Nevada spikers cruise past Davis

RENO - Emotions ran crazy, but then the University of Nevada volleyball team focused and took care of business.

Three seniors said farewell to the Virginia Street Gym Thursday night as Nevada beat UC Davis 30-21, 30-21 and 30-16 to extend its winning streak to four games before 316 fans.

"It was a little emotional," said senior Lindsay Holda. "Once we got to game time, we had to focus."

"That was a nice game," Nevada coach Devin Scruggs said. "I think it will be more emotional when we are really done."

Salaia Salave'a, Christine Harms and Holda competed in their final match at the gym where Salave'a led the team with 18 kills, Harms' 15 digs broke the single season record, and Holda added seven digs.

"I don't think it's really hit us yet," Harms said about their final year coming to an end. "There's still a few matches left. It was good to have our senior night on a non-conference match so we can enjoy it."

Harms broke Suzanne Stonebarger's record for most digs in a season when she recorded 417 digs in 2000. Harms needed only 11 digs to break the record and now has 421 going into the final match of the year on Saturday.

"That's fantastic," Scruggs said about Harms. "Christine is a phenomenal player. We've had some great defensive players come through this program."

"After four years, this (Reno) is our comfort zone," Harms said.

The three seniors were honored before the match when each player was given a framed jersey and photo, flowers and a good-bye card from Alphie, Nevada's mascot.

"I feel kind of old now," Salave'a joked. "I'm an emotional person already. We played hard no matter what. We had to work on what we had to work on."

"They are so different," Scruggs said of her seniors. "All three of them have played every match of their career with the exception of one. I don't think that's happen ever."

Salave'a missed last month's match against Utah State due to an ankle sprain as did Harms last year. Holda's only absent game came when she was ill.

Erika Ryan and Carly Sorensen helped in the win with each recording eight kills, and Teal Ericson added six.

Tristin Johnson dished out 43 assists and Karly Sipherd recorded three of Nevada's eight blocks.

Nevada's attack continued to shine after crushing Fresno State last Saturday.

The Pack finished the match with a .359 attack percentage and tallied 26 (51-25) more kills than the Aggies. Nevada's defense held UC Davis to a zero attack percentage and forced 25 attack errors.

The Pack, which improved to 17-10 overall, will put their 10-5 league record on the line when they travel to Utah State Saturday for a pivotal match. The winner will be seeded third in the Western Athletic Conference and will avoid playing Hawaii in the early rounds.

"We really need that one," Holda said about Saturday's match. "Winning in 3 is always nice."

Nevada beat Utah State, 3-1, earlier in the season in Reno.

"Win we get third, lose we get fourth. It's really critical," Scruggs said.

Scruggs said Nevada will play at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving no matter how the team finishes the regular season. The conference tournament begins Thanksgiving, Nov. 24, and concludes on Nov. 26 with the championship match.

The winner of the WAC tournament will earn the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament while the runner-up will hope to win an at-large bid.


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