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Pack rally to knock off Connecticut 3-2 in season opener

By Ry Ry

Press release from Wolf Pack Athletics

wolf-pack-logoThe University of Nevada(1-0) volleyball team rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the final match of day one of the Courtyard Marriott/Fairfield Invitational at the Virginia Street Gym Friday night to defeat Connecticut 3-2. With the victory the Wolf Pack won its season opener for the first time since the 2003 season. The Huskies fell to 0-2 on the season after losing the first match of the day 3-1 to Saint Mary’s College. In second match UC Irvine upset #6 Cal 3-2.

With the fifth and deciding set tied at 5-5 the Pack scored the next three points to move on top 8-5. Nevada then outscored the Huskies 7-3 the rest of the set to win 15-8 and take the match 3-2. In the final set Nevada hit a match high .500 and held the Huskies to a negative .067 attack percentage.

In set one UConn put together a 6-1 run to break a 9-9 tie on never trailed the rest of the way to claim the 25-22 victory. The Huskies hit .250 in the set and the Pack .241.

There were seven ties and two lead changes in set two before the Pack won easily 25-16. With the set tied at 8-8 the Pack scored five unanswered points to take control of the set and even the match at one set apiece heading into break. Nevada hit .457 and the Huskies .206 in set two.

Set three featured five ties and four lead changes but UConn held on for the 25-18 victory to take a 2-1 lead in the match. Trailing by just a point 18-17, Nevada was outscored 7-1 from that point falling by the seven-point margin. The Huskies had their best hitting set of the match at .407 while the Pack produced its worst of the night at .045.

Nevada would need a victory in set four in order to force a deciding fifth set and did just that winning 25-18. There were 11 ties and five lead changes in the pivotal set four. With the set tied at 15-15 the Pack scored the next four points which was part of a 10-3 run to close out set four to even the match at two sets each as they went on to win the deciding game five 15-8. Nevada hit .200 and held UConn to a negative .033 attack percentage.

Juniors Kylie Harrington and Lindsay Baldwin led Nevada with 17 and 16 kills respectively. Senior setter Sonnie Sei totaled 29 assists and sophomore Tatiana Santiago dished out 17. Libero Nicole Link had match-high 19 digs.

Rebecca Murray and Jordan Kirk had 14 and 12 kills respectively for the Huskies. Setter Samantha Arriaran finished with a match-high 34 assists. Libero Kelsey Maving had 14 digs for UConn.

The Pack hit .285 in the match compared to .163 for the Huskies. Nevada held a slim 11-9 advantage in blocking. Sophomore Erin Garvey topped the Wolf Pack with five blocks and Murray had six for UConn.

Nevada takes on UC Irvine on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. The 2:00 p.m. match has UC Irvine versus Connecticut and Cal plays Saint Mary’s at 4:30 p.m.

Nevada vs. UCONN box score

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