On court players huddle together with arms up.

Photo courtesy of Nevada Athletics. Players on the court huddle in between points.

Nevada women’s volleyball battled San Diego State University at home on Sept. 23

for the first conference game of the season. Nevada collapsed after a hard-fought first set, and SDSU won 3-0. 

In the first set, the score was tied at every other point. The only time there was a lead was when SDSU’s sophomore outside hitter Heipua Tautua’a had two kills, junior middle blocker Julia Haynie had one kill, and Nevada made two attack errors. Nevada was stuck at 15 while SDSU climbed to 20 points. After a timeout by Nevada, red-shirt junior middle blocker Savanna Maker got a kill which started a comeback. Maker and junior middle blocker Sydney Petersen blocked Tautua’a’s hit and SDSU followed with three errors. The first set went into extra points since a team has to win by two. Haynie finished out the set with a kill, ending the set for SDSU 29-27. 

SDSU had a strong start in the second set, holding Nevada 6-1 at the beginning. 

Nevada took an early timeout, and slowly gained about one point per SDSU’s three points. Freshman middle blocker Sydney Wyman helped Nevada out this set with two kills and two blocks. Unfortunately, this was not enough for Nevada to get a lead in the set. Small errors from Nevada added up, and SDSU stayed consistent and won 25-17.

Nevada did not back down for the third set. Similar to the first set, the score was tied for a good chunk in the beginning. Nevada was in the lead, 7-4. Tautua’a had two aces and freshman outside hitter Mikela Labno had three kills and two blocks for SDSU to take over the scoreboard. Nevada tried to comeback, although sophomore outside hitter Reka Monteleone’s two kills were not enough to elevate the team to victory. SDSU won 25-20.

SDSU’s persistence in attacks was their key to winning the match. They had a hitting percentage of .245 compared to Nevada’s .075. 

Wyman and Haynie tied for the lead in blocks with five each. Monteleone and Tautua’a both had two aces. Nevada’s junior setter Andrea Alcaraz led with 20 assists compared to SDSU’s senior setter Noa Miller’s 19. 

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas is the next opponent Nevada will face. UNLV also lost their first conference game 3-0. Last year, UNLV had an undefeated season which included beating the Wolf Pack 3-0. 

The UNLV vs. Nevada game will be Sept. 25 at 1 p.m. at home. 

Kelsey Middleton can be reached at kelseymiddleton@sagebrush.unr.edu or on Twitter @kelsmiddleunr