Nevada volleyball beats Boise State | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada volleyball beats Boise State

THOMAS RANSON
Appeal News Service

RENO – Halloween came almost two weeks early for the University of Nevada volleyball team.

After losing its first two of three games, the Wolf Pack prevented Boise State from pulling off the upset Thursday night by beating the Broncos in five games before 440 fans at the Virginia Street Gym.

“People asked me if we were going to win tonight and I told them that we would. I didn’t want to disappoint them,” Nevada coach Devin Scruggs said. “If I said that this was going to be the line-up that finished it, I wouldn’t have predicted that. It was very good team effort. We really finished the game quite differently than we started.”

Nevada (12-8, 6-2 WAC), which beat Boise State 30-27, 19-30, 26-30, 30-26 and 15-7, will host Idaho on Saturday before its two-game road trip next week.

Scruggs was pleased how strong her team finished after a .095 attack percentage average in the second and third games. Every point in the final frame resulted from an attack.

“All 15 points in the fifth game were earned by kills. That’s unbelievable,” Scruggs said.

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Teal Ericson posted both a match high and career high in kills with 26, and setter Tristin Johnson dished out a career-high 66 assists. Carly Sorensen recorded her ninth double-double of the year with 11 kills and 14 digs. Jorgan Staker added 10 kills, and KatiJo Matthews had a match-high 23 digs and Allison Hernandez had 18.

“We played poorly in every aspect of the game of volleyball,” Ericson said of games 2 and 3. “We came out more collected in the fourth game. We knew we didn’t want Boise to win. They were playing well but we know we’re a better team.”

After losing the second and third games, the biggest adjustment came in the middle front line when Scruggs replaced Karly Sipherd with Brianne Hall. Hall finished the game with 13 kills and had four block assists.

“We just weren’t getting the offense out of the middle that we needed,” the 10th-year coach said. “The difference was Brianne providing her offense and being able to slide. That was a huge difference to why we were able to open up our outsides.”

The result led to three outside hitters posting double digits in kills. As a team, Nevada tallied 81 kills, 20 more than Boise State, and outblocked the Broncos 13-11.

“She just wanted to change the offense and get something going,” Hall said of the adjustment. “At the end, we finally pulled together as a team.”

Scruggs pulled every trick from her sleeve as she used 12 players during the five-game match. Scruggs, though, said the Wolf Pack need to minimize the errors after they finished the night with 39 attack errors, four service errors and five service return errors.

“We seem to get into situations that start with bad ball control,” Scruggs said. “It starts with a bad pass and the setter can’t get to it. Then the hitters make an error and we just end up having a domino effect of errors.”

Scruggs said she needed her setter to re-focus after Nevada was on the brink of losing.

“We made some good adjustments at the end with our setter trying to settle down and putting up some good balls for our offense,” Scruggs said.