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Pack volleyball faces Utah State

Staff Report

The Nevada Wolf Pack volleyball team (9-3) will ride its fourth best start in program history into conference play, facing Utah State (5-6) Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. in the Virginia Street Gym.

Nevada will open up conference play at home after a road trip to Sacramento State, where the Pack went 2-1 in the Hornet’s tournament. Nevada’s three losses of the season come to a ranked team, a team that has received AVCA votes this season, and a close five set match to host school North Texas. The Pack’s 9-3 record places the team third in the Mountain West.

Nevada will welcome the Aggies, who will enter conference play with a losing record of 5-6. The Pack swept the home match against the Aggies last season, but dropped the road match 3-1. While the two teams look relatively even on paper, Nevada holds the edge when it comes to attack percentage, aces per set and kills per set. The Pack is 21-19 all-time against Utah State.

“The tournament play we just completed was positive,” said head coach Lee Nelson. “It did what we needed it to do in getting us ready for conference.”

The Pack faced 12 schools in just eight days of play over the past month.

“Now, it’s a whole new ball game,” Nelson said. “With fewer matches per week we have the opportunity to really focus on our conference opponents and, more importantly, what we can do to be successful against them.”

Seniors Madison Morell and Lyndsey Anderson will look to continue their climb up the Nevada record book. After last weekend’s three matches, Morell is now eighth in career points with a total of 1,100, and Anderson has eclipsed 1,845 career assists to move into seventh. Both will have a lot of work to do throughout the season as the gaps between positions widen, but a few more steps up the ladder are within reach.