Rebels Open Governor's Series Play With Win Over UNR|
Oct. 7, 2017
RENO, Nev. (UNLVRebels.com) - For the second time in as many matches, the UNLV volleyball team (6-13, 2-4 MW) claimed a road victory in five sets after it had fallen behind 2-1 to its opponent. The Rebels, who knocked off the San Jose State Spartans Thursday, rallied to defeat their in-state rival, the Nevada, Reno Wolf Pack (5-13, 3-3 MW) in a Saturday matinee held at the Virginia Street Gym.
The Scarlet & Gray drew even at 2-all after it rattled off 13 of the final 15 points in the fourth set; however, the fifth frame was a bit more dramatic. The final stanza featured six ties and two lead changes, the last of each figure occurred during a three-point outburst from Elsa Descamps that turned a one-point deficit (12-11) into a two-point lead (14-12). UNR countered with a kill from Sam Hayward, but Descamps quickly ended the bout with a crosscourt kill for the final point of the set and match.
The Rebels outhit the Wolf Pack by 105 points (.214 to .109) primarily due to their offense committing 16 fewer errors (19-35) in 24 fewer attack attempts (168-192), although UNR notched one more kill (56-55). UNLV combined to hit .362 (26-5-58) in the fourth and fifth sets with each frame at or better than .343. The Rebels were held to .069 (second) to .235 (first) in the first three frames. UNR, on the other hand, topped out at a .250 hitting efficiency in the second, but was held to .174 or lower averages the remainder of the match.
THE TURNING POINT: Trailing 11-10 in the fifth, UNLV's middle blockers, Ashley Owens and Descamps, threw down five kills to help the Rebels complete the comeback. Owens' kill evened the set at 11-all, while the first from Descamps drew the teams even at 12-all. The latter followed with two more to push UNLV ahead for good.
STAT OF THE GAME: Descamps, who hit .571 for the match, hit .750 (12-0-16) between the fourth and fifth sets alone. She only had one attack in the first set, but followed with 17 kills against one error in 27 swings. Her only misfire came in the third set.
REBEL OF THE GAME: Descamps hit a match-best .571 with a career-high 17 kills to go along with four assisted blocks and two digs.
QUOTABLE: "Another gritty win for the Rebels," exclaimed head coach Cindy Fredrick. "Elsa (Descamps) had a really good offensive performance tonight. It was so good to see Ali (French) have such a strong performance, as this was a homecoming for her. We kept our errors to a minimum and played some good defense. Shania (Scott), Leka (Kiner-Falefa) and Ellie (Ivanova) all contributed too good back row digs."
GOVERNOR'S SERIES: UNLV and UNR kicked off the 2017-18 Governor's Series presented by NV Energy and Barrick Gold Saturday. The three points associated with the sport of volleyball will be decided when the two squads meet in Las Vegas on November 2. The all-encompassing head-to-head athletic and academic challenge between the Silver State's two NCAA Division I programs is in its fifth iteration. The Rebels had won four straight titles from 2012-13 through 2015-16, but finished in a tie with the Wolf Pack last year (2016-17).
NEXT FOR THE REBELS: UNLV will return to Las Vegas and the Cox Pavilion to host four straight matches in a two-week stretch. The homestand begins with stops by Fresno State and San Diego State on October 12 and 14, respectively, and continues the following week with No. 24 Colorado State (October 19) and Wyoming (October 21).