Nevada volleyball rolls past Idaho | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada volleyball rolls past Idaho

THOMAS RANSON
Appeal News Service

RENO – Facing a 29-24 deficit in the second game, the University of Nevada volleyball team fought back to win the game and match in the first round of the Western Athletic Conference tournament.

No. 4 Nevada eliminated No. 5 Idaho, 30-22, 36-34 and 30-23, Thursday evening at Lawlor Events Center.

“I’m very pleased to come out and beat Idaho in three (games),” Nevada coach Devin Scruggs said.

The Pack (18-11) face No. 1 Hawaii tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the semifinals while New Mexico State takes on Utah State at 4 p.m. Idaho exits the tournament with a 16-14 record.

Blocking from Karly Sipherd and Erika Ryan and consistent serving from Tristin Johnson helped Nevada win the game 2 battle.

“The second game was absolutely the key in making it easier,” Scruggs said.

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Sipherd and Ryan combined for 13 assisted blocks, nine coming in the second game, and Johnson served five points in a row. As a team, Nevada finished with 11 total blocks.

“We just communicated a lot,” said Sipherd, who was named Second Team All-WAC on Wednesday. “We just needed a spark. Now we have the confidence. We can do anything. We’re unstoppable.”

Along with Sipherd, Teal Ericson was named to the Second Team and Salaia Salave’a, who finished with five kills and four digs, earned First Team honors.

Johnson also dished out 35 assists, but more importantly, the 2003 Fallon grad contributed eight kills.

“It’s been a while since I got into the setter/offensive mode,” Johnson said.

When asked what was going through her mind during the serving span, Johnson replied with two words.

“Don’t miss,” she said. “(I’ll) let my blockers do the job.”

Fellow Fallon grad Carly Sorensen led the Pack in kills with 11, Ryan added 10 and Ericson had eight. Christine Harms tallied 13 digs and Lindsay Holda added nine.

Down 29-24, Nevada caught a break when Idaho’s serve sailed long. The next five points belonged to blocking duo of Sipherd and Ryan.

After a block from Sipherd and Johnson cut the deficit to three points, Sipherd teamed with Ryan to stop Idaho’s key attacker, Haley Larsen. Larsen led Idaho with 12 kills.

The Vandals had two game points at 32-31 and 33-32 before Erin Curtis hit the ball into the net.

With Harms serving, Andrea Fox overpowered a kill to give Nevada the win.

HAWAI’I 3, BOISE STATE 0

The Rainbow Wahine (23-6) breezed through their first round of action in knocking off the Broncos (8-18), 30-21, 30-22 and 30-26.

Tara Hittle led Hawai’i in kills with 16 and finished with a .394 attack percentage. Victoria Prince added 13 kills and Kanoe Kamana’o recorded 49 assists.

Susie Boogaard tallied 13 digs and Ashley Watanabe followed with 11.

Cameron Flunder finished with 13 kills, .385 attack percentage, for Boise State and Robyn Hewitt added eight kills. Ki Eveland dished out 29 assists and Jackie Stroud had 16 digs while Telia Peterson followed with 11.

UTAH STATE 3, FRESNO STATE 1

After a first-game setback, the Aggies (20-11) rallied back to win the first round game, 26-30, 31-29, 30-16 and 30-27.

Carolyn Forbush led Utah State with 23 kills and 12 digs while Zuzana Cernianska added 17 kills. Dominique Arsenault tallied 58 assists and Kelsi Peterson finished with 23 digs.

For the Bulldogs (7-21), three players finished in double figures in kills with Alisha McKee leading the way with 16. Angela Wiggins added 13 kills and Alison Pitton completed a double-double with 11 kills and 18 digs.

Robyn Keune had 46 assists and Yuko Mori chipped in with 13 digs.

NEW MEXICO STATE 3, SAN JOSE STATE 1

The Aggies (20-11) brought in a balanced attack to rout the Spartans (12-17), 30-23, 30-26, 20-30 and 30-19.

Tanya Allen and Kim Oguh each powered 12 kills and Alice Borden added 11 NMSU finished with 58 total kills.

Jordan Bostic recorded 24 digs and Jackie Choi dished out 43 assists. Krystal Torres and Briana Akrie each added 12 digs.

Jennifer Senftleben led the Spartans with 20 kills and Niki Clement followed with 15 kills and 16 digs.

Kristina Conrad served 38 assists and Jessie Shull added 14 digs.

BOISE STATE, 3, LOUISIANA TECH 0

The Broncos (8-17) eliminated the first team out of the playoffs in defeated the Techsters (15-18), 35-33, 30-18 and 31-29.

Flunder led with 18 kills and a .483 attack percentage for Boise State. Jeanette Jenkins added 13 kills and Many Klein dished out 23 assists and Eveland had 22.

Stroud recorded 10 digs and Kim Fenneman added eight.

For La. Tech, Ambra Hayes powered 18 kills and Shannon Phillips followed with 12. Jillann Walker racked up 40 assists and Meghan Haas contributed 13 digs.

Carly Johnson topped out with 3.5 blocks including five assisted and one solo.