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Fort Lewis College volleyball swept by Colorado State University-Pueblo on senior night

Skyhawks unable to come back after slow start

The Fort Lewis College volleyball team was unable to pull out a win on its senior night, as the Skyhawks were swept by Colorado State University-Pueblo on Saturday inside Whalen Gymnasium,

The ThunderWolves (13-13, 10-7 RMAC) helped its Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament chances with a convincing three-set win, 25-21, 26-24 and 25-22.

The Skyhawks (10-16, 6-10 RMAC) were led by Bailey Longacre and Ohiyah Shirley, as both had nine kills. Alexa Alameddin paced the Skyhawks with 11 kills, while Kamryn Lopez provided 10. Payton Harmann dished out 30 assists.

CSU-Pueblo was led by Diamond’Nique Young and Jazzy Espinoza who both had eight kills. Grace Jansen recorded 17 assists, and Brooke Schilling had 16 digs.

Fort Lewis College head coach Tricia Melfy thought the Skyhawks beat themselves on the night.

“If you look at the stats, I don’t think that Pueblo was all that outstanding, either,” Mefly said. “We did just enough to keep losing, and we beat ourselves. Pueblo did a nice job, but I feel like tonight it was ourselves. We didn’t have the right energy, effort or numbers.”

In the first set, the Skyhawks got off to a slow start and committed a match-high nine errors. In addition, they had a hitting percentage of .029%. The ThunderWolves got off to an 11-5 lead early on, and were able to extend the lead to as much as seven. Later in the set, Alexa Treguboff and Shirley hit back-to-back kills to bring it within four at 22-18, but the ThunderWolves closed the set on a kill to take the set.

In the second set, Shirley helped the Skyhawks take a 11-10 lead, but the ThunderWolves would respond, which forced Melfy to spend a timeout. The Skyhawks went on a 4-1 run though to tie the match at 16-16. Pueblo re-took the lead at 20-19, but a kill from Longacre tied the match at 21. After a service error on the Skyhawks that made it 24-22, Wedhorn and Harmann recorded back-to-back kills to tie it at 24. CSU-Pueblo won the final two points to take a commanding two-set lead.

“We knew we’d see some different things than the last time we saw them on our scouting report,” said CSU-Pueblo coach Austin Albers. “Honestly we both looked like much improved teams, and I was impressed with how our girls did the things that we talked about in our scouting report and what we needed to execute.”

In the third set, the ThunderWolves targeted the middle of the court a lot, and were able to get plenty of kills and tip shots. The Skyhawks had two more attacks than the ThunderWolves, but were unable to win crucial points, as long rallies tended to be won by the ThunderWolves.

Pueblo got off to a quick 9-6 lead and would extend it to 15-13. While the Skyhawks would keep it within three points at 18-15, the ThunderWolves were able to pull away for the win.

“We know that we can keep on fighting,” Shirley said. “We’ve got one more game, and we need to keep our heads high and work hard. There were a lot of lot of long, tough rallies tonight that didn’t go our way. Pueblo was pretty competitive on defense, and I think we need to keep working hard in this last week of practice.”

The Skyhawks will face Adams State (7-18, 4-12 RMAC) at 7 p.m. Friday in Alamosa.