RENO, Nev. – Playing in a match that went the distance, the Nevada Wolf Pack (5-13, 3-3 MW) fell in an absolute thriller Saturday afternoon, losing 3-2 to the UNLV Rebels (6-13, 2-4)
The set scores went 25-18, 18-25, 28-30, 25-14 and 15-13 in favor of the visitors. Senior Madison Foley, in just her second match back from injury, recorded her first double-double of the year with 13 kills and 11 digs. Sophomore Ayla Fresenius went back-to-back on double-doubles, following up Thursday night’s monster game with 11 kills and 17 digs Saturday. Sophomore Jamila Minor led the team offensively with 15 kills, a career high, while hitting at a very efficient clip of .303. Freshman Kayla Afoa tallied the most digs for the Wolf Pack at 19.
Neither team could pull away from the other through the first half of the opening set as UNLV clung to a one point lead at 14-13. It was there that the Rebels hit their stride and began to build an advantage, going on a 4-0 run before the next Nevada point to take an 18-13 lead. Nevada wasn’t able to find a resurgence as UNLV went on to take the first frame 25-18.
Nevada shook off the cobwebs to start set two, jumping out to a quick 6-0 lead. The closest the Rebels would get all set was six points as the Pack cruised to a 25-18 set two victory.
Much like the first set, things remained tight early in set three with both teams knotted up at six all. UNLV then rallied for a 4-0 run to take a 10-6 lead. The Wolf Pack got close at 21-18 after four consecutive aces from Fresenius, before UNLV snagged its next point. Nevada continued to battle though, forcing the Rebels to call a timeout after bringing the deficit to just one, 22-21, with an ace from freshman Ashley Maki. An attack error from UNLV tied things up, erasing what was once a six point lead. A total of seven ties led us to the end of a thrilling match as back-to-back kills from Fresenius gave Nevada the 30-28 victory.
Set four was all UNLV as the Rebels forced a fifth set with a 25-14 victory.
The two teams were neck and neck all throughout the fifth set, but it was UNLV that would come out on top, taking the final set 15-13 and the match 3-2.
After two home matches, the Wolf Pack will hit the road for another three-match trip starting at Wyoming on Oct. 12.