by Javier Hernandez
The Nevada volleyball team bounced back from its loss to Colorado State, defeating Wyoming in five sets 10-25, 27-25, 25-15, 16-25 and 15-3. The Wolf Pack was led by hitter Madison Foley who had 19 kills, three assists and six digs. Hitter Madison Morell continued her double-digit kill streak with 13 kills on the day. Middle Blocker Kathryn Groenweghe was also a major contributor with 11 kills and six assisted blocks. Libero Madison Thorpe and setter Lyndsay Anderson were critical in neutralizing the Wyoming attack, combining for 31 digs.
Like in the previous match with Colorado State, Nevada started out flat as Wyoming pulled off a deflating 17-4 run early in the first set. Sloppy play resulting in multiple attack errors by the Wolf Pack coupled with the spectacular play by Cowgirls’ hitters Kayla Slofkiss and Laura Beach, and middle blocker Reed Copeland allowed for Wyoming to easily take the first set.
Nevada once again struggled in the second set with six service errors and multiple attack errors which allowed Wyoming to hang around for most of the set. Luckily for the Pack, Wyoming also had trouble connecting on a large amount of its hits, resulting in numerous attack errors. Nevada had three set points with the score at 24-21. However, a late rally by Wyoming with a kill by hitter Bayly Poor, a block by Beach and an attack error by Ayla Fresenius tied the set 24-24. The Wolf Pack regained the lead with a Foley kill but was quickly answered with a Beach kill. Nevada was able to hang on and take the set with Foley hitting another kill and Wyoming misconnecting on set point.
Nevada rode the momentum from the previous set led by three early kills by Groenweghe to get ahead 7-2. Nevada extended their lead with their defense as Groenweghe, Anderson, and Morell smothered the Cowgirls offense helping to extend the lead and to handily take the set 25-15.
The Cowgirls rallied hard to begin the fourth set as they were carried by rookie hitter Halie Mcardle who started the set with three early kills. Beach also had two kills and a block which prompted Nevada to take an early timeout with the score at 7-1. Later on, Slofkiss, Beach and Copeland carried the Wyoming offense as they exchanged kills, to make quick work of the Wolf Pack to force a deciding fifth set.
In the race to fifteen, Nevada ran way with a 13-2 run led by Groenweghe and Foley. Two Wyoming timeouts could not derail the momentum of the Wolf Pack as it was able to decisively win the fifth set. Wyoming was unable to stop the duo of Foley and Groenweghe who combined for nine of Nevada’s 15 points in the final set.
The win moves Nevada to 5-2 and fourth in the Mountain West with a tie-breaker advantage over Wyoming. The Wolf Pack will continue the second half of its road trip on Thursday as it takes on San Diego State.
Javier Hernandez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @SagebrushSports