Rebels Corral Cowgirls
Oct. 3, 2004
Las Vegas - Senior outside hitter Tarin Keith came off the bench for 17 kills and 17 digs and UNLV survived two poor games and uneven play throughout the match to beat Wyoming 3-2 on Sunday afternoon at the Cox Pavilion. The Rebels improved to 8-5 (2-1 in the Mountain West Conference) while Wyoming lost its second-straight conference match to fall to 8-7 (2-2 in the MWC).
The Rebels struggled hitting the ball to start the match, committing 13 errors to go along with 16 kills for an ice-cold .060 hitting percentage. Although the Cowgirls didn't hit well either, they capitalized on the UNLV mistakes to take the first game 30-26.
Keith didn't start but provided a spark late in the second game with UNLV clinging to a slim 21-19 advantage. She nearly served out the game, helping UNLV reel off eight straight points as the Rebels claimed the second game 30-20. Keith had three aces during the 8-0 run.
In the third game the Rebels came out strong and grabbed an early 14-10 lead behind four kills from freshman Maria Aladjova. As in the first game, Rebel errors would hurt them in the third game. Wyoming received eight of its next 11 points off UNLV miscues to grab a 21-19 lead. The two teams than exchanged points and were tied at 26 when a kill by Angie Hellbaum gave the lead to the Cowgirls for good. Fittingly the game ended on an attacking error by UNLV's Brittani Lumsden as Wyoming won 30-27.
UNLV rebounded from its game three loss with a dominating performance in the fourth game, as the Rebels crushed the Cowgirls 30-8. Keith had five kills and Aladjova and Lauren Miramontes each knocked down four for the Rebels in the rout, which set up the pivotal deciding fifth game.
After trading wins in the first four games, Wyoming appeared ready to continue to the trend, grabbing an 8-4 lead in the deciding game. Keith again came through for the Rebels, drilling three kills to pull UNLV into a 12-12 tie. The two teams split the next four points and then Keith's last kill of the match gave the Rebels a 15-14 lead. UNLV then won the match 16-14 on a hitting error by Cowgirl Shelby Heggie.
Keith finished with five aces to go along with her double-double. Senior setter Nicki King recorded her first triple-double of the year with 58 assists, 12 digs and 11 kills. Aladjova finished the match with 20 kills while Miramontes had 15 and Mariana Pencheva had 10. Jada Walker dug up 17 balls and Kristin Koochi had 13 digs for the Rebels.
Rachel Smith, Shelby Heggie and Lauren Scott each had nine kills for Wyoming, which didn't have a player reach double-figures in kills. Amy Doman had 42 assists for the Cowgirls.
UNLV continues MWC play next week with road matches against Utah on Oct. 8 at 6:00 p.m. (PST) and BYU on Oct. 9 at 6:00 p.m. (PST).