Ericson's 30 Kills Leads Pack Past San Jose State 3-2 On Senior Night
Reno, Nev. - University of Nevada(14-9, 10-5 WAC) senior Teal Ericson’s 30 kills led the Wolf Pack past San Jose State(13-13, 7-8 WAC) 3-2 in a key Western Athletic Conference match on Senior Night at the Virginia Street Gym in Reno, Nev. Saturday night. The Pack won the first two games 30-24 and 30-23 before the Spartans took the next two 30-25 and 30-22. Nevada won the deciding fifth game 15-12.
With the victory the Pack improved to 10-5 in WAC play and 14-9 overall while SJSU dropped to 7-8 in conference play and 13-13 on the season. Nevada is now in a virtual tie with Utah State for third in the WAC standings with just one match remaining for the Pack at Utah State on Thursday which could determine the third seed for the season ending tournament in Las Cruces, N.M. Nov. 15-17. USU at 9-4 has three matches remaining at Idaho on Monday with the Pack on Thursday and close out the WAC schedule at #11 Hawai`i on Sunday.
SJSU rallied from an 0-2 deficit to force a deciding fifth game that the Pack won 15-12. Nevada jumped to a 3-1 lead in the final game and never trailed on the way to the game and match victory. Leading 14-12 the Spartans’ Courtney Zellmer stepped over the line on her serve and the Pack was awarded match point. Ericson had five of the Pack’s six kills in the final game and hit .455. Offensively Nevada hit .211 and SJSU .160 in game five.
In game one Nevada put together an 8-1 run to break a 9-9 tie and settled for the 30-24 victory. Senior Karly Sipherd led the team with eight kills in the first game and Ericson added four. The Pack hit .293 in the game and held the Spartans to a .105 attack percentage.
Nevada scored the first three points of the second game and never trailed in winning 30-23 to take 2-0 games advantage into the locker room. Sipherd ended the game with her 12th kill of the match and fourth of the second game. Ericson topped the team with six kills in game two and freshman Kylie Harrington added five.
There were eight ties and four lead changes in game three before SJSU won 30-25 to pull within a game. SJSU broke the final tie of 9-9 with a 4-0 run and went on to win 30-25. Ericson had seven kills in the game and hit .600. Nevada hit .219 in game three and SJSU .250.
With game four tied at 5-5 SJSU outscored Nevada 12-5 to take command 17-9 and went on to win 30-22 to even the match at two games apiece. Ericson continued her excellent play with eight kills in the game but it was not enough as the match was heading to a deciding fifth game where the Pack prevailed 15-12. Nevada’s attack percentage slipped to .163 while the Spartans had their best game at .293.
Ericson’s match-high 30 kills is just one off her career-high of 31 set earlier this season versus Hofstra and is tied for the fourth best match total in school history. Sipherd added 17 kills and Harrington 11 in the match. Setter Ashley Miller dished out a match-high 57 assists and now has 1,629 for her career. Libero Allison Hernandez posted a team-high 19 digs.
SJSU had five players reach double figures in kills led by Jennifer Senftelben’s 14. Keri Anglin and Kelly Crow had 12 kills each while Brianna Amian totaled 11 and Colleen Burke 10. Crow added 13 digs to post a double-double on the night. Setter Emily Burke also had a double-double for the Spartans with 55 assists and 14 digs. Libero Kristal Tsukano posted a match-high 20 digs and Zellmer finished with 10 as four SJSU players reached double digits in digs.
The Pack hit .195 and SJSU .159 in the match. Nevada held a slim 11.5 to nine blocking advantage. Sipherd and freshman Lindsay Baldwin had five blocks each for the Pack while Amian topped the Spartans with five.
Nevada plays its final two regular season matches on the road next week at Utah State and Utah Valley University on Thursday and Saturday respectively. The USU match is the final WAC match of the season and could determine the third seed for the conference’s season ending tournament. Thursday’s contest gets underway at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday’s match starts at 1:00 p.m.