BritKare Lady Buff Classic
By Chris Graham
The Colorado State University – Pueblo women’s volleyball team were only able to get one win out of four games at the BritKare Lady Buff Classic in Canyon, Texas.
The ThunderWolves won their first game Friday by sweeping St. Mary’s 3-0. Later in the night game the Pack found themselves on the other side of the 3-0 sweep losing to West Texas A&M.
On Saturday the ThunderWolves won their first two sets against Southwestern Oklahoma State but would then go on to lose the next three sets. CSU – Pueblo would not be able to win another set as they got swept by Texas-Permian Basin 3-0.
In the first game against St. Mary’s, the Pack would get out to an early lead in the first set scoring eight straight points after St. Mary’s scored the first point of the set. St. Mary’s would fight back scoring four points following CSU – Pueblos scoring streak and later in the set St. Mary would score five straight points to take the lead at 18-17.
The pack responded and outscored St. Mary’s 8-3 to take the first set.
The second set was an evenly matched contest in the beginning stage as the lead changed four times before a team hit 10 points. When the score was 9-8 with CSU-Pueblo in the lead the Pack decided to extend their lead by scoring eight straight points.
St. Mary’s would fight back out scoring the Pack 10-3 following that eight point scoring streak. The ThunderWolves would battle to finish the second set with a 25-22 win.
The ThunderWolves would again start with a quick eight points to start the third set after St. Marys scored the first point. St. Mary’s would eventually crawl back into the game by tying it at 17. The ThunderWolves would go on to outscore St. Mary’s 8-4 to complete the 3-0 sweep.
In this game the ThunderWolves out hit St. Mary’s 0.21 to 0.13. Junior Melissa Nichols led the Pack in hitting percentage with 0.37. Nichols along with Nisha McDowell would each finish with six kills and two blocks. Senior Elena Michalski facilitated the Packs offense with 29 assists and also added nine digs in the game.
In the second game the against West Texas A&M the Pack had trouble in the first and third sets. The ThunderWolves lost the first set 16-25 and the third set 14-25. The Pack never had a lead in either set.
In the second set the Pack got an early 7-4 lead but was unable to hold on to that lead as West Texas took the lead back late in the game 18-17. The ThunderWolves were unable to retake the lead and ended up losing the set 22-25.
The Pack was out hit by West Texas A&M 0.33 to 0.13. Nichols again led the teams hitting percentage with 0.41 and had six kills while also getting three blocks. McDowell added seven more kills to her total.
In the first game Saturday against Southwest Oklahoma State the ThunderWolves cruised to a 25-14 win in the first set. The second set was a battle as the TunderWolves edged out SWOS 25-23. Set three started out close but SWOS finished the game by outscoring the Pack 9-2 to end the set 25-17.
SWOS again edged out the ThunderWolves 25-22 in the fourth set and won the fifth set 15-8.
Michalski played a big role for the Pack in this game as she had a career high in assists with 44 while also notching 16 digs. Nichols also had a career high in kills with 10 and adding two blocks while hitting 0.30.
In the Pack’s fourth game they found themselves on the wrong side of a 3-0 sweep of the University Texas – Permian Basin. The Pack lost the first set 21-25, the second set 13-25 and the third set 18-25.
In that game UT – PB out hit the Pack 0.34 to 0.16 while also having 12 service aces. Senior Caitlin Broadwell had a match high 13 kills and Michalski added 18 more assists to bring her total to 121 over the weekend.
The Pack will return home to host the Steel & Silver Classic Friday Sept.8 and Saturday, Sept. 9,. CSU – Pueblo’s first opponent will be Wayne State College Friday at 11 a.m.