Long Beach State tops Wolf Pack
RENO – There was consolation in defeat for the University of Nevada volleyball team.
Nevada stayed right with defending national champion Long Beach State before falling in four games during Big West Conference play Thursday night before a crowd of 712 in Nevada’s old gym.
Long Beach State, currently ranked No. 6 in the nation, extended its win streak to 14 matches by defeating Nevada 15-9, 15-7, 13-15, 15-4.
The outcome had little effect on the Big West playoff picture, however. Nevada (10-5 in conference, 17-9 overall) visits Utah State on Saturday with the Big West’s Eastern Division championship on the line, while Long Beach State (14-1, 22-2) hosts Pacific in a showdown for the Western Division championship.
The two division winners meet in a single match to determine the Big West’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Despite the loss, Thursday served as a confidence builder for the Wolf Pack.
“If we can play this well against No. 6, then I’m more than happy,” Nevada coach Devin Scruggs said. “I think this was a confidence builder coming into our biggest match of the season.”
Taking this match to four games was an achievement in itself, considering the 49ers have dropped only five games during their current win streak.
“We came out and played solid all four games,” said junior middle blocker April Addeo, a Douglas High School graduate. “To come out and play the national champs like we did, I think that will help our confidence level.”
Nevada rallied from a 13-12 deficit to win game three. Kellie LaBossiere and Navonna Chambers combined to put down a block, giving the Wolf Pack a 14-13 lead. Then Michelle More, who rarely gets to serve, closed out the game with an ace.
“She’s only served one other time all year,” Scruggs said. “We ran out of subs so she had to play back row, but it worked out.”