Pack Volleyball falls short in steel classic

By Thomas Thortvedt

Over the weekend, The Colorado State University-Pueblo volleyball team competed in the Steel & Silver Classic in the Massari Arena.

On Friday, they began their first game of the tournament against the No.12 Wayne State Wildcats, where they lost in five sets. The Pack were able to keep the Wildcats on the ropes until falling short later in the 5th set.

The Pack were not fazed by the Wayne State Wildcats and jumped out to a 13-8 lead after the first set. Senior Caitlin Broadwell said that the team is never phased but instead motivated when playing nationally ranked teams. “We just come out and play our game,” Broadwell said. “When we see who we’re playing we don’t look at rank or anything like that, we just go out and compete.” she said.

Broadwell was able to force a game point in set one, after the Pack were able to score three unanswered points after being down 21-18. Broadwell gave the final shot to eventually pull the Pack through to win set two 25-23.

In the next set, The Wildcats showed why they’re a nationally ranked opponent and would take set two 25-13 to even up the score going into the break.

The Pack would once again turn up the intensity as they came out of the break going on a 5-0 run to take a 10-3 lead in set three. The Wildcats would never get the chance to cut the deficit closer as the Pack cruised to a 25-20 set win.

Set four belonged to the Wildcats as they would force a fifth set and would ultimately shoot down the Pack’s upset attempt winning the fifth set 15-12.

Shortly after the match against the Wayne State Wildcats, the Pack went on to match two of the tournament against the Texas A&M University Commerce Lions.

The Pack were swept in three sets and fell to 1-5 on the early season. They would hope to bounce back the next day, Saturday, September 9, 2017 against No. 19 Central Oklahoma and Newman University.

The first game of Saturday’s slate of games, the Pack faced off against the No. 18 Central Oklahoma Bronchos. The Pack would hold steady, competing with the Bronchos in the first set. The Pack had the set tied at 18 until the Bronchos went on a 3-0 run to close out the first set and would continue to win the next two to complete the sweep.

Junior Melissa Nichols, who landed four kills in the opening game on Saturday, said the team was confident facing a top ranked opponent. “We need matches like this,” Nichols said. “To start the season off against top ranked teams is a positive win or lose because we get to compete with the best to see where we stand.” she said.

Right after the match against the Central Oklahoma Bronchos, the Pack turned their attention to the Newman Jets out of Wichita, Kansas.

The Pack would come out sluggish as they struggled to match the intensity of the Newman women. The match would end with another sweep as the Pack would drop two of their final matches on the last day of the Steel & Silver Classic.

The Pack will look to bounce back strong as the continue its six-match homestand Sept. 15-16 when they begin to open Rocky Mountain Conference play. The Pack will square off against Colorado Christian University Friday and School of Mines Saturday.

Ashley Schaerfl

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