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Rebels Topple Colonels Tuesday Night

Aug. 29, 2017

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LAS VEGAS ( - The UNLV volleyball team (3-1) fell behind the Eastern Kentucky Colonels (2-2), 2-1, before it rallied for wins in both the fourth and fifth sets to claim a 3-2 triumph (25-23, 23-25, 27-29, 25-21, 15-11) at the Cox Pavilion Tuesday.

UNLV's Mariena Hayden posted a match-high 21 kills and nine digs in the win. Hayden as well as Elsa Descamps (14 kills) and Jill Berg (11) registered double digits in kills. Berg managed to record her first career double-double, as she added 11 digs. Descamps was also instrumental on the defensive side of the net with five assisted blocks. Ashley Owens helped out offensively and defensively with nine kills and nine total blocks (two solo), respectively.

Riley Jacobs dished out a career- and match-best 51 assists, which was 89 percent of the team's 57 total assists.

Leka Kiner-Falefa and Shania Scott, like Hayden and Berg, contributed defensively with their 24 total digs. The latter had 16 to lead all players, while the latter had eight.

The Rebels outhit the Colonels by 60 points (.189 to .129) with advantages in both kills (60-57) and errors (29-37) in a difference of nine more attack attempts (164-155). UNLV began the match with a .250 effort in the first set, but only mustered a .167 and .051 in the second and third, respectively. The Rebels turned things around in the fourth with a .316, and then closed out the match with a .160. EKU, on the other hand, topped out at .200 in the fourth; however, its offense was limited to .185 or lower efficiencies the rest of the contest.



THE TURNING POINT: With the score tied at 20-all in the fourth, UNLV won five of the final six points to break the stalemate and draw even at two sets apiece. The Rebels carried the momentum into the fifth and used a 4-0 run to snap a 2-all tie en route to a four-point victory (15-11) in the final stanza. Between the fourth and fifth, UNLV hit .254 (23-7-63) compared to EKU's .113 (20-13-62).

STAT OF THE GAME: Hayden registered 21 kills -- 10 of which came in the fourth set -- off of 48 attack attempts with only seven errors. Hayden is the first Rebel with 21 or more kills in a match since Bree Hammel (2012-16) had 23 against Colorado State on Nov. 3, 2016.

REBEL OF THE GAME: Hayden had 21 kills to go along with nine digs, four assisted blocks and two aces.

QUOTABLE: "This was a tough match," said head coach Cindy Fredrick. "We missed far too many serves and I think that was a big reason we went five sets tonight. Our communication on the court was not good tonight, but at the end we showed some real toughness. Mo (Mariena Hayden) had another strong hitting night and Ashley (Owens) put up some good blocks. It was a good test for this young crew and they came through."

*UNLV improved to 33-6 in its last 39 home matches at the Cox Pavilion. The run began with a 3-1 win over then-No. 7 Colorado State on Nov. 1, 2014.
*Tuesday's win was the first by UNLV in five sets and the first that UNLV has overcome a 2-1 deficit since a 3-2 win at Utah State on Oct. 15, 2016.
*Owens' nine total blocks (two solo) are the most she has had in a match since she posted 13 (all assisted) against Green Bay on Sept. 4, 2015.
*Owens' two solo blocks against EKU were the fifth instance she has amassed that many in a single match at UNLV.
*Owens' seven assisted blocks against EKU have helped her move to seventh overall (299) in UNLV's career record book.
*Jacobs' 51 assists against EKU were a career high, and that figure is the most since Alexis Patterson had 50 on Nov. 3, 2016.

NEXT FOR THE REBELS: The Rebels hit the road for three matches at New Mexico State's SpringHill Suites Invitational this weekend. UNLV will square off against North Dakota Friday morning (10:00 am PT) at the Pan American Center. They close out their stay in Las Cruces, N.M., against No. 11 UCLA (9:00 am PT) and New Mexico State (6:00 pm PT) Saturday.

REBELS AT HOME: The Rebels return to Las Vegas and the Cox Pavilion to host their own UNLV Challenge on September 8-9. The Scarlet & Gray will welcome Weber State, UC Irvine and Louisville to Las Vegas for the two-day, round-robin tournament.

TICKETS: Single-match and season tickets for the 2017 UNLV volleyball season are on sale now by visiting or calling 702-739-FANS. In addition, special ticket pricing is available for groups of at least 20 by contacting Dan Johnson at or calling 702-895-1885.

Season tickets start at $40 for faculty, staff and seniors (62+) and $50 for adults. All single-match tickets can be purchased in-advance and online for as low as $5. As always, kids 12 and under and UNLV students with a valid Rebel Card are admitted for free.

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