Wildcats Scratch Past The Rebels In Five Sets
Aug 31, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV Invitational saved its best match for last with a hard-fought tussle between the Rebels and the Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday night. Both teams entered the de facto championship match with identical 2-0 records. Unfortunately, it was the Wildcats that walked away from the season-opening tournament held in the Cox Pavilion with a hard-fought 3-2 win by set scores of 25-27, 25-19, 25-19, 21-25, 15-13.
The opening match was a see-saw affair that featured 14 ties and five lead changes. UNLV put a bit of breathing room between itself and Kansas State midway through the set when it built a four-point cushion - 20-16 - late in the stanza. The Wildcats clawed back to even the score at 22-all eight points later. The six-point stretch that followed either saw Kansas State take a one-point lead or a stalemate. Daryn Glenn erased the Wildcats' one and only set point with a kill before her teammates Ceannia Kincade (kill) and Stephanie Thelen (ace) closed out the set.
Unfortunately, the Rebels didn't carry the first-set momentum over to the second frame. With the score tied at 1-apiece, the Wildcats ran off six straight to build and insurmountable lead en route to a six-point set win.
After witnessing Kansas State claim a 2-1 lead with help from a coast-to-coast third-set win, UNLV answered back with a victory of its own in the fourth.
The fifth set was much like the first in that the teams were tied six times and there were two lead changes. The Wildcats struck out for a pair of three-point leads in the early going, but the Rebels fought back to take their one and only lead at the 8-7 juncture after they won five straight points. Kansas State managed to win the next two points to claim a lead it would never surrender despite UNLV forcing three ties down the stretch. With the score knotted at 13-all, the visitors from Manhattan, Kan., went up by one off a Rebel hitting error before Dakota Kaufman sank the match-winner in the left corner of the court.
The match's statistics were nearly even between the two squads. Kansas State outhit UNLV by one point (160-159) on the night. The Rebels had two more kills (61-59) and three more errors (35-32) despite taking five fewer swings (164-169. UNLV had more assists (59-52) and seven more digs (67-60), while Kansas State had three more aces (6-3) and two more blocks (17.0-15.0).
"We had difficulty battling getting our hitting on track tonight," said Rebel head coach Cindy Fredrick. "We battled back well, and I'm proud of the fight in this team. With Sekola (Falemaka) and Madeline (Westman) out late in the match, I thought Bree (Hammel), Sadie (Stutzman) and Carly (Riehl) came through in a pretty high-intensity match."
The Rebels had two of its own - Daryn Glenn and Stephanie Thelen - named to the UNLV Invitational team. Glenn notched her first double-double of the season behind a combination of 17 kills and 15 digs. Glen also added three assists and three total blocks (one solo, two assisted). Thelen dished out a match-high 51 assists, while adding six digs, three kills, three assisted blocks and one ace.
Katlin Winters was instrumental on both sides of the net with 10 kills and seven total blocks (one solo).
On the defensive side of the net, UNLV had two more players notch double digits in digs besides Glenn's team-high output of 15. Allison Davies, who had two assists and an ace, followed closely behind with 14, while Ceannia Kincade added 12 of her own to go along with nine kills, three assisted blocks, one ace and one assist.
Kansas State led by double-doubles from Kaitlynn Pelger (19 kills, 13 digs), the tournament's MVP, and Katie Brand (49 assists, 10 digs). Pelger led the team in kills and digs, while Brand was tops on the Wildcats in assists.
UNLV returns to action next Friday, Sept. 6, at the Gonzaga Invitational in Spokane, Wash. The Rebels and Bulldogs square off at 6:00 pm on day one. The Scarlet & Gray will face Arizona State (10:00 am) and then Seattle (4:00 pm) the following day.
UNLV Invitational Results