CANYON, Texas - CSU-Pueblo had trouble stopping a solid West Texas A&M attack Thursday, falling in three sets to the 10th-ranked Buffaloes in the ThunderWolves' season-opener, 25-17, 25-18, 25-13.
West Texas A&M boasted a top-notch attack against the Pack, hitting a solid .297 on the attack , led by 13 kills from Lee Golden and 10 from Hallie Harton. Most frustrating for the ThunderWolves was the Buffaloes' front-line defense, which converted eight total blocks in the match.
More so than the front line game, the difference in the match was efficiency. CSU-Pueblo committed a total of 33 errors on attacks, serves and receptions compared to just 20 for the Buffaloes. The other factor was the Pack's inability to mount a daunting rally at any point. The ThunderWolves best rallies occurred on two occasions, when scoring three straight. Its only lead of the entire match came at the very beginning, when it jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first set.
Despite the low points, CSU-Pueblo is taking away the positives from the match, which saw the ThunderWolves largely hanging with the Buffaloes, one of the nation's elite teams. Especially key was the performances of the Pack's two seniors.
Middle blocker Brianna Bryant (Sr., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) recorded 11 kills on 17 attempts, hitting .412, a match-high among all players with 10 or more kills, adding two blocks.
Setter Kacy Griffin (Sr., San Antonio, Texas) was efficient despite the Pack's low scoring output, converting 26 assists during the ThunderWolves' total 48 points, recording two kills on dinks without an error.
Thursday night's match will serve as a warm-up for the Pack's appearance at the Angelo State Invitational in San Angelo, Texas Friday and Saturday, when the Pack will get in four additional games, beginning with Tarleton State and Angelo State Friday.