Senior Madison Morell reached yet another milestone tonight. With her second kill of the match, Morell hit career kill No. 1,173 to move to 10th all-time in Nevada history.
“The mark means so much to me,” Morell said. “Personally, I’m so glad to leave a legacy here on this campus. But, it also just shows where our team is going that I’m able to do what I’ve done.”
Morell ended the night with 14 kills as the Nevada Wolf Pack (18-10, 9-7) fell in straight sets to the New Mexico Lobos (15-15, 5-11) 25-20, 25-23 and 25-21. Freshmen Shayla Hoeft and Ayla Fresenius followed up Morell with eight kills a piece. Junior Madison Foley led the defense with 11 digs while senior Madison Thorpe also got to double digits with 10. Senior setter Lyndsey Anderson put up 35 assists on the night.
The first set saw Nevada in a hole, trailing 9-4 as the Pack struggled to defend against the Lobo offense. Down 10-4, The Wolf Pack went on a 3-0 to bring it to 10-7, getting right back in the game. During the run, Morell put down career kill No. 1,173, putting her 10th in program history. The kill was already her second of the match. The Wolf Pack’s run continued, outscoring the Lobos 8-1 to take the lead at 12-11 with Morell leading the way in front of solid defense. The Lobo offense woke up to retake the lead 14-13. While the Pack would keep things close, the Lobos didn’t give up the lead, taking the first frame 25-20.
Nevada came out hot in the second set to jump to a 6-3 lead behind the offense of Fresenius, Foley and Morell. New Mexico began to chip away at the lead, however, and took its first lead of the set at 11-10 with a combination of good offense and some Wolf Pack errors. The Lobo lead peaked at 17-12 before Nevada kicked up another run. Going on a 6-1 run, the Wolf Pack tied it up at 18, forcing New Mexico to regroup. While the timeout helped the visiting team to get back on track, it didn’t derail the Pack and a series of ties ensued. The match knotted up at 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23. New Mexico would get to set point first, forcing Nevada to call a timeout down 24-23. A big block at the net for the Lobos from Julia Warren and Victoria Spragg gave the Lobos set two to go up 2-0 in the match.
Set three started tighter than the previous two with both teams locked up all the way to 8-8. The Lobos then began to build a lead point by point until they were up by four, 15-11. The Wolf Pack flipped the switch with a 5-1 run to tie it up at 16 as Nevada forced New Mexico to commit errors at the net. New Mexico would quickly retake the lead, however, as Nevada called a timeout down 20-17. The visiting team would maintain its advantage, however, winning in set three 25-21.
Just two matches remain on the schedule for Nevada as the Wolf Pack will head to UNLV on Saturday and return to VSG Monday night to face San Diego State on senior night.