PUEBLO, Colo. (October 14, 2016) – Even though Colorado State University-Pueblo volleyball could not defeat University of Colorado Colorado Springs Friday night, senior Katie Burnett (Austin, Texas) made history by breaking the school's career dig record.
The Pack fell to UCCS 3-1 (25-23, 25-22, 26-28, 25-21). However on the Mountain Lions' match point Burnett recorded her 1,412th dig to set a new school record. This record was previously held by Ashley Michel, who set the record in 2011.
CSU-Pueblo now holds a 7-11 record overall and a 5-4 record in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference record. UCCS moved into a tie with the Pack in the RMAC standings with a 5-4 record (10-7 overall).
Entering the match 23 digs shy of Michel's record, Burnett came through with 24 digs, an average of six per set, to write her name into the record books. Burnett is now averaging 5.06 digs per set on the season, which would also be a school record.
Senior Mariangel Perez (Catia la Mar, Venezuela) earned her fifth double-double of the season and her second in as many matches. Perez matched a season-high with 18 kills. She also dug up 17 attacks. Perez now has 11 or more digs in each of her last four matches.
Freshman Kelsey Bell (Los Lunas, N.M.) led the Pack with 25 assists, the highest single match total of her young career. Bell also picked up four digs. Junior Elena Michalski (Longmont, Colo.) added 24 assists.
Morgan Wilkening (Sr., Fleming, Colo.) led the Pack with a .333 hitting percentage. Wilkening finished with eight kills, four digs and two blocks.
Early in set one, the Pack looked to be in control with a 6-3 lead. However, a UCCS timeout would stall the Pack's momentum and the Mountain Lions would eventually tie the set at 17. A 6-2 run would give UCCS the cushion it needed to take the first set 25-23. Perez and Broadwell each tallied five kills in the first.
Set two saw UCCS take control as an 8-1 run gave the Mountain Lions a 16-8 advantage. Though the Pack would cut the lead to two on several occasions, the could not tie it up as the Mountain lions quieted the Massari Arena crowd with a 25-22 win that gave them a 2-0 edge heading into the break.
Midway through the third set, with UCCS on a three-point run, Jill Muhe took a timeout. Muhe's timeout altered the momentum of the set as the Pack scored the next four points to take an 18-14 lead. UCCS would rally and tie the match at 23. The two teams would trade points until UCCS took a 26-25 lead. Facing match point, Perez spiked down a big kill to tie things at 26. Following a UCCS attacking error, Broadwell and McDowell ended the third set with an emphatic rejection that gave the Pack a 28-26 set win.
After forcing a fourth set, the Pack kept the visitors in their sights as neither team built a lead bigger than three. A Broadwell kill made it 21-22 late in the fourth. However, UCCS would take the next three points to win the match 3-1. In the final point of the match, Burnett made a dig on the initial serve to establish a new school record.
The Pack will look to bounce back Saturday when they host No. 25 Metro State University Denver at 7 p.m. in Massari Arena. CSU-Pueblo will celebrate homecoming by honoring several volleyball alumni during intermission.
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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