Nevada volleyball beats Louisiana Tech | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada volleyball beats Louisiana Tech

THOMAS RANSON
Appeal News Service

RENO – Make that 26 for the Lady Techsters.

Rebounding from a rough weekend, the University of Nevada volleyball team opened league play with a four-game win over Louisiana Tech Thursday night before 272 fans at the Virginia Street Gym.

“We just came out flat,” Nevada coach Devin Scruggs said about the first game loss. “We made a few changes in the back row. We started doing more in the second game.”

The Wolf Pack defeated the Lady Techsters, 26-30, 30-18, 30-20 and 30-17, as Louisiana Tech extended its conference losing streak to 26 games. Nevada (4-4), however, won its eight straight Western Athletic Conference season opener and will host New Mexico State on Saturday before traveling on a five-game road trip.

“We can’t make that many errors or they’ll kill us,” outside hitter Teal Ericson said about NMSU. “We just made a lot of errors all the way around (in the first game).”

Ericson posted a match-high 21 kills to lead the Wolf Pack, and Karly Sipherd and Jorgan Staker each had 11.

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Ericson, a Tahoe City native, recorded nine kills in the third game, including five points in a row.

“Not wanting to lose,” she said of her motive. “I never wanted to lose to La. Tech. I didn’t want this to be the first time and let them beat us.”

Ashley Miller recorded her fifth straight double-double after dishing out 46 assists and digging 13 balls. Allison Hernandez led both teams in digs with 17.

Miller’s 46 assists put her over the 1,000 mark in her second season with the Wolf Pack.

“She set a very nice game. She did a nice job,” Scruggs said.

Miller, though, didn’t realize how close she was to breaking the mark.

“I had no idea,” she said. “It’s a really good feeling. (The double-doubles) are another way to contribute to the team. I’m trying to be more offensive, too.”

Scruggs seemed pleased her setter is doing more than quarterbacking the offense.

“She’s starting to dig more balls,” Scruggs said. “She’s a good defensive player. She gets a little erratic, but now she’s doing better.”

The offense produced better numbers than when it lost 2-of-3 in last weekend’s AT&T Invitational in Reno.

Nevada fired 60 kills and had an attack percentage of .250, contrary to the tournament where the team hit in the low .100s.

“It was rough the first game,” Hernandez said. “We were frustrated with each other and ourselves. We just didn’t want to be the team to lose to La. Tech. They’ve improved from last year, but we definitely should have beat them in three games.”

Shannon Phillips powered the Lady Techsters with a team-high 14 kills. Jillann Walker posted 40 assists, and Brittney Nakamura had 13 digs.

The Wolf Pack, however, will turn to Saturday’s noon match with the Aggies, who snapped Hawaii’s long WAC win streak last season.

“New Mexico State is a good team. We need to come out with fire,” Hernandez said. “We need to come prepared and be ready.”