Despite losing the match 3-0, the Nevada Wolf Pack volleyball (0-2) team kept up and showed grit against No. 16 Texas A&M (1-0) Friday afternoon.
In their second match of the North Texas Challenge, the Pack took on the Texas A&M Aggies, a team favored to win the SEC this season. The Wolf Pack was defeated 25-14 in the first set, but surged back to drop the second by just two points and force the third to a 30-28 final before being bested in the match. Senior Madison Morell had double digits in the kill column for the second time today, racking up 14. Madison Thorpe logged 11 digs in the loss.
After a kill from freshman Shayla Hoeft to bring Nevada within one, down 5-4, the Aggies took control of the rest of the first set until they took a 1-0 advantage with a score of 25-14.
The second set looked like it would be much of the same when the Aggies jumped out to a 4-1 lead. At a 6-2 deficit, Nevada kicked it in. Seven straight points later, including two kills from both Morell and senior Kathryn Groenweghe, as well as an ace from senior Lyndsey Anderson, Nevada claimed their first lead of the match, up 8-6. Nevada stuck in it for the rest of the set, never trailing by more than two, until a kill from A&M’s Kiara McGee brought the Aggie lead to 21-17. Nevada went on another streak, scoring five points to tie the set up at 22. Texas A&M scored two more points, Nevada racked up a 23rd, and the Aggies claimed the second set 25-23.
Nevada’s best performance of the match came in the final set. The Pack started off with a quick 4-1 lead thanks to some more kills from Morell and Groenweghe. The team kept their lead for the vast majority of the set, leading by as much as five points several times. The Aggies then began to close the gap, eventually tying up the game at 13. The two teams went back and forth until A&M took their first lead of the set, 24-23. Nevada called a timeout, and returned to play with a service error from the Aggie’s Katelyn Labhart to tie it up at 24. The two teams then tied it up at 25, 26, 27 and 28 before the nationally ranked Aggies took the match with a set three victory, 30-28.
The final match of the North Texas Challenge for Nevada will take place at 2 p.m. PT on Saturday against Texas State.