Air Force Grounded
Oct. 16, 2004
Las Vegas - Mariana Pencheva knocked down 13 kills to lead a balanced UNLV offensive attack as the Rebels beat Air Force in three games, 30-18, 30-20 and 30-23, Friday night at Cox Pavilion. It was the 15th win in 17 matches for the Rebels against the Falcons, as UNLV improved to 9-7 on the year, 3-3 in the Mountain West Conference. Air Force lost for the eighth consecutive match to fall to 4-12, 0-6 in the MWC.
UNLV was in command from the opening serve, as the Rebels attacked with great efficiency. In the first game UNLV had a .257 attacking percentage and held the Falcons to a -.125, in the second the Rebels hit a season-high .679 and in the third they hit a solid .263.
In the first game Air Force kept it close early on, trailing by only two points at 9-7. UNLV then used a 13-2 run to put the game out of reach as the Rebels got four kills from Maria Aladjova and two from Pencheva. With the score 22-10 after the Rebels' big run, the teams traded points until UNLV won 30-18.
It was more of the same in the second game, as the Rebels got an early 10-5 lead, helped by two kills from sophomore Lauren Miramontes. UNLV was never threatened in the game, as the Rebels drilled 19 kills and didn't commit an error on their way to a game two win.
The Rebels raced out to a 13-2 lead in game three behind three kills from Aladjova and sophomore Kandance Scarlett's second and third kills of the year. Air Force clawed back into the game though, creeping to within 26-20. That would be as close as the Falcons would get as the Rebels got a kill from Pencheva, two points from Falcon errors and then closed the match on Pencheva's final kill of the night.
Aladjova joined Pencheva in double-digits in kills with 12, the seventh consecutive match that she has reached at least 10 kills. Brittani Lumsden had nine kills, Miramontes seven and Tarin Keith chipped in six for the Rebels, who rotated players in and out of the lineup throughout the match. Senior setter Nicki King finished the match with 35 assists, six digs and four kills.
Molly White led the Falcons with 14 kills while Carly Siefken had 24 assists.
UNLV will wrap up homecoming festivities as they host New Mexico on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. (PST) in the Cox Pavilion.