Reno, Nev. – A career high 21 kills from Tessa Lea’ea helped Nevada outlast Texas Tech 3-2 (24-26, 25-22, 25-20, 22-25, 15-11) at the Virginia Street Gym on Wednesday night.
The Wolf Pack improved to 3-10 with the win, while Texas Tech fell to 11-4.
Lea’ea hit .333 on 45 attacks, adding nine blocks on a night when she was buoyed by two other players with double-digit kills and Nevada was strong from top to bottom. Janelle Batista had 15 kills, while Grace Anxo added 12 to help lead Nevada to its second straight win.
Dana Holt also had a career night, with 55 kills, the most in any match for the junior from Yorba Linda, Calif. She added eight kills, seven digs and four block assists to what, by the numbers, was the best passing performance of her career.
Nevada started strong; limiting its unforced errors and passing the ball well. After Texas Tech’s victory in the first set, Nevada started strong in the second.
Texas Tech pulled ahead midway through the set, leading 12-9 before a Nevada timeout. The break, called by head coach Ruth Lawanson, seemed to stem the Texas Tech momentum. With solid defensive play as the catalyst, the Pack took 14 of the next 23 points on its way to a 25-22 win to level the match.
With Tech ahead 6-4 in the third set, Nevada won four straight points on Kelly Chang’s serve. The first three came via ace. The back-and-forth nature of the match continued until Nevada found itself ahead late. At 24-20 Bonnie Paul’s eighth kill of the night put Nevada up 2-1.
The fourth set went to Texas Tech 25-22. Nevada led for the majority of the fifth set, winning to clinch the match and its first home victory. Bonnie Paul missed out on the double-digit kill party by only one, hitting .100 on 30 attacks. The match featured 33 ties and nine lead changes.
Nevada will meet San Diego State to open Mountain West play at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Virginia Street Gym.