RenoA change at setter and strong blocking helped San Jose State win its first Western Athletic Conference volleyball match Thursday night at Nevada. The Spartans defeated the Wolf Pack, 26-24, 23-25, 22-25, 25-12, 15-7.
One of the biggest changes for the Spartans in the match came near the beginning of the match when San Jose State head coach Oscar Crespo inserted senior Brittany Collet at setter, replacing Emily Burke. Collet helped rally the Spartans to the victory. She ended the match with her first double-double of the season and the ninth of her career with 49 assists and 15 digs and added four kills in the match.
When Collet was inserted in the first set, San Jose State trailed 11-6. The Spartans battled back to tie the score at 16-16. Nevada then took a 20-16 lead, but again San Jose State battled the Wolf Pack and tied the match at 20-20 and took the lead at 21-21. The two teams then traded the lead before Brianna Amian put away one of her season-high 18 kills to give the Spartans the 25-24 lead. San Jose State then won the set on a Wolf Pack hitting error.
“I thought we needed to make a change because our hitters were struggling with the location options give to them,” said Crespo. “I just wanted to give Emily a break and not let the set get away from us. But Brittany came into the match and set great for us.
“Brittany brought her emotion and drive to the floor which changed the way we played. She was able to locate the ball to our hitters which allowed Kelly (Crow) and Briannato have success on the left and right sides. Brittany also did a nice job on defense with the number of digs she had. I was very happy to see her step-up as a leader and brought a great attitude to the floor for us tonight.
The next two sets went back and forth between the two teams, with Nevada prevailing 25-23 and 25-22. The Spartans came out in the fourth set and jumped out to an early 4-1 advantage and never relinquished the lead as they won 25-12.
The deciding fifth-set was all Spartans as San Jose State scored the first six points behind Collet’s serving and blocking by Amian and Nia Freeman. The Wolf Pack could get no closer than four points at 6-2 as San Jose State won the set 15-7.
Kelly Crow recorded her second consecutive 20-plus kill match with 20 kills. She hit .333 for the match with 48 attempts and only four hitting errors and added nine digs. Three other Spartans recorded double-digit kills. Amian had 18 kills, followed by Niki Clement and Nia Freeman with 10 kills each.
San Jose State recorded 10 blocks in the match. Amian led the team with a season-high nine. She had a career-best two solo blocks and seven block assists. Freeman added four block assists, while Colleen Burke had two block assists.
“Brianna was a huge threat for us offensively tonight on the right side which freed up more options for Kelly on the left side,” said Crespo. “I think Brianna felt at ease on the court tonight and showed she can take over a match.
“This was a pivotal win for us tonight. We didn’t try to do too much during the match and were able to not let the match get away from us when we were down. We were dialed on our serving and gave our opponent problems passing.”
San Jose State continues on the road at Fresno State Saturday evening. The match begins at 7 p.m., and a live stats link is available on www.sjsuspartans.com.
San Jose State def. Nevada 26-24, 23-25, 22-25, 25-12, 15-7.
Kills San Jose State Kelly Crow 20; Brianna Amian 18, Niki Clement 10, Nia Freeman 10.
Nevada Lindsay Baldwin 21, Kylie Harrington 12, Allison Hernandez 10.
Records San Jose State 5-8, 1-2; Nevada 5-6, 1-2.
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