set point. On their fourth game, point, the Pack finally put away the Cougars on a Broadwell kill to earn a 28-26 win in set two. 

Colorado Christian responded with a 25-12 win in the third set. The Cougars outhit the Pack .432 to .067 in the third.

In the fourth set, CSU-Pueblo reclaimed the momentum. The Pack used a five-point run to take a 14-9 lead. Colorado Christian closed within one late in the set to make it 24-23. However, Morgan Wilkening (Sr., Fleming, Colo.) knocked down one of her 10 kills to force a decisive fifth set.

The two squads traded four-point runs in the final set. CSU-Pueblo's four-point run gave the Pack an 10-7 lead, but the Cougars bounced back with four points of their to make it 11-10 in favor of the home team. They would eventually push the advantage to 15-14. 

Facing match point, the Pack got a big kill from Wilkening. After a Cougar error, Broadwell knocked down her 20th kill of the match to give the ThunderWolves their first win in conference play. 

Senior libero Katie Burnett (Austin, Texas) had a team-high 24 digs. Pack Head Coach Jill Muhe earned a victory in her RMAC debut.

The Pack will look to remain unbeaten in conference play Saturday when they visit No. 18 Colorado School of Mines. First serve between the Pack and Orediggers will fly into the air at 5 p.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.