ThunderWolves swarm Yellow Jackets in three set sweep

ThunderWolves swarm Yellow Jackets in three set sweep

PUEBLO, Colo. (September 23, 2016) –  Colorado State University-Pueblo volleyball  dominated Black Hills State University to earn its third sweep of the season. In their first Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference home game, the Pack beat the Yellow Jackets in three sets (25-15, 25-14, 25-18).

The ThunderWolves controlled every aspect of the match. CSU-Pueblo outhit the Yellow Jackets .286 to .034. With the imposing victory, the Pack improved to 4-8 with a 2-1 record in RMAC games. Black Hills State dropped to 2-9 (0-3 RMAC).

Facing the RMAC's best blocking team, the Pack turned the tables on the Yellow Jackets, recording 20 blocks compared to just six for Black Hills State. Megan Schultz (Sr., Colorado Springs, Colo ,) Misha McDowell (Gilbert, Ariz.) , and Morgan Wilkening (Sr., Fleming, Colo.) all tallied five block assists. Schultz also had six kills and a team-best .455 hitting percentage. McDowell was not far behind with six kills and a .412 hitting clip. Wilkening finished her night with seven kills and three digs.

Senior Libero Katie Burnett (Austin, Texas) caused problems for the Yellow Jackets from the service line. Burnett put down four service aces. She entered the match ranked second in the RMAC in aces per set and may have overtaken the lead with her third four-ace performance of the season. Burnett also had a team-best 13 digs.

Setters Elena Michalski (Jr., Longmont, Colo.) and Kelsey Bell (Fr., Los Lunas, N.M.) passed effectively throughout the night. Michalski finished with 18 assists and eight digs. Bell recorded 16 assists and seven digs.

Caitlin Broadwell (Jr., Lawrence, Kan.) spiked down a team-best 10 kills. She also hit a season-best .409.

A six-point run midway through the first set helped the Pack double up Black Hills State 20-10. They would coast to a 25-15 win in the first frame. Broadwell led the Pack with four kills in the first. CSU-Pueblo held the Yellow Jackets to a -.051 hitting clip through the opening set.

The Pack pulled away from Black Hills State early in the second set as a four-point run made it 7-3. The Yellow Jackets would close within two before the Pack finished the set with a 17-8 run to win game two 25-14. CSU-Pueblo hit .345 for the second set, while Black Hills hit .000.

In the third set, the Pack used a 7-1 run to push its lead from three to nine, 18-9. After the Yellow Jackets trimmed the lead to 22-18, the Pack put them away with the final three points to win the set 25-18 and earn the sweep.  McDowell knocked down the final kill of the night.

Defensively, senior Mariangel Perez (Catia La Mar, Venezuela)  came up with 12 digs. She also had seven kills. Sophomore Pualehua Keola (Honolulu, Hawaii) notched four and also delivered two of the Pack's seven service aces.

The Pack now owns a winning record in conference in Head Coach Jill Muhe's first season. CSU-Pueblo will look to continue its momentum Saturday when it hosts South Dakota School of Mines & Technology at Massari Arena. First serve at Massari is set for 3 p.m. in this RMAC showdown.

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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.