Road warriors: Pack lassoes Cowgirls

LAS VEGAS, N.M. - The ThunderWolves took a huge step toward the future Friday night, scoring a Halloween road win at New Mexico Highlands three sets to one in its most dominant win of the season.

The Pack's win allows them to climb out of the RMAC West Division cellar for the first time this season, improving to 3-13 in conference plan and 5-19 overall.

The ThunderWolves were in charge from the beginning, jumping out to a 12-6 lead, and never let up, scoring a 25-17 first set win. 

In the second set, the Pack showed moxie, rallying from a 20-13 deficit to battle the Cowgirls point for point, taking a 29-27 win.

After dropping the third set, the Pack cruised to a 25-16 match-clinching win in the fourth set.

Friday's win was remarkable for the level of dominance displayed by the Pack front line, its best as a unit this season.  Between Lindsay Black (Sr., Littleton, Colo.), who had eight kills and a .300 attack percentage, Alea Wildman (Fr., Denver, Colo.), who boasted a game-high 13 kills, and a Bernadette Pitre (Fr., Clifton, Colo.), who netted nine kills and an unreal .562 attack percentage, the Pack front line was unstoppable. 

The ThunderWolves front line also put up their second best blocking performance of the season, recording 10 blocks, led by five by Pitre.

"We brought intensity and we fought hard," Pack coach Chris Jonson said.  "We did a good job of following our game plan, but most importantly, we believed in ourselves, which gave us an advantage."

The ThunderWolves, which are out of RMAC playoff contention, are playing for pride and position in 2009.  With a team rich with freshman, including such key contributors as Wildman, Pitre, and setter Ashley Michel (Fr., Brighton, Colo.), establishing itself with successful performances is paramount.

"It's important that we get wins at this point in the season," Jonson said.  "We're a young group, but we need to learn that we can compete with other teams.  It gives us momentum."

The ThunderWolves will continue on its marathon New Mexico trip when they travel to Western New Mexico for a 7 p.m. Saturday showdown with the Mustangs.