Wolf Pack volleyball team defeats Boise State
Appeal News Service
RENO – The Nevada volleyball team couldn’t wait to get back on the floor after its embarrassing loss last weekend in Hawaii.
The Pack took out their frustration on league foe Boise State in three games – 30-16, 30-26 and 30-25 – before 285 fans at the Virginia Street Gym Thursday night.
Nevada improves to 6-1 in the Western Athletic Conference, 11-6 overall, while Boise State drops to 0-6 in league, 4-9 overall.
The Lady Pack hosts Utah State (5-1, 13-7) Saturday night at 7 p.m.
“We were very angered from our loss. We came back and did our thing,” senior middle blocker Salaia Salave’a said.
Salave’a reached another milestone in her career at Nevada as the 6-foot senior tallied her 1,500th kill during the second game. Salave’a needed only six kills and easily accomplished the barrier with a 10-kill performance.
Salave’a jokingly commented she was more thrilled for her first kill than her 1,500th.
“I was more excited for my first kill than my 1500th,” she said. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m very excited because I never thought I get more than a thousand kills.”
Setter Ashley Miller felt honored to be part of her teammate’s impressive accomplishment.
“It feels great to be a part of it,” said Miller, who finished the game with 45 assists after recording only 22 against Hawai’i. “She earned it. She deserves it.”
“Salaia is a middle blocker who sees the court better than any player I’ve ever coached,” Nevada coach Devin Scruggs said.
Scruggs was more pleased with the team’s performance than last Saturday and that she was able to mix up the offense.
“It was definitely a little bit better match than the last match we played in Hawaii,” Scruggs said. “We were able to accomplish some things offensively … to have a deceptive offense, a better offense.”
Part of the plan was using Teal Ericson, a 2004 North Tahoe grad, instead of Carly Sorensen, who graduated from Fallon in 2003, on serve. As of late, Sorensen has been racking service errors to accompany her aces.
“I think she (Sorensen) misses to much and I wanted Teal to have an opportunity to see what she could do,” the ninth-year coach said.
Sorensen and Ericson combined for 15 kills with Sorensen notching a .500 attack percentage.
Miller said the other part of the plan was to make the offense less predictable and more spontaneous.
“We wanted to run some new and different stuff so we’re not a predictable team,” Miller said. “It feels good just to know we are a good team and can put teams away.”
Overall, Nevada finished the game with 56 kills and a .333 attack percentage as opposed to the Broncos’ 24 kills and .096 attack percentage.
With Utah State coming to Reno on Saturday, Scruggs is aware of the Aggies’ strength and would like to see Nevada extend its six-game home winning streak.
“They’re going to be tough,” Scruggs said. “I think it (the winning streak) shows we have a fun place to play at home. I do like to see more people come out. It’s really disappointing, we’re winning and we’re doing well. It’s a fun atmosphere. I think when people come out they’ll like it. I like to see more students, too.”
Fallon grad Tristin Johnson, who injured her knee last month against ranked California, still remains questionable even though she dressed out for Thursday’s match.
Scruggs said she wants Johnson’s knee to heal properly and would like to see her complete an entire practice.
“I’m going to give her as much as rest as possible and a little bit more comfort level with her knee,” Scruggs said. “Right now I don’t think she’s comfortable with her knee. It’s healed, its fine. She needs to play 100 percent in practice before we give her a chance to play.”