Nevada volleyball comes back for victory
Appeal News Service
RENO – Losing the final home game of the season was not an option for the University of Nevada volleyball team, even if it required playing a five-game match.
“Dang, we like five games,” Nevada coach Devin Scruggs said. “We like to make it exciting and get every last second in the Virginia Street Gym this year. It was a pretty nice way to come back.”
The Wolf Pack erased an eight-point deficit in the fourth game to force a fifth game en route to a 30-26, 25-30, 27-30, 30-28 and 15-8 win over Fresno State Saturday on Senior Night before 627 fans at the Virginia Street Gym.
Seniors Brianne Hall, Tristin Johnson and Carly Sorensen played in their final game at the gym for Nevada, which improved to 9-4 in the Western Athletic Conference and 15-10 overall.
“All three of them were out on the court at the end and it was a pretty nice way to end their careers in this gym,” Scruggs said. “Hopefully it wont be the end of their careers for a another few weeks. We would like to play another month.”
“It looked a little stressful. I’m just glad we won,” said Sorensen, who finished with a double-double with 10 kills and 13 digs. “I don’t care how we win. It’s my senior night and I wasn’t going to lose on my senior night.”
Johnson finished the night with 49 assists and Hall had seven kills and nine digs.
“It’s kind of mixed emotions. It’s been a good night and a good season,” said Hall, a 2002 McQueen graduate.
Johnson, who has played with Sorensen since junior high school in Fallon, said she did not feel emotional but wanted a positive end to her career at the VSG. Johnson and Sorensen played on the 1999 and 2000 state volleyball teams at Fallon under Greenwave coach Caryn Marshall.
“We are money in five. We didn’t want to lose,” Johnson said.
Teal Ericson powered the Wolf Pack to their 11th home win in 13 tries as the junior Tahoe City native recorded 17 digs. Karly Sipherd also had a double-double with 11 kills and 12 block assists, and Allison Hernandez added 12 digs followed by Lauren Kelly with 10.
With Nevada down by eight points several times in the fourth game, Sorensen kept telling herself to focus and help the team force a game 5.
“The whole time I was thinking ‘I’m not going to lose this freaking game,'” she said. “I’m not losing on my senior night. I wanted it to be a good show.
“We had momentum (from the fourth game) and came back and won. Even though it wasn’t a huge win, we still made a humongous comeback and that momentum carried on to the fifth game and the rest was history.”
Scruggs added that she wanted the players to stay positive in the fourth game and move on from their mistakes.
“There’s one point in game 4 where I was a little frustrated,” the 10th-year coach said. “One of the goals we had was to move on from our mistakes and not show frustration. Tonight we were trying to stay in a good rhythm regardless if we did well or not.”
Nevada plays on the road for the next two weeks before returning to Reno for the WAC Tournament, which will be held Nov. 22-24 at Lawlor Events Center.