Nevada volleyball sweeps Idaho | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada volleyball sweeps Idaho

THOMAS RANSON
Appeal News Service

RENO – The University of Nevada volleyball team continued its rampage in the Western Athletic Conference by winning its seventh out of its last nine matches Thursday night.

The Wolf Pack came back from a three-point deficit late in the third game to beat Idaho, 31-29, 30-20 and 30-28, in front of 467 fans at the Virginia Street Gym.

“I love serving in a game like that. It’s awesome,” said Karly Sipherd, who served the final four points. “That’s the pressure situation I’m talking about all the time.”

Nevada improved to 8-4 in the WAC, 11-8 overall, and will host Boise State on Saturday at 7 p.m. Idaho, which defeated Nevada in five games last month, fell to 5-5 in the WAC, 9-12 overall.

“I’m most pleased with the fact that we’re getting better,” Nevada coach Devin Scruggs said. “We’re improving and playing more as a unit.”

Sipherd led the team with 15 kills and Kylie Harrington added 10. Ashley Miller dished out 39 assists and Allison Hernandez had nine digs. Lindsay Baldwin anchored the blocking with four solos and six assists, adding to her nine kills.

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“I’m trying as hard as I can,” Baldwin said about blocking. “Basically, I’m trying to get better as fast I can.”

With Teal Ericson and Sipherd sitting out during Idaho’s run in the third game, Scruggs relied on her freshman and sophomore hitters to help Nevada erase a five-point lead. The 11th-year coach was pleased with Baldwin’s blocking efforts.

“She has good vision and she’s well skilled,” Scruggs said. “It’s only going to get better and she’s only a freshman.”

Idaho’s biggest threat came in its attack with Haley Larsen, the WAC’s No. 2 hitter, and Sarah Loney dominating the front line. Larsen posted a match-high 21 kills and Loney added 15.

Blocking at critical points coupled with persistent serving helped Nevada avenge its earlier loss to Idaho.

“The serving was something we’ve worked on a little bit,” Scruggs said. “We haven’t put much emphasis on it.”

The Wolf Pack, which leads the WAC in aces, recorded five against the Vandals with Lauren Kelly posting two. Idaho also had eight serving errors and five return errors.

“We showed them that we got better and we should have beaten them there,” Sipherd said. “That’s how we felt when we walked away in Idaho. We fought our hearts out. It was a really tough loss. We felt like we earned it and wanted to prove it especially tonight.”

Down 28-25 in the third game, Larsen’s attack error gave Nevada momentum and helped Sipherd develop a rhythm when she took serve.

Larson hit her ninth error, and Baldwin and Miller blocked Larsen to tie the game at 28. Ericson hit her eighth kill of the match and Baldwin hammered a soft return down the middle of the court for the win.

“It’s just such a nice feeling, seeing the ball hit the ground and knowing it’s over,” Baldwin said.

Nevada hosts an alumni match Saturday at 10 a.m. before taking on the Broncos.