– Since the Nevada Wolf Pack and New Mexico Lobos started playing five years ago, the Lobos have always had Nevada’s number. That changed Thursday night when Nevada (5-12, 3-2 MW) defeated New Mexico (10-7, 2-3 MW) in four sets.
The scores ran 23-25, 25-23, 25-21 and 25-18 as Nevada dropped the first set but pulled further and further away as each frame passed. The star of the match was sophomore Ayla Fresenius, who recorded a career-high 24 kills in her fifth double-double of the season. She paired her offense with 17 digs. Senior Madison Foley, who played libero tonight to replace the injured Camille Davey, tallied a career-high 24 digs to lead the match. Junior Peighton De Von set a career high in block assists with seven. Freshman McKayla Wuensch and sophomore Dalyn Burns combined for 49 digs.
“Our passing was great tonight,” Fresenius said. “I’ve been practicing hitting high hands instead of straight down. I was really focusing on adjusting to the sets tonight.”
The Lobos jumped out to a lead in the first set, but Nevada was able to keep the deficit to around four for much of early portion of the frame. As the set progressed, Nevada found its offense, cutting the Lobo lead point by point. Down just one point, the Wolf Pack forced New Mexico to call its first timeout at 22-21. New Mexico would hold the lead, however, gaining another point on the Pack and taking set No. 1 25-23.
Set two was almost all Nevada as the Wolf Pack kept the visitors at bay for most of the match. However, up 23-14, the Lobo went on a bit of a tear, going on an 8-0 run to make it 23-22. The run would prove to not be quite enough, however, as never pulled out the second frame 25-23.
For the 449 that packed into Virginia Street Gym, set three was a thriller. In a set that saw 16 ties and seven lead changes, more than the first two combined, not a single lead bigger than one was grabbed. Nevada took the biggest advantage at that point, going up 22-20. It was all Wolf Pack from there as New Mexico would score just one more point. Nevada took set three 25-21, going up 2-1 in the match. Fresenius reached her fifth double-double of the season and had tallied 21 kills by the end of the set.
The Wolf Pack again took the early lead, going up 12-9 to start set four as Fresenius continued her hot match. There was no looking back for the Pack as they went on to win the set in dominate fashion, 25-18.
Nevada returns to the Virginia Street Gym Saturday afternoon, facing off with UNLV in a Governor’s Series matchup.