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UNLV Volleyball to face Air Force Academy for Final Match
Nov. 16, 1997

UNLV Volleyball This Week:

  • Tues., Nov. 18 UNLV at Air Force Academy 7:30 p.m. MST
  • Match at Clune Arena (6,002), Colorado Springs, Colo.

The UNLV volleyball team will travel to Colorado Springs, Colo., for its final match of the season vs. the Air Force Academy. The Rebels will battle the Falcons of Air Force on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m. MST at Air Force's Clune Arena (6,002).

The Opponent
The Air Force Academy (5-26, 0-13 WAC) lost to New Mexico (2-3) and UTEP (0-3) at home last weekend in two WAC matches...Head Coach Penny Lucas-White is in her second year at Air Force and seventh overall as a head coach.

The Rebels
The Rebels (8-18, 1-12 WAC) lost to UTEP (15-17, 7-15, 15-12, 12-6, 10-15) and New Mexico (6-15, 12-15, 15-1, 14-16) at home last weekend in two WAC matches...UNLV is led by junior outside hitter Staci Smith who is averaging 3.16 kills per game...Junior setter Meri-de Boyer is leading the team in digs with 2.97 per game...The Rebels return eight players from last year's squad that finished the season with an overall record of 5-22...The Rebels qualified for the inaugural WAC Tournament, recording a conference record of 3-13...Head Coach Deitre Collins is in her second season with a career record of 13-40.

New Faces
The Rebels added some power to their lineup with the addition of five junior transfers. Las Vegas native Angie Sylvas transferred from San Jose State. Sylvas, a 5-11 outside hitter, led SJSU in kills last season. Sylvas went down with a knee injury against New Mexico State on Sept. 12. Also coming from a Division I school was Staci Smith. Smith, a 5-10 outside hitter from Henderson, Nev., returns home from Iowa State where she was third in kills in 1996. The three other transfers join the Rebels from junior college programs. They are 5-8 setter Katie Lathrop, 5-8 outside hitter Lorna Lyttle and 5-11 middle blocker Tiffany Whigham. UNLV also added four freshman for this season. 6-foot Justine Kamelamela from Aiea, Hawai'i was a first-team all-league selection her senior season at Maryknoll HS. Two more players from Hawai'i are both 5-6 defensive specialists, Ana Ramos and Cobey Shoji (the daughter of Hawai'i's head coach Dave Shoji). 6-3 middle blocker Michelle Peoples is the final newcomer. Along with the new players, Coach Collins added an assistant coach. Ex-BYU standout Kevin Hambly will coordinate recruiting among other duties.

Probable Rebel Starters

No. Player Pos. Ht. Yr.-Exp. Hometown/Last School 1997 Statistics
9 Meri-de Boyer S/OH 6-0 Jr.-1L Poway, Calif./UC Santa Barbara 8.58 apg, 2.97 dpg
14 Christel Eves MB/OH 5-11 So.-1L Henderson, Nev./Basic HS 1.82 kpg, 1.01 dpg
13 Elizabeth Goyet DS/OH 5-9 So.-1L San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch HS 1.37 kpg, 1.46 dpg
4 Justine Kamelamela OH 6-0 Fr.-HS Aiea, Hawai'i/Maryknoll HS 3.04 kpg, 2.27 dpg
16 Michelle Peoples MB 6-3 Fr.-HS Stockton, Calif./Bear Creek HS 1.41 kpg, 1.04 bpg
3 Staci Smith OH 5-10 Jr.-TR Henderson, Nev./Iowa State 3.16 kpg, 1.44 dpg

Last Year
Volleyball was back at UNLV for the first time in 11 years in 1996. In its first season since 1985 the UNLV volleyball team finished the year 5-22 (3-13 in WAC play). The Rebels set their sights on the inaugural WAC Tournament as their goal for the season, accomplishing it by earning the 12th seed. The Rebels lost to fifth-seeded Utah in the tourney at the MGM Grand Garden arena in Las Vegas.

Rebel Returners
The Rebels return eight players from last year's squad. 6-foot junior setter Meri-de Boyer is the floor leader. She led the team in assists (5.43 pg) and digs (2.72 pg) last year. The lone senior on the roster, 6-foot middle blocker Amy Ellenwood is a force in the middle for the Rebels. Ellenwood led the team in blocks (1.05 pg) and hitting percentage (.276). Every other returner is a sophomore. 5-11 outside hitter Kim DeWitt has been moved to the right side of the court. 5-8 Erica Enfield and 5-9 Elizabeth Goyet, both outside hitters last season, are concentrating on the defensive specialist position. 5-11 Christel Eves and 6-foot Danielle Gerlach are both experienced middle blockers. 5-5 defensive specialist Kendra Wilkinson is the final returner.

Last Week
UNLV dropped two WAC matches at home last week...On Thursday, UNLV was defeated by UTEP (15-17, 7-15, 15-12, 15-6, 10-15), which mathematically elminated it from WAC Tournament play...Saturday, UNLV was defeated by New Mexico (6-15, 12-15, 15-1, 14-16).

Series History
UNLV leads the series with Air Force 2-1....In their last meeting, the Rebels defeated Air Force earlier this season (16-14, 15-9, 15-7) at UNLV's Lied Gymnasium.

Head Coach Deitre Collins
Head coach Deitre Collins (Hawai'i, '95) is in her second season at UNLV. A former member of the U.S. National Team and a three-time NCAA All-American middle blocker at Hawai'i, Collins, led her first Rebel team to a 1996 WAC Tournament berth. Before being named head coach of the 15th intercollegiate athletics program at UNLV on July 10, 1995, she served as an assistant at the University of South Alabama for one season (1994). Prior to that, she was an assistant at Houston (1993) and Northern Arizona (1993-94). The fourth coach in the history of Rebel volleyball, Collins spent this past summer serving on the selection committee to find a coach for the U.S. National Volleyball Team. She also was on the selection committees for the United States' World University Games Team and the U.S. National Team. Collins is the only volleyball player ever to be named the Broderick Cup recipient, earning the award as the best collegiate athlete in 1983. She also is a two-time Broderick Award honoree, being named the best collegiate volleyball player in 1983 and 1984. In 1982 and 1983, she led the Rainbow Wahine to consecutive NCAA National Championships as well as a record of 110-5 in her final three seasons. She has a career head coaching record of 13-40.

Collins Honored At Official All-Star Cafe
Deitre Collins was honored at the Official All-Star Cafe on Wednesday, Sept. 3. Collins dedicated her 1988 Olympic jersey which is being displayed in a glass case on the wall in the restuarant. The ceremony kicked off the Official All-Star Cafe/UNLV Volleyball Classic, which was held Sept. 5-6 at UNLV's Lied Gymnasium.

Assistant Coach Ruben Herrera
Ruben Herrera (New Orleans, '91) is in his second year as assistant coach at UNLV. He serves as the scouting coordinator, administrative assistant and camp director for the Rebels. Before Herrera joined the Rebel staff he was an assistant at Virginia for two seasons. Prior to that, he became the youngest Division I head coach when he was named to the top spot at the University of New Orleans (La.) in 1988.

Assistant Coach Kevin Hambly
Kevin Hambly was named to the UNLV coaching staff this past summer. He is a former BYU standout, playing for the Cougars from 1992-95. The starting middle blocker from 1993-95, Hambly was a first-team All-American in 1995. He was the head coach of Highline, a men's club team in Northridge, Calif. prior to joining the Rebel coaching staff. Among other duties he is responsible for recruiting.

Rebel Honors
Junior setter Meri-de Boyer and junior outside hitter Staci Smith were both named to the DoubleTree Invitational All-Tournament Team in Tucson, Ariz....Junior outside hitter Angie Sylvas was named to the Official All-Star Cafe/UNLV Volleyball Classic All-Tournament Team...Sylvas was also selected as the WACis first Volleyball Player of the Week for the Mountain Division...The award, which was given for the week of Sept. 1, had never been awarded to a UNLV player before...Boyer was named the MVP of the Taco Bell Invitational in Reno as Sylvas was selected to that all-tournament team.

Rebel Records
Sophomore Elizabeth Goyet's 33 kills vs. UTEP eclipsed the Rebel mark for most kills in a match. The previous mark was 26 by Sheila Nicks in 1985. Against UTEP, the team recorded 98 kills which tied the record for most kills in a match. UNLV also recorded 98 kills vs. Arizona State in 1985. Junior setter Meri-de Boyeris 80 assists vs. UTEP breaks the Rebel mark for most assists in a match. The previous record was77 set by Debbie Teso at ASU on Oct. 31, 1985. The team recorded 87 vs. UTEP which breaks the previous mark of 79 set at ASU on Oct. 31, 1985. Goyetis 23 digs vs. Louisiana State tied junior setter Meri-de Boyeris 23 vs. Creighton...That is the Rebel high for most digs in a match...The previous high was 19 set by Boyer and Kim DeWitt at Tulsa last year...Junior outside hitter Angie Sylvasi 60 attack attempts at UNR eclipsed the old Rebel mark of 52 set by Sheila Nicks at ASU in 1985 .

Floor Leader
Junior setter Meri-de Boyeris 80 assists vs. UTEP is a career-high and new Rebel mark...At Hawai'i on Oct. 3 she was moved to the outside hitter position and has recently been moved back to setter...She is averaging 1.12 kills and 8.58 assists per game. She also leads the team with 2.97 digs per game.

New Position
Freshman Ana Ramos was moved to the setter position from defensive specialist...She started her first match in the setter position at Hawai'i on Oct. 3 and is averaging 6.31 assists per game in WAC matches. She recently was moved back to defensive specialist.

Sylvas Out
Junior outside hitter Angie Sylvas injured her left knee during the first game of the New Mexico State match...She recently had surgery and will miss the remainder of the season...She recorded 20 or more kills in each of UNLVis first four contests...She had double digits in kills in five of the Rebelsi first six matches this season...Her 24 kills at UNR is one shy of her career-high...She averaged 4.46 kills per game.

Ellenwood Back
Middle blocker Amy Ellenwood, the only senior on the team, injured her ankle in practice on Sept. 30...She has been out of action ever since, but was cleared to practice on Nov. 3...She has played in one game since returning...She recorded 14 kills vs. Eastern Washington, which is a career-high...Against San Francisco she recorded 9 total blocks (6 BA, 3 BS) which is her season-high...She has averaged 2.11 kills and 0.87 blocks per game.

Jumpin' Junior
Junior outside hitter Staci Smith has adding some depth to the teamis hitting...She has recorded double digits in kills in 13 of UNLVis 26 matches...She recorded season-highs of 22 kills at Utah and vs. UTEP...She is averaging 3.16 kills and 1.44 digs per game.

Freshman Phenom
Freshman outside hitter Justine Kamelamela has made an immediate impact...She has recorded double digits in kills in 15 of UNLVis 26 matches this season...She recorded 15 kills with 0 errors in 36 attempts (.417) vs. San Francisco...She has 9 double-doubles...They are against Oregon (11 kills, 10 digs), USF (15 kills, 11 digs), LSU (17 kills, 10 digs), Utah (17 kills, 11 digs), Wyoming (13 kills, 12 digs), Hawai'i (11 kills, 10 digs), Utah (10 kills, 11 digs), UTEP (17 kills, 10 digs) and New Mexico (10 kills, 14 digs)...She is averaging 3.04 kills and 2.27 digs per game.

The Last Time
UNLV last traveled to Air Force on Oct. 31 of last year. UNLV lost in four games (0-15, 15-13, 15-6, 15-4)...UNLV last won a WAC match on the road at Tulsa on Sept. 28, 1996.

Rebel Notes
UNLV has lost 17 of its last 18 matches...UNLV had five players in double digits in kills vs. UTEP, while three were in double figures in digs...Three players recorded double digits in kills and digs at Utah...UNLV won a game vs. Hawai'i on Nov. 2...It marked the first time the Rebels took a game from the Rainbow Wahine in their last four matches...Against Hawai'i, UNLV had three players record double digits in kills...UNLV defeated Air Force for its first WAC win of the season on Oct. 30, snapping its program-worst 12-match losing streak...The Rebels had lost 16 straight vs. WAC opponents before that match...UNLV had four players record double digits in kills vs. Air Force...The Rebels had three players record double digits in digs at home vs. Wyoming...A season-high 699 fans saw the Rebels face then-No. 7 BYU at the Thomas & Mack Center...It marked the first time a UNLV volleyball team had ever played in the building...The Rebels had three players record double-doubles in kills and digs vs. LSU...UNLV recorded a season-high 73 digs vs. LSU...The Rebels had 10 solo blocks against San Francisco...Their next highest total of the season is 3 vs. New Mexico State...Against USF the Rebels recorded 18.5 total blocks...UNLV had 12 service aces vs. New Mexico State, a season-high...Against New Mexico State, the Rebels allowed only 22 kills, a season-low...UNLV had four players record double figures in kills vs. Eastern Washington...UNLV lost game three of the Oregon match 15-0, then bounced back to win the match in five games...There were four Rebels in double figures in kills in that match...The Rebels hit a season-high .268 at UNR...There were five Rebels in double figures in kills at UNR.

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