Rebels Outrun Bulldogs In Marathon Match
Sept. 16, 2011
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV Rebels (6-4) staved off a come-from-behind attempt by the Fresno State Bulldogs (4-5) Friday night in their own UNLV Classic held in the Cox Pavilion. UNLV went ahead through two sets of action and had a chance to end the match in the third only to see Fresno State claim it and the fourth stanzas. UNLV won the match by set scores of 25-9, 25-23, 25-27, 14-25, 15-13.
This was the fifth time in the last six matches that UNLV has gone the distance. They own a 4-1 record in five setters this season following a 6-2 mark in those matches last year.
UNLV out-hit Fresno State .293 to .273 despite having seven less kills (58-to-65) on 14 fewer swings (140-to-154). The Rebels committed six less errors (17-to-23) in the match, as well. The Rebels hit .273 or better in four of the five sets and owned a .520 effort in the first and a .421 average in the fifth. The Bulldogs, on the other hand, hit .289 or better in four frames with three of those in the .300s.
The Rebels made quick work of the Bulldogs in the first set with their 25-9 win. The team jumped out to a quick 8-1 lead before Fresno State knew what him it. UNLV added to its lead as the set progressed and ultimately won by 16 points. The Rebel attackers did not commit an error, while hitting .520.
The Bulldogs' offense awoke in the second set, but could never manage to take one lead before UNLV went up 2-0. The frame featured four ties with the last occurring at 14-all. The Rebels kept pushing out to three-point leads only to see the Bulldogs rally back before an eventual two-point differential.
Fresno State came out of intermission carrying the momentum it had built up in the second set. The Bulldogs managed to push out to six different six-point leads with the last coming at the 21-15 juncture. From that point forward, UNLV fought back and won 10 of the next 13 points to claim a one-point lead and a set-point opportunity at 25-24. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs won the final three points keep the match going.
The Bulldogs kept the pedal down when the fourth set began and jumped out to a 4-0 lead that they would never relinquish.
The fifth set witnessed the teams tie each other eight times and trade two lead changes. Fresno State owned its last lead at the 10-9 mark before UNLV won three-straight points to turn the tables with a two-point lead at 12-10. From that point forward the lead would only be as much as two points with the Bulldogs pulling within one twice before UNLV ended it at 15-13.
UNLV was led offensively by double-digit kill efforts from Makenzie Moea'i and Madeline Westman, who had 16 and 13 kills apiece. The pair also hit well in the match with the former hitting .438 to the latter's .407 efficiency. Moea'i also contributed two assisted blocks and a dig, while Westman added six digs, five blocks (one solo) and one ace.
Stephanie Thelen had a match-high 47 assists for UNLV and also chipped in seven digs, three kills and two assisted blocks.
Defensively, Allison Davies led the team in digs with 13 besides acing two serves. Taylor Richard, who played the libero jersey the first four sets of the match, had nine digs before joining the mix offensively and adding four kills. Richard also had two aces and two assists.
Fresno State got a double-double from Christina Lee, who combined 29 assists and 13 digs for the feat. Marissa Brand had a match-high 20 kills, while Korrin Wild led her team in digs with 14. Barbara Alcantara finished the match with 28 assists.
Earlier in the day, Baylor made quick work of San Francisco with a 3-0 sweep.
UNLV plays twice on Saturday with its first match against San Francisco at 11:30 am followed by the tournament finale at 7:30 pm vs. Baylor. Two more matches will be played tomorrow with Baylor-Fresno State kicking off the morning session at 9:30 am and Fresno State-San Francisco starting up the night session at 5:00 pm.