Despite a total of four players hitting the 10 kill mark, the Nevada Wolf Pack (2-9) fell to the Missouri Tigers (6-6) in a thrilling five-set match Friday night.
The set scores wet 23-25, 25-21, 26-28, 25-18 and 15-8 as both teams battled all night. For the second night in a row, sophomore Shayla Hoeft had the match high in kills, recording 16 against Mizzou. She was joined by sophomore Jamila Minor, who tripled the career high she set Thursday night with 12 kills on Friday. Sophomore Peighton De Von hit 10, and freshman Kayla Afoa logged her first career double-double with 10 kills and 11 digs. Sophomore Camille Davey dug 17 balls, while sophomore setter Dalyn Burns tallied 48 assists.
The Wolf Pack hopped out to a quick 5-2 lead to start the match. Thanks to its mobile offense and quick sets, Nevada held the lead for the majority of the first frame. It wasn’t until a series of attack errors that lead to the Tigers tying it up, then take the 19-16 lead, forcing the Wolf Pack to take a timeout. And that’s when things got interesting. The Wolf Pack went on a 4-1 run to tie things up at 21. The teams evened again at 22 and 23. That was all Mizzou would do though, as De Von tallied a big kill and Hoeft and Afoa combined for a block to score the final two points. Nevada went up in the match 1-0 after taking the first frame 25-23.
Set two was a battle as neither team would budge. Seven ties and two lead changes later, the Wolf Pack snagged a 16-14 lead to force the Mizzou timeout. The match was tied up at 18-18 just a few points later. The Pack just couldn’t build a lead, falling to the Tigers 25-21 as Minor tallied nine early kills.
The first half of set three was all the Wolf Pack, taking a huge 16-8 lead. Mizzou wasn’t done, though, creeping up on the host school point by point. Soon enough, things were tied at 22 and both teams had a match on their hands. The set knotted up again at 25 and 26, but two straight Tiger errors handed the Wolf Pack the 28-26 victory, putting Nevada up 2-1 in the match.
Mizzou took an early lead in the fourth set and never looked back, snagging the frame 25-18 to force a decisive set five.
Set five was a close one for the first half, as both teams were even at six all and then eight all. The Tigers would complete a nine-point run, though, to win the set 15-8 and the match 3-2.
Nevada will finish off the Wolf Pack Tournament Saturday afternoon with a 1 p.m. matchup against the Pepperdine Waves.