Las Cruces, N.M. The University of Nevada(16-10) defeated Idaho(13-15) 3-1 on day one of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament being hosted by New Mexico State University at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces, N.M. Thursday afternoon. The Wolf Pack won by scores of 30-22, 31-33, 30-16, and 30-28 and will now play #11 Hawai`i. UH eliminated Boise State 3-0 after the Broncos knocked off Louisiana Tech 3-2 in the first match of the tournament. The Pack improved to 16-10 on the season while the Vandals end the year at 13-15.
The Pack trailed most of the first game before taking the lead at 20-19 and closed with a 10-3 run to win 30-22. Nevada was led by its two senior frontcourt players Teal Ericson and Karly Sipherd who tallied nine and seven kills respectively in the first game. The Pack hit .368 and held Idaho to a .048 attack percentage.
Game two was back and fourth before the Vandals scored a 33-31 victory to tie the match at one game apiece. Three times Nevada needed just a point to take the game but UI scored the final three points to win the game. The final two points came on service aces by Vandals’ Kate Tribley. Ericson and Sipherd both had four kills in the second game. Nevada’s attack percentage slid to .209 while UI hit .262.
Nevada used a 4-0 run to break an early 5-5 tie and never trailed in winning game three 30-16 to go on top in the match 2-1. Ericson’s fifth kill of the game scored the Pack’s final point. Sipherd also added five kills and freshman Lindsay Baldwin contributed four. Nevada hit .359 and for the second time in the match held the Vandals to a .048 attack percentage.
There were seven ties and five lead changes in game four before the Pack came away with the 30-28 game victory to close out the match 3-1. Baldwin ended the match with her 10th kill of the day. Sipherd topped Nevada with six kills in the game. The Pack had its worst hitting game of the match at .113 while UI hit .189.
Sipherd led Nevada with 22 kills and Ericson was close behind with 21. Ericson moved into third place on the Pack’s all-time kills list after the match as her 1,530 moved her past Michelle More’s(1990-02) 1,509. Allison Hernandez totaled 11 kills and Baldwin also reached double figures with her 10. Hernandez added 15 digs to post her first double-double of the season. Senior Dana Henry made her first start at libero and finished with a match and career-high 23 digs. Freshman Nicole Link reached double figures with her 17 digs in the match. Senior setter Ashley Miller dished out a match-high 57 assists.
Haley Larson led three UI players in double figures with a match-high 23 kills and added 11 digs to post a double-double. Sarah Loney also posted a double-double with 10 kills and 15 digs. Debbie Pederson was the third player in double figures with 10 kills. The Vandals’ two setters Tribley and Kelsey James finished with 28 and 21 assists respectively. Kelsey Yonker led the team with 20 digs.
Nevada hit .242 and UI .140 in the match. The Pack won the blocking battled 13.5 to 11. Sipherd and Baldwin had six each for Nevada while Anna McKinney had eight for the Vandals.