ThunderWolves hang tough with Mesa in four-set fight

ThunderWolves hang tough with Mesa in four-set fight

PUEBLO, Colo. (October 6, 2017) – Though Colorado State University- Pueblo Volleyball could not pull off the upset against Colorado Mesa University, the ThunderWolves gave the Mavericks all they could handle in a four set loss (25-20, 18-25, 27-29, 22-25) Friday night at Massari Arena. 

PuaLehua Keola (Jr., Honolulu, Hawaii) came up with a career-high 31 digs, besting her career previous career-high of 20. Keola completed her career night with four assists and a service ace. 

Melissa Nichols (Jr., McKinney, Texas) led a strong blocking effort for the Pack. Nichols totaled seven blocks with two solo rejections. As a team, the Pack swatted a season-best 12 attacks. Nichols added seven kills. 

Elena Michalski (Sr., Longmont, Colo.) dished out 23 assists. Michalski put down a pair of service aces and two kills. The setter secured seven digs for the Pack. 

For the 15th time in 15 matches this season, Caitlin Broadwell (Sr., Lawrence, Kan.) led the Pack in kills. Broadwell spiked down 12 kills and came up with eight digs.

Freshman, Brooke Schilling (Platteville, Colo.) knocked down 10 kills and picked up seven digs.  Page Heller (So., Vancouver, Wash) tacked on 12 digs.

The ThunderWolves weathered the Mavericks storm in set one. After Mesa took an 11-9 lead on the strength of a 4-0 run, the Pack answered. Coming out of a timeout, the Pack pounced on the Mavericks with an 11-3 run that put the home team up 20-14. They would use this run to take the first set 25-20. Schilling crushed down five kills in the first.

CMU controlled set two from the start with three straight points to begin the frame. Though the Pack would tie it at 12, they would never lead in the second set. Mesa used a 7-1 run to go up 20-13. They would tie the match at the break with a 25-20 set win. Broadwell had five kills in the second set.

Set three was a thrilling battle between the two squads. After seven lead changes and 10 ties, the Pack took a 23-21 lead after a 6-2 run. With their backs against the wall, the Mavericks forced a side out and scored three consecutive points to go up 24-23. Facing game point, the ThunderWolves battled back with a kill by Nichols to force some bonus points in the second set. The Pack had two set point chances to put away the Mavericks and take a 2-1 lead, but they could not close it out. The Mavericks would eventually capitalize on a pair of Pack errors to take the third set 29-27.

In the fourth set, the Mavericks took control with a 6-1 run that put them up 8-4. The Pack closed within two several times in the set, but they could not get any closer, falling to the Mavericks 25-22.

CSU-Pueblo will look to build on their strong showing against Mesa when they face Western State Colorado University Saturday at Massari Arena. The last match of the Pack's four-match homestand begins at 3 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.