The Wolf Pack entered the weekend tournament hoping to continue its winning record. However, that was not the case. The Molten Classic, hosted by California, proved to be too much for the Wolf Pack who dropped all three games. Friday started with a 3-0 loss to UC Santa Barbara, before dropping games to California and Pacific 3-1.
“Fear got to us this weekend,” Nevada outside hitter Madison Morell said. “We were playing some harder teams, and I think we were on a high from last weekend and we just coasted through.”
Not only did the Wolf Pack battle injuries but complacency too.
“This past weekend we had quite a few minor injuries,” said setter Lyndsey Anderson. “And we weren’t quite healthy, so we’ve really been trying to recover our bodies so we can play to the best of our abilities. We weren’t quite our normal selves this weekend. Which I think hindered our play.”
The team did show some positive elements during the tournament. Many of the Wolf Pack players performed well during the tournament including senior Tessa Lea’ea, who had 34 kills and eight blocks over the three games. Freshman Madison Foley totaled a career-high 11 kills in the match against California, and Morell had a great overall tournament as she picked up 16 kills and 17 digs. Even though Morell wished the team would have won she is glad she played well.
“Of course it’s nice to play well,” Morell said. “Because when I play well I think I am a benefit to the team.”
Volleyball is a team sport and even though the Wolf Pack had great individual performances it was not enough to overcome the poor performance that the team had this weekend.
Though the Wolf Pack did not play well, it has started to already move on from this weekend.
“We just want to keep on competing,” Anderson said. “We want to keep on getting better from where we are. We have a lot more games to play so I think we have the capability to keep on improving.”
Even with the less than stellar showing this Nevada team is exceeding expectations. After seven games the Pack are 3-4 and are one win away from matching its win total from last year.
Nevada will play in Denver next weekend and is looking forward to Mountain West Conference play where the games will start to count. Nevada will open up the new conference season next week against Air Force.
Stone Harper can be reached at email@example.com.