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Nevada Tops Portland, 3-0

Sept. 17, 2006

RENO, Nev. - Lady Luck wasn't smiling on the Pilot volleyball team in its match against the Nevada Wolfpack on Sunday. Nevada swept Portland 30-17, 30-19, 30-28 to claim the Molten Invitational title, improving to 6-5 on the year and dropping the Pilots' overall record to 6-6.

Portland finished the Molten Invitational with a 1-1 record. Jenn Sheedy, Nicole Thometz and Maria Clemens were all named to the all-tournament team for their efforts over the weekend.

The Pilots were even with Nevada at the start of game one, evening the game at 9-9 with a kill by Ashley Grayson. But the Wolfpack then went on a 13-3 run to set the score at 22-12 and put the game well out of reach before ending at 30-17.

It was more of the same in game two, as the Pilots kept it close in the early going before Nevada surged out to a large lead. Again tied at 9-9, Nevada jumped to a 21-13 lead from which the Pilots were unable to recover. Portland did make a small rally to cut the lead to 22-17, but the Wolfpack then scored 8 of the last 10 points to slam the door at 30-19.

It was a much different story in game three, as the Pilots put on a gutty performance in the 28-30 loss. Trailing 26-21 late in the game, the Pilots rattled off six straight points to take the lead at 27-26. Nevada then scored two straight to get up 28-27, but a kill by junior Kara Pein tied it up at 28-28. Nevada than iced the match with two straight kills, ending the Pilot rally and completing the three game sweep.

Junior Kelly Whitehouse (pictured) led the Pilot attack with a season-high 11 kills, while freshman Maria Clemens had 10 digs to pace the Pilot defense. Junior Nicole Thometz had 8 kills and 8 digs, just missing a double-double, while sophomores Ashley Grayson and Jenn Sheedy each had four blocks.

For the Wolfpack, Carly Sorensen had 14 kills and Teal Ericson had 12 kills to lead the attack. Sorensen also had 11 digs to lead Nevada and record the double-double.

Hitting percentage was a big difference in the match, as Nevada had 47 and 14 errors on 105 total attempts for a strong .314 percentage while the Pilots struggled to a .147 percentage with 39 kills and 23 errors on 109 total attempts.

Next up for the Pilots is a road match against cross-town rival Portland State on Tuesday, Sept. 19. Portland then has a nine day break before kicking off West Coast Conference play on the road at Loyola Marymount.