The Nevada Volleyball team returned to action this past week in their second week of conference play. After posting back-to-back wins in the previous week, the Wolf Pack struggled to carry over the momentum into this past week.
Last Thursday, Nevada traveled to Fresno, California to take on the Fresno State Bulldogs. Heading into the matchup the Bulldogs lost their first two Mountain West Conference games against Boise State and Utah State.
After their match-up with the Bulldogs, they continued the road trip to San Diego as they faced the San Diego State Aztecs. Like the Bulldogs, the Aztecs also lost to Utah State and Boise State but also lost against San Jose State before their matchup with the Wolf Pack.
Below is a game-by-game recap of the past week.
Vs. Fresno State
The Nevada Wolf Pack Volleyball team had about a week’s layoff to prepare for their game against Fresno State. Given the extra time to prepare, however, the Wolf Pack was unable to get the victory as they lost a competitive match in four sets.
In the first set, the two teams went back and forth as they were tied midway through the set at 15 apiece. The Wolf Pack used a balanced attack as they had Ayla Fresenius, Peighton De Von, and Gabby Szachara all contributed kills in the early going of the match.
Towards the latter part of the set, the Bulldogs were able to get slight separation as Taylor Slover and Lauren Torres made their presence known, as they provided some timely defensive stops and kills to close out the first set winning 25-20.
In the following set, the Wolf Pack fell behind early as they were able to go on an 8-1 run give themselves some separation early on. However, Nevada was able to mount an early comeback as sloppy play by and solid defense by Nevada’s front line allowed for them to storm back into the set.
The Wolf Pack never really closed the gap and lingered around five points until later on in the set, Slover took over and had multiple kills to help extend their lead.
In the third set, the two teams went back and forth once again up until the tenth point wherein Nevada ran off a furious 7-1 run to extend their lead to 17-11. Critical kills by freshman Kayla Afoa helped spark that early run.
Towards the latter part of the set, Nevada’s Sam Hayward hit critical back-to-back kills to help cushion a lead that secured them the set.
In the final set, Fresno State was able to take and sustain the lead throughout the set as they went on to take the set and the match.
The Wolf Pack’s top peroformer of the night was Afoa who contributed 13.5 of the Wolf Pack’s 56 total points. Her statline is comprised of 11 kills, two assists, one service ace, two blocks, and seven digs.
Fresenius almost matced Afoa’s output as she contributed 12.5 total points. On the night, she had ten kills and one service ace.
Vs. San Diego State
In the second game of the road trip, the Wolf Pack lost to the San Diego State Aztecs in straight sets,
The Bulldogs got ahead to a 7-1 lead early in the set. Wolf Pack coach Lee Nelson was forced to call a timeout to help settle down the team.
Nevada tried to battle back later on in the set but they were unable to turn the tide as they lost 25-19 in the first set.
The second set was more competitive as the two teams battled and had the score tied five times.
The game was tied at ten apiece. However, the Aztecs used a 5-1 lead to gain little bit of separation in the middle part of the set to take a 15-11 lead.
Later on, they ran off another run, this time a 6-2 run to help give them a six point lead at 21-15.
With this lead, the Aztecs were able to pull away later in the set to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
Nevada never really bounced back in the game as they fell behind in the third set as well and lost the set, 25-16.
The Wolf Pack’s Fresenius was the top performer on the night as she posted a statline of 11 kills, eight digs, and accounted for the 12 of the team’s 36 points on the day.
Hayward also had a solid night as she had seven kills and two digs, contributing eight total points.
Following this week’s games, Nevada’s record falls to 4-12 and their Mountain West Conference record falls to 2-2.
Nevada’s next opportunity to play will be at home on Saturday, Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m. as they will take on New Mexico.