Nevada volleyball crushes Fresno State
Appeal News Service
RENO – The University of Nevada volleyball team avenged a five-game loss last month in Fresno by knocking off the Bulldogs 30-13, 30-14 and 30-26 Saturday afternoon before 368 fans at the Virginia Street Gym.
“We were tired of playing badly. It was kind of getting old,” said Carly Sorensen, who finished with 10 kills and four blocks. “We wanted to let them (Fresno State) know who the better team was.”
With one match remaining at home this season, the Pack improved their Western Athletic Conference record to 10-5, 16-10 overall, and could move into third place depending on the Utah State-New Mexico State outcome.
Nevada hosts Division II opponent UC Davis on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and concludes its season at Utah State on Saturday.
Fresno State, which defeated Nevada 28-30, 32-30, 30-23, 24-30 and 18-16 on Oct. 22, drops to 4-10 in league and 7-18 overall.
“That was refreshing,” Nevada coach Devin Scruggs said. “That felt really good. That’s the best we played since the Utah State match (Oct. 15).”
Scruggs said her team’s three-match winning streak puts Nevada in good position with one week left in the season. The WAC tournament begins on Thanksgiving and concludes two days later on Saturday.
“We were able to get in a good match,” Scruggs said. “I like where we’re at right now.”
Salaia Salave’a recorded another double-double with a 14-kill, 10-dig performance while Teal Ericson added 11 kills and Erika Ryan had 10.
“They beat us at their place. Today, we came out ready to go,” Salave’a said. “It was balanced. We were calm. Basically, we were playing volleyball.”
Tristin Johnson dished out 43 assists and Christine Harms finished with 24 digs, averaging eight a game. The conference leader averages five digs a game.
“She dug so many balls,” Scruggs said of Harms, who was named to the ESPN The Magazine District VIII Academic Volleyball Team Thursday.
As a team, Nevada recorded 56 digs, 20 more than league-leader Fresno State.
“That’s a ton of digs,” Scruggs said. “We covered better. We just played better. We played very poorly down there.”
In contrast to the win over Idaho Thursday, Nevada looked more sharp offensively and defensively.
The Pack tallied 51 kills for an attack percentage of .352, including a .481 percentage in the second game. Nevada also had eight total team blocks and held the Bulldogs to a minus-.024 attack percentage.
“We’re able to get in rhythm with our offense,” Scruggs said.
The ninth-year coach said Sorensen’s performance helped jump start the team in the first game.
“She was struggling for a while. She just did a great job, so did everyone else,” Scruggs said.
“I’ve been working a lot of blocking in practice,” Sorensen said.
Salave’a agreed with Scruggs about Sorensen getting Nevada momentum with the first point of the match.
“I think Sorensen started us off getting the first block,” Salave’a said. “We brought our ‘A’ game. Right now, we’re working on peaking.”
Sorensen’s block led to the Pack jumping out in front 7-1 in the first game.
Scruggs said the team’s three seniors, Salave’a, Harms and Lindsay Holda, will be recognized prior to Tuesday’s match.