Pack volleyball wins on senior night

RENO - It took all four seniors to win on their final home match of their careers.

After squandering a two-game lead, the University of Nevada volleyball team came back in the fifth game to defeat San Jose State - 30-24, 30-23, 25-30, 22-30 and 15-12 - Satuday night in front of 532 fans on senior night at the Virginia Street Gym.

"All four have made such a different impact to our program in many positive ways," Nevada coach Devin Scruggs said.

Seniors Teal Ericson and Karly Sipherd combined to lead the Wolf Pack's attack with 30 and 17 kills, respectively, and Ashley Miller dished out 57 assists. Dana Henry came off the bench in the fourth game and had nine digs.

"We just let down and weren't as intense as the first two games," Henry said. "From when we first stepped on the floor, I knew we weren't going to lose. I had faith in my teammates to put up a block."

Nevada improved to 10-5 in the Western Athletic Conference, 14-9 overall, while San Jose State dropped to 7-8 in the WAC, 13-13 overall.

Both teams have one week left in the regular season before the conference tournament in Las Cruces, N.M.

"This was just an emotional night," Sipherd said. "It was one of those that I didn't want to let go but one of those that I wanted the game to be over."

The Wolf Pack needed a fifth game to beat the Spartans for the second time this season after sweeping them last month in San Jose.

"Winning felt really good," Miller said.

"Who wants to lose on senior night? Who wants to lose in general? I'm glad we got it done."

Nevada never trailed in the game and broke open an 8-7 lead on Sipherd's kill. Lindsay Baldwin and Ericson recorded a block and San Jose State served long to set up Nevada's first match point. Brianna Amian powered a kill on the next point, but Courtney Zellmer's serving foot fault sealed the Wolf Pack's second win of the week.

"I was in disbelief," said Ericson, who sat out the last two points because of the rotation. "I looked at all the referees and then looked at (former Nevada associate coach) Oscar (Crespo), the other coach."

"The last thought in my mind was foot fault, but I'll take it," Miller interjected.

Scruggs used a different lineup in the fourth game and made one change in the fifth. Henry replaced Allison Hernandez, who had 19 digs, at libero and Sonnie Sei relieved Miller. Miller returned in the fifth game.

"Even though Sonnie did a great job, I put all the seniors in there and told them to win or lose it," Scruggs said of the last game. "They stepped up to the challenge."


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