After being on the road for the majority of its non-conference games, the Nevada Volleyball team (2-10, 0-0 MWC) returned home to host the three-day Wolf Pack Tournament from September 14-17 at the Virginia Street Gym. The Wolf Pack played three games in three days against Sacramento State, Missouri, and Pepperdine.
Below is a game-by-game recap of the tournament.
VS. Sacramento State
The Wolf Pack faced off against the Sacramento State Hornets (9-5) last Thursday in the first game of the Wolf Pack Tournament.
In the first set, the Wolf Pack played solid defense led by freshman Kayla Afoa who forced two attack errors in the early going. Nevada doubled up on Sacramento State Hornets, taking an early 6-3 lead.
Sacramento State hung around for most of the set, with solid play from its hitters Mikaela Nocetti and Brie Garthright.
A service ace by setter Shannon Boyle tied up the first set at 11 points apiece. From that point, it continued to be a back and forth match between the two teams.
Tied at 22, a couple of misconnections by Sam Hayward and Peighton De Von gave the Hornets a the small bit of separation needed to take the tightly contested first set.
The Hornets rode the momentum of the end of the first set to come out strong in the second set, taking an early 6-1 advantage, warranting a timeout from Nevada Head Coach Lee Nelson.
After the break, Nevada was able to slowly get back into the set as they went on a 6-3 run to close the gap to 12-8. De Von was able to connect on two key kills to give the Wolf Pack some much-needed momentum.
Nevada was able to close the set with a critical run later on by capitalizing on a 10-1 run to take the second set 25-21.
The next couple of sets were closely contested. However, the Hornets were the ones who were able to gain key separation in the middle of the set. Sacramento State went on to win the two sets and the match.
Nevada put forth a valiant effort in the second game of the tournament against the Missouri Tigers.
The Wolf Pack had a balanced attack with Shayla Hoeft, Jamila Minor, and Kayla Afoa hitting ten kills apiece. Dalyn Burns, the Wolf Pack setter, assisted 48 times in the match.
With the match tied at one frame apiece, the Wolf Pack found themselves with an opportunity to take a set lead with the set tied at 25. Missouri was able to score in the race to win by two. However, Nevada’s Afoa and Hoeft contributed an important kill and block respectively to give them the lead. With solid defense in the next point, Nevada was able to take the set.
The Tigers fired back in the fourth set to force a deciding fifth frame. In the race to 15, with the score tied at eight, Missouri scored seven unanswered to take the set and the match.
In the final game of the tournament, the Wolf Pack fell to the Pepperdine Waves. The Wolf Pack fell behind two sets to open the match.
Tied at 23 in the first set, Nevada had an opportunity to take the opening set. However, the Wave’s Jasmine Gross followed by a service ace by Heidi Dyer secured the set for Pepperdine.
They also had an opportunity late in the second set with the game being tied at 19. However, the Wave’s ran off a 4-0 run to give them the late-set separation to take the set.
Nevada kept the Wave attack at bay in the third set as they used a 4-0 run to take a 20-15 lead. They were able to extinguish a late run by Pepperdine as Jamila Minor, who had eight kills on the day, and Ayla Fresenius both had kills that helped secure the set.
In the deciding set, Pepperdine ran off a demoralizing 9-1 run to give them an insurmountable lead towards the latter part of the set. They eventually took the set and the match.
The Wolf Pack Tournament marks the end of the out of conference schedule for the Wolf Pack. They will have a quick turnaround and begin Mountain West Conference play on Tuesday when they play the San Jose State Spartans at the Virginia Street Gym.