Ending a nine-game skid, the Nevada Wolf Pack volleyball team (3-10, 1-0 MW) defeated the San Josè State Spartans (8-4, 0-1) Tuesday night to open Mountain West play.
Sophomore Shayla Hoeft tied the match high with 14 kills, one of three Wolf Pack players to record double-digit kills. She was joined by junior Peighton De Von and sophomore Jamila Minor who also reached the double-digit mark. Sophomores Ayla Fresenius (14) and Camille Davey (12), along with freshman Kayla Afoa (11) all entered double figure digs. Sophomore Dalyn Burns tallied 44 assists, having now recorded 40 or more assists in her past four matches.
“We worked really hard on trying to limit our errors and try to put the pressure on SJSU to earn their points,” head coach Lee Nelson said. “I feel like we did a good job of doing that. We had some let up in the third set, but we didn’t let that impact us like it has early this season. We came back and closed it out in the fourth.
In the first set, the Spartans got off to a hot start scoring the first three points. With SJSU leading 7-3, Nevada used four straight points to tie the set at 7-7, capped off by a service ace from Afoa. The rest of the opening set was as back and forth as it gets with the two teams nearly going point-for-point. The Wolf Pack took its first lead of the set, 13-12, off of a rocket kill from Ayla Fresenius.
A few points later, a huge solo block by Jamila Minor gave Nevada its first multi-point lead of the first set, 17-15. With the set tied at 24, Shayla Hoeft broke the tie with her fifth kill of the set to put Nevada ahead by one. An attack error by the Spartans on the ensuing serve gave the Pack the set win.
It was a similar theme in set number two with back and forth play. Neither team led by more than two points until an attack error by SJSU gave the Pack a 21-18 lead. The Spartans would not go away quietly though, cutting it to just a one-point advantage for Nevada, 22-21. The Silver & Blue turned it up a notch as the set ended, scoring the final four points. The set win was solidified by a service ace from Afoa.
The Pack jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third set, but the Spartans quickly reversed that and took a three-point lead of their own, 7-4. Nevada trailed 13-8 midway through the set but climbed back into contention thanks to a slew of attack errors by SJSU, getting to within one point. The match was all tied up at 19 following a long attack error out of bounds by the Spartans. With the score at 21-21, SJSU tallied the final four points to extend the match to a fourth set.
With set four all tied up at 6-6, Nevada took the reins and scored point after point to widen the gap. The Pack went up 14-7, and it was all over from there. Nevada took the set 25-16, claiming its first match of September 3-1.
Nevada begins a three-match road trip to Air Force, Fresno State and San Diego State Thursday in Colorado Springs, Colo.