Streak Not Shutdown, Rebels Extend It To 28 Over AF
Oct. 10, 2013
USAFA, Colo. (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV volleyball team knocked off the Air Force Falcons for the 28th consecutive time in its 3-1, come-from-behind victory (24-26, 25-17, 25-21, 25-17) on Thursday night from Falcon Court at the USAFA, Colo. The Rebels were paced by a quartet of attackers with double-digit kill figures, including Sekola Falemaka, who had achieved a double-double with a 12-kill, 14-dig effort. The win upped the Scarlet & Gray's record to 9-6 overall and 4-1 in Mountain West play, while the Falcons dropped to 4-12 and 1-3, respectively.
With the win, UNLV has won 28 straight over Air Force and 33 of 35 all-time meetings between the two programs.
Madeline Westman, who already owned the top spot in the UNLV record book for assisted blocks, became the program's career leader in total blocks with help from eight putbacks (one solo, seven assisted) on Thursday night. Westman moved ahead of Lauren Miramontes (2003-07) by six total blocks (432-424) for first place.
The Rebels outhit Air Force by 119 points (.241 to .122) with help from seven more kills (56-49) and nine fewer errors (22-31) in six less swings (141-147). After opening the match with a .130 hitting efficiency, UNLV turned things around with a .400 effort in the second stanza that was followed up by .212 and .281 clips in the subsequent sets. AF, on the other hand, topped out with its .194 showing in the first, but could only must a .188 (second set) as its best average the remainder of the match.
The bout featured 10 tied scores and only two lead changes. The majority of the ties occurred in the first with seven, including a trio at the 22, 23 and 24 junctures.
The opening set was a tight affair with Air Force pushing out to three different four-point leads with the last coming at the 20-16 mark. UNLV fought back to tie the stanza late on multiple occasions only to see the home squad win the final two points for the win.
After committing 10 errors in the first-set loss, UNLV's offense awoke and quickly rattled off wins in the second and third before it claimed the fourth and final frame once it hit the 10-point mark.
"After the first set, we hit much better," said Rebel volleyball head coach Cindy Fredrick. "Madeline and Katlin (Winters) really dominated the middle, while Julia (Topor) had an outstanding match both offensively and blocking. Our passing game was really solid tonight, which was a key to winning the match."
Falemaka's 12 kills tied for the match-high with 12 apiece from the Falcons' Akokwe Clement and Rachael Bradley Powers. Besides the kills, Falemaka chipped in three total blocks (one solo) and one assist to go along with her 14 digs. The double-double was the 26th of her career and eighth of the year.
Westman and Katlin Winters threw down 11 kills each in the win. Westman hit .391 to Winters' .375, while the latter had three assisted blocks.
Daryn Glenn rounded out the quartet of Rebels in kill double digits with 10 of her own. She also added five digs, one ace and one assisted block.
Julia Topor performed well on both sides of the net with eight kills, a match-high .400 hitting average and six assisted blocks.
Of the 50 kills recorded by the Rebel hitters Stephanie Thelen assisted on 47 of them. Thelen fell one dig shy - for the second straight match - for a double-double with her nine. She also had three kills and one assisted block.
Besides the defensive effort at the net by Westman, Topor and Winters, the back row was patrolled by Allison Davies, who had a match-best 17 digs.
The Falcons got a double-double from Hillary Keltner, who coupled team highs of 38 assists and 12 digs for the feat.
UNLV is back in action on Saturday night in Albuquerque against the New Mexico Lobos. First serve is scheduled for 7:00 pm MT (6:00 pm PT).