The Nevada Wolf Pack (10-4, 1-1) defeated the Air Force Falcons (9-7, 0-3) Thursday evening to pick up the first Mountain West win of the season.
Nevada beat the Falcons in four (25-21, 21-25, 25-18, 25-17) on its way to the first conference win of 2016. Senior Madison Morell led the Pack offensively with 13 kills while fellow senior Kathryn Groenweghe surged in the second half of the match to get to 10. Junior Madison Foley put up 16 digs. The freshman duo of Ayla Fresenius and Shayla Hoeft put up four blocks a piece, while senior setter Lyndsey Anderson fell just one dig short of her second double-double of the season (32 assists, nine digs).
The Falcons jumped to an early 4-1 lead in the first set, but Nevada fought back to tie it up at nine. The score tied up again at 10 as two attack errors and a kill from Morell gave Nevada a 13-10 lead. A big block from freshmen Fresenius and Hoeft gave the Pack its largest lead of the match, 17-13. Nevada’s fourth block of the set put the Pack up 23-19 before Hoeft’s kill clinched the first set 25-21.
The two teams came out tight in the second set while Nevada held onto the advantage point. The Pack, who ranked second in the Mountain West with 1.41 aces a set heading into the match, logged the first ace of the match via senior Lyndsey Anderson to put the score at 4-3 Pack. The Pack logged its fifth block of the match from Morell and Groenweghe to take an 11-10 lead. Nevada was forced to call a timeout after Air Force claimed a 15-12 lead. Despite cutting Air Force’s lead to as little as two, Nevada fell in set two 25-21.
Nevada claimed victory of a long rally to help break the back and forth of the third set, taking a 6-5 lead that quickly grew to 9-6. Nevada extended the lead to 15-10 before Air Force called a timeout, committing back-to-back errors. Yet another block, this time from Groenweghe and sophomore Peighton De Von, put the Pack up 18-12 to keep the pressure on Air Force. Nevada would keep its large lead, taking set three 25-18.
There was no back and forth to start the fourth as Nevada jumped to an early 8-2 lead, Groenweghe racking up the kills. Nevada would go on to lead by as much as 17-7 before taking the final set 25-17 as Groenweghe got to double digit kills.
Nevada will see its next action on Saturday when it faces Boise State on the road at 1 p.m. PT.