Nevada spikers beat Idaho | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada spikers beat Idaho

THOMAS RANSON
Appeal News Service

RENO – Five-game matches seem unavoidable for the University of Nevada volleyball team.

Nevada battled back to beat league foe Idaho 30-27, 17-30, 21-30, 30-19 and 15-13 Thursday night before 324 fans at the Virginia Street Gym.

Nevada improves to 9-5 in the Western Athletic Conference, 15-10 overall to remain in fourth place in the league, while Idaho drops to 5-8 in the WAC, 13-13 overall.

The Pack, which host Fresno State on Saturday at 2 p.m., played in their 10th five-game match of the season including five in the last seven matches. Nevada is also riding on a two-match winning streak after losing four in a row.

Nevada committed 21 attack errors in the second and third games, but managed to hit above .200 in the final two frames.

“That was ugly,” Nevada coach Devin Scruggs said. “We got three matches, now two. I don’t care how we do it as long as we win.”3

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Salaia Salave’a led the Pack with 18 kills and 10 digs while Teal Ericson recorded 13 kills and Karly Sipherd added 10.

“It forced me to step my game up,” Salave’a said about losing games two and three. “Teal had to tell me to calm down, just not to be angry.”

Tristin Johnson and Ashley Miller rotated as setters where Johnson tallied 26 assists and Miller had 31.

Christine Harms, who was named to the ESPN The Magazine District VIII Academic Volleyball Team, led the Pack in digs with 14 and Dana Henry added 12.

“It’s definitely an honor,” said Harms, who carries a 4.0 GPA. “When I’m done playing volleyball, it’s the education that’s going to take me.”

To mix up the lineup in the third game, Scruggs moved Harms from defensive libero to the front line.

Not only did Harms have to switch uniforms, but the senior civil engineering major recorded three kills in the process.

“She’s been practicing that in practice,” Scrugs said of Harms playing at the net.

“We had to do a little switch in the third game,” Salave’a said.

Harms said the team can’t look too far ahead in the match which could improve the team’s ball control and attacks.

“It was a combination of things. We weren’t flowing very well,” she said. “The problem was a lot deeper than the attack percentage.”

Nevada was only 2.3 percent successful in its attacks during the second game and 8.8 percent in the third game. The Pack, though, finished the match with an overall .144 attack percentage.

“The only way to do it is one point at a time,” Harms said. “There’s no 12-point play in volleyball. Volleyball is such a team sport.”

Idaho’s front line frustrated Nevada’s defense as three Vandals recorded double figures in kills and also combined for nine total team blocks.

Haley Larsen led Idaho with 15 kills, Erin Curtis added 14 and Amanda Bowman had 10. Curtis also had 3.5 blocks and Larsen finished with two.