Volleyball Wins Third Straight, Downs Nevada

Ashlynn Dunbar notched her third career double-double on Thursday at Nevada.
Oct. 26, 2017

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RENO, Nev. -- The San Diego State volleyball team won its third straight on Thursday after posting a four-set triumph over Nevada (25-21, 17-25, 25-19, 25-18) in a Mountain West road match at Virginia Street Gym.

With the victory, the Aztecs even their record at 12-12 on the year and move to 6-5 in conference play, while the Wolf Pack slip to 6-17 overall and 4-7 in the MW.

Individually, SDSU was led by Ashlynn Dunbar, who recorded her third career double-double with 15 kills and 10 digs, while Deja Harris hit .667 for the evening, blasting 14 put-aways of her own to go with two digs and two blocks.

The Aztecs also got a boost from Alexis Cage, who just missed out on a double-double as well after finishing with nine kills and 11 digs.

In addition, SDSU's reigning Mountain West Players of the Week, Gabi Peoples (offense) and Devyn Pritchard (defense), registered match highs of 46 assists and 18 digs, respectively.

Despite trailing in team blocks (8.0-6.0) and digs (58-57), the Aztecs out-hit Nevada for the match .263 to .210. The two sides posted 53 kills apiece, but the Scarlet and Black capitalized on 23 attack errors and eight errant serves to sweep the season series and beat the Wolf Pack for the sixth consecutive occasion.

SDSU received three kills from Harris and another two by Hannah Turnlund to forge an early 10-4 advantage in the opening set. Nevada quickly responded with a 9-3 outburst to tie the score at 13-13, as Shayla Hoeft and Peighton De Von recorded two put-aways each during the spurt.

However, the Aztecs jumped in front for good 15-13 after another Turnlund kill and a Pritchard service ace. SDSU maintained the upper hand down the stretch, as Turnlund and Dunbar continued to impress with two non-returnables apiece during a 6-4 closing run after the Wolf Pack had cut the margin to 19-17.

The Aztecs got off to a shaky start in the second stanza, finishing with just nine kills for a .029 attack percentage. Nevada, which posted a .324 clip for the set, built a pair of nine-point leads, including a 14-5 spread following a Madison Foley kill. SDSU promptly responded with a 7-1 run, benefiting from a Wolf Pack hitting error and a bad set to cut the deficit to 15-12.

However, Nevada kept the visitors at bay with a 10-5 surge to even the match, with Foley and De Von supplying two kills each during that span.

Set number three proved to be the turning point as the two sides battled through 12 ties and four lead changes. The Aztecs recorded their best hitting percentage of the night (.524), bolstered by Dunbar and Harris, who combined for 11 of the team's 16 kills during the frame.

Still, SDSU found itself trailing 19-18 after a Hoeft kill before reeling off seven straight points to seize momentum. The Scarlet and Black profited from four Wolf Pack attack errors, while Cage knocked down consecutive kills to help give her teammates a 2-1 lead on the set scoreboard.

Nevada's late collapse was a harbinger of things to come, as the host school managed just nine kills in the fourth set when it hit at a .030 clip. Once again, the Aztecs capitalized on three errant attacks to help build a 5-0 advantage before the Wolf Pack roared back to tie the score at 7-7.

SDSU responded with a 7-1 blitz shortly thereafter to take the lead for good. Dunbar sparked the run with two kills, while Harris added a solo block. Nevada trimmed the margin to 15-13 on consecutive hitting errors, but the Aztecs stood their ground. SDSU received two kills from Baylee Little, while Cage and Pritchard served up aces during a 10-5 match-clinching run.

The Wolf Pack's Foley (.343) led all players with 16 kills for the match, while Hoeft (5 block assists) and Jamila Minor totaled nine put-aways each. In addition, Camille Davey and Ayla Fresenius finished with 13 digs each in the loss.

San Diego State wraps up it two-match road swing on Saturday when it battles San José State at 2 p.m. PT. The Spartans (15-7, 7-4 MW) swept Fresno State at home on Thursday night.

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