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Rebels Claw Past Wildcats In Five Sets

Sept. 8, 2017

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LAS VEGAS ( - The Rebel volleyball team (4-4) jumped back into the win column Friday with a 3-2 victory (22-25, 25-20, 25-19, 22-25, 15-8) over the Weber State Wildcats (1-6) to open the UNLV Challenge, which is being held at the Cox Pavilion. The Rebels fell behind after the first set, but pushed ahead 2-1 through three; however, the Wildcats evened the score at 2-all with their fourth-set win. UNLV, which got a double-double from Mariena Hayden and had four others notch double digits in kills, made quick work of the fifth set for the win.

The Scarlet & Gray outhit WSU by 37 points (.224 to .187) despite its offense committing eight more attack errors (28-20). The Rebels owned advantages in kills (69-49) and attack attempts (183-155) as well as assists (67-45) and digs (79-74). The Wildcats were tops in total team blocks (15.0-11.0).

Hayden combined a team-high 16 kills with a career-best 19 digs to notch her third double-double of the year. She paced the offense, which also got 14 kills from Ashley Owens, 13 each from Thea Sweder and Elsa Descamps and 12 from Jill Berg. Overall, the quintet was responsible for 68 of the team's 69 kills.

Riley Jacobs dished out a match-best 60 assists and added eight digs and four assisted blocks.

Defensively, the Rebels got a team-high 24 digs from Leka Kiner-Falefa and 16 more from Shania Scott. At the net, Descamps had seven total blocks (one solo), while Sweder had four (one solo) and Owens had three (all assisted).



THE TURNING POINT: After seeing WSU knot the score at 2-all after four sets of play, UNLV jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead in the fifth and final frame with three kills from Jill Berg and two aces from Shania Scott. A WSU attacking error was mixed into the six-point run that eventually ballooned to eight points at the 10-2 mark.

STAT OF THE GAME: UNLV committed five or fewer errors and hit .268 or better in each of the three sets that it won against WSU. The Rebels misfired three and five times, respectively, in the second and third frames and only had two errors in the fifth. In turn, the squad hit .342, .268 and .409 in the second, third and fifth stanzas. In the two sets that it lost, UNLV had eight and 10 errors and was limited to .079 and .114 hitting efficiencies.

REBEL OF THE GAME: Descamps had 13 kills and notched a match-best .289 hitting efficiency. Defensively, she added a team-high seven total blocks (one solo) and four digs.

QUOTABLE: "It was good to see Mo (Mariena Hayden) get back on track," said head coach Cindy Fredrick. "She played very well on offense and defense. Elsa (Descamps) and Thea (Sweder) stepped up as well. Elsa's hitting and blocking were critical today. We have to have less serving errors, so that is something we'll focus on the rest of the weekend."

*Jacobs' 60 assists were the most since Alexis Patterson (2014-16) had 59 last year against UT Arlington (September 10), and it's the first instance a Rebel setter broke the 60-assist mark since Stephanie Thelen (2010-13) had 62 against Boise State on Nov. 23, 2013.
*UNLV had five players notch 12 or more kills in the match, and that marked the first time since a 3-2, road win at New Mexico on Nov. 6, 2014, that it had five in double figures in the same contest.
*UNLV improved to 4-2 in the all-time series against WSU.

NEXT FOR THE REBELS: The Rebels return to the Cox Pavilion Friday night (7:00 pm) to host UC Irvine to close out the first day of the UNLV Challenge. Prior to the match, Weber State and Louisville will square off at 5:00 pm.

UNLV CHALLENGE UPDATE: In the second match of the tournament, Louisville swept UC Irvine in three sets.

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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