Junior Madison Morell tallied a career-high 31 kills on a .278 hitting percentage as the Nevada volleyball team defeated No. 25 Wyoming, 3-2, in front of 264 at the Virginia Street Gym on Saturday evening. The Cowgirls were the first ranked opponent the Wolf Pack has beaten since topping No. 22 New Mexico State on Sept. 30, 2006.
Morell became the first player in the Mountain West to reach the 30 kill plateau this season and was one kill shy of tying the program record set by Lauren Netherby in 1998. The Wolf Pack (7-9, 2-2 MW) relied heavily on its strong suit as its out-served Wyoming, 9-2. Junior Lyndsey Anderson also set a new career-high with 57 assists in the win.
The Cowgirls jumped out in front early in the first set but the Pack would make its move later in the set. Trailing 21-16, Nevada went on a 3-0 run which included two kills from junior Kathryn Groenweghe and senior Sam Willoughby that made it a two point set, 21-19. Groenweghe hit .800 in the first (4-for-5) with two blocks but her efforts weren’t enough as the Pack dropped the first set, 25-21.
It was all Nevada in set No. 2 though as the Pack led 8-4 early in the frame. Anderson posted back-to-back aces that extended the lead to 22-17 before Nevada held set point, 24-21. Wyoming would not go down quietly though as the Cowgirls eventually knotted it up at 24-24 before Morell ended the set with a kill that made it 27-25.
The third set would be the first of only two sets in the match that Nevada out-hit Wyoming. The offense was propelled by Morell as the Plano, Tex., native tallied seven kills en route to the Pack taking the third and a 2-1 lead in the match.
After dropping the fourth set, Nevada pulled ahead, 13-11, in the fifth and deciding frame. Wyoming pulled within one on the next player but the Pack finished the match off on kills from Willoughby and sophomore Madison Foley that gave Nevada the 15-12 victory in the clinching set.
Nevada will be back in action on Thursday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m. when the Pack travels to Fresno State. The first volleyball match in the Governor’s Series will take place on Oct. 10 when Nevada takes on UNLV at 1 p.m.
Nevada Press Release