Rebel Youth Overcome By Utes
Sept. 21, 2006
LAS VEGAS - The UNLV volleyball team (9-4, 1-1 Mountain West Conference) suffered a tough defeat on Thursday night in the Cox Pavilion to 18th-ranked Utah (10-2, 3-0 MWC). The Utes jumped out to a quick 1-0 win, but witnessed the Rebels fight for every point the remainder of the night. UNLV fought back to take game two to knot the score at 1-1. Utah rallied from a seven-point deficit in the third to take game three, before taking the match in the fourth. Utah won the match with scores of 30-16, 32-34, 30-28, 30-23.
With the win, Utah remains on an eight-match winning streak. With the game two loss to UNLV, the Rebels snapped the Utes string of seven straight wins by a 3-0 margin.
Game one went easily to the Utes, as the team pushed out to a five-point advantage at various junctures before increasing their lead point-by-point. Utah won 13 of the final 15 points to take the game by a 14-point margin.
Game two was the most exciting of the night as the teams were separated by at-most four points. UNLV held the biggest advantage at 23-19, but saw Utah rally back. The game was evened up on five occasions after the score was tied at 26-26. Down the stretch, each team has two chances apiece to close out the game by only needing one more point. Trailing 32-31, UNLV's Maria Aladjova came up big as she recorded three straight kills to close out the game.
The third game was eerily similar to the second. The Rebels held the advantage throughout the game and pushed out to a seven-point lead at 26-19 before the Utes made their come back attempt. Utah held UNLV's offense in check and managed to score 11 of the final 13 points to go up two games to one.
The fourth and final game turned when Utah tied the score at 16-16. UNLV held a slight lead up until that point, but from there on out Utah won 14 of the final 21 points, including five-in-a-row to push out to a 26-19 lead.
Offensively, the Utes out hit the Rebels in percentage (.244 to .129), but had one less kill than the home squad (62-to-63). Utah hit a match-high .368 in game one, while UNLV came close to that mark in game two with a .364. The team that held the highest hitting percentage went on to win each game tonight.
UNLV was lead by a 20-kill performance from Aladjova. She racked up her seventh double-double of the season by adding 15 digs. Jessica Walters and Brittani Lumsden joined Aladjova in the double-digit kill club when they notched 15 and 13, respectively.
The Utes had four players rack up double-digits in the kill department. Airial Salvo led the team with 17 kills and a match-high 21 digs for a double-double. Kathryn Lovell (13), Lori Baird (12) and Emillie Toon (10) rounded out those with 10 or more kills. Toone added eight blocks on the night, while Baird and Whitney Webb each had seven apiece.
Sydney Anderson equaled Salvo with a double-double of her own by assisting on 33 kills and digging out 11 Rebel attacks.
Next up for UNLV are the 16th-ranked BYU Cougars (11-1, 3-0 MWC) on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m., in the Cox Pavilion. The Cougars come to Las Vegas following a 3-1 win over San Diego State Thursday night.