Coming off a strong weekend at the Fullerton Classic, the San Diego State volleyball team fell to Nevada in its Mountain West season opener Saturday at Virginia Street Gym.
The Aztecs traveled to Reno, Nev. to take on the Mountain West newcomer, but ultimately lost a hard fought game in five sets. The Aztecs dropped to an overall record of 8-4 and 0-1 in conference play, while Nevada improved to 4-10 on the year and 1-0 in MW play.
SDSU came out strong in the first set, winning 25-16 against the Wolf Pack as the Aztecs led by as many as nine points at one time. However, the second set went to Nevada as they outscored the Aztecs 25-17, scoring seven of the final eight points to tie the match at one. Both teams exchanged the third and fourth sets with identical scores as SDSU took the third set 25-23 and Nevada took the fourth set with the same score of 25-23.
With the game tied at two sets each, both teams battled tough for every ball, but the fifth and final set went to the Wolf Pack 15-13, after SDSU made several costly hitting errors.
“I thought at times we played well,” SDSU head coach Deitre Collins-Parker said after the loss. “I think Nevada is an exceptionally, incredibly athletic team. When they get on a roll, they are difficult to stop. However, I think we sort of shot ourselves in the foot. We really struggled in passing.”
Despite the loss, there were several strong performances by the Aztecs. Sophomore outside hitter Michelle Waber had 12 kills and three blocks in her MW debut after transferring from University of Hawaii last year. Junior outside hitter Summer Nash also finished the game with 12 kills and three blocks for the Red and Black. Senior middle blocker Andrea Hannasch had a stellar game in her final MW conference opener, as she recorded nine kills, 11 digs and a team-high six blocks. Sophomore setter Chloe Mathis led the team with 13 digs.
“I’m really disappointed in this loss,” Collins-Parker said. “I would consider it a setback to where we anticipated being right now. So, we are still talented, we just have some work to do to get to where we need to be now.”
The Aztec volleyball team continues its conference play on the road as it travels to face the Wyoming Cowgirls at 7 p.m. MT this Thursday in Laramie, Wyo. at the UniWyo Sports Complex.