Nevada volleyball falls to Pacific

RENO - They were just pleased the team played the opposite from last weekend's scrimmage. Losing the first match of the season Friday night took a back seat.

"I'm disappointed with the loss, but I'm pleased with the team unity," University of Nevada volleyball coach Devin Scruggs said.

The Wolf Pack showed more intensity and selflessness than it did last week despite losing to Pacific in straight sets, 30-19, 30-28 and 30-28, before 426 fans at the Virginia Street Gym.

"We definitely improved after the first game. It was a difference between beating them and a few points," said senior Karly Sipherd, who tied a team-high in kills with fellow senior Teal Ericson. "We did our job at the end. We don't like losing here."

Nevada (0-1) travels to Malibu, Calif., next weekend for the Asics Classic before returning to Reno in two weeks to host the AT&T Invitational.

Stopping the Tigers' three front line hitters frustrated the Wolf Pack, especially in the final game when it blew a 28-25 lead.

Kara Uhl posted a double-double with a match-high 18 kills and match-high 11 digs. Alexa Anderson added 17 kills, and Meagan MimMack had 10. Shannon Krug led both teams with 45 assists.

"It was just closing our blocks. We gave them too much room," Sipherd said.

Ericson was just happy the team played competitively with Pacific after a disastrous scrimmage.

"It's an improvement from last weekend. We have a lot of work to do," the North Tahoe grad said. "The energy is good, and we're heading in the right direction."

Ericson agreed with Sipherd on the blocking. Nevada was out-blocked 4-0 in the first game, but regrouped to tie Pacific with seven blocks for the match.

"With our blocking, we need to be more disciplined," Ericson said. "We need to be more accurate in our hitting. We need to terminate the ball."

Freshman Lindsay Baldwin, sophomore Sage Aune and Sipherd each led the team with three block assists, and Ericson had the lone solo block. Senior Ashley Miller directed the offense with her 37 assists, and freshman Nicole Link led the team in digs with 11.

"Blocking was definitely one of the weakest points," said Scruggs, who graduated from Pacific in 1991. "The lineup we have is bigger. Our blocking really struggled with the timing."

With junior Allison Hernandez playing limited time because of an injury, Sipherd, Baldwin and Aune had to play on the left side, while Ericson played a lot in the back row.

"They haven't played those positions in their collegiate or high school careers," Scruggs said about the left side players. "The freshmen did a good job. There were some freshman mistakes and jitters. They will just get better and better."

Ericson could tell nerves plagued the whole team, not just the freshmen in the first game.

"They were nervous or whatever emotional feelings," Ericson said of the freshmen. "In practice, they're outstanding. It (jitters) held them back. They need to come out of their shell."


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