Rebels Suffer Tough Loss To #12 Rams
Oct. 17, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV volleyball team suffered a heartbreaking, 3-2 loss to the nationally ranked Colorado State Rams on Thursday night at the Cox Pavilion. After dropping the first two sets to begin the match, the Rebels awoke after intermission with wins in the third and fourth frames that forced a decisive fifth stanza. Unfortunately, #12 CSU took the match by set scores of 25-12, 25-21, 27-29, 22-25, 15-13 to stay undefeated on the year with a perfect 16-0 overall mark and 7-0 showing in Mountain West play. With the loss, UNLV falls to 10-7 on the year and 5-2 in the conference.
The Rams outhit the Rebels by 82 points (.197-.115) and tallied seven more kills (64-57) and committed seven fewer errors (28-35) off nine less swings (183-192). CSU opened the bout with a staggering .458 hitting effort before it stayed within a range of .222 (third set) and .115 (fourth) the remainder of the match. UNLV, on the other hand, hit .000 or below in the first two frames only to see it top out with a .282 in the third.
"To come back on a team like that, that's undefeated and 12th in the country, I'm really proud of them for that comeback," said Rebel head coach Cindy Fredrick. "It's phenomenal. It's really hard to do. But I'm really disappointed we let a 12-9 lead go in the fifth game when you're at home. You've got to learn how to close that out. You've got to learn to finish. We didn't do that, but I'm still really proud of them for coming back and that's hard to do. This was one of those where as a coach you look at it where you're proud of your kids for the comeback, but you also look at it and say, we should've been able to finish. They're disappointed for that and I'm disappointed, as well."
After opening up with a listless opening set, the Scarlet & Gray began to show more energy in the second. The Rebels held as much as a three-point lead early in the second until CSU rattled off four straight points to gain a lead it would never relinquish. UNLV pulled within one score on a couple of occasion, but the Rams built as much as a six-point cushion - 18-12 juncture - before winning the frame by four.
The momentum of the match swung to the Rebels once they stepped on the court to start the third set. They lead from the get-go with three ties sprinkled in the mix until the stanza was deadlocked a fourth time at 21-all. The Rams then worked their way to having a trio of set- and match-point opportunities only to see UNLV fight back each moment. The Rebels then pulled even at 25-all and had three set-points of their own before winning it by a 29-27 score.
The fourth began with CSU holding the lead until UNLV pulled even at 6-all before it put some breathing room between itself and its opponent. Once the Rebels took the lead at the 8-7 mark, they never looked back.
The Rams started the fifth with three different three-point leads only to witness a Rebel rally. UNLV trailed by two at the 9-7 mark, but fought back with five consecutive points to stake itself to a 12-9 lead. Unfortunately, CSU countered with a five-point swing of its own to hand itself another set- and match-point chance at 14-12. UNLV managed to live for another point when a Michelle Lawrence misfired on an attack moments before Adrianna Cuthbert sealed the win for CSU with a kill.
The Rebels' offense was paced by 20 kills from Sekola Falemaka and 11 more from Ceannia Kincade. The former had nine kills and two total blocks (one solo) to the latter's nine digs, five assisted blocks, one assist and one ace.
"When Ceannia came in to play - beginning in the third set, I said I'm playing Ceannia. She came in and I told her that she deserved a lot of kudos tonight because that's how what you want someone to do exactly what she did. She played great defense. She passed well. She served well. She hit well and blocked well. You can't ask for from a player than what she did tonight."
Defensively, UNLV had a threesome notch double-digits digs with Daryn Glenn's 24 - a season- and career-best - leading all players in the match. Besides her dig total, Glenn also added seven kills, three assisted blocks and two assists. Allison Davies and Carly Riehl rounded out those with 10 or more digs with their 17 and 11, respectively.
At the net, Madeline Westman had nine kills off a .444 night of hitting to go along with three assisted blocks, two digs and two aces, while Katlin Winters threw down seven kills and registered a season- and career-high 11 total blocks (one solo).
Stephanie Thelen had 49 of the team's 53 assists in the match. Thelen also had four digs, three assisted blocks and one ace.
CSU got a double-double from its setter Deedra Foss, who combined 54 assists with 16 digs to achieve the feat. Marlee Reynolds led the Rams in kills with 16, while Jaime Colaizzi had a team-high 22 digs. Samantha Peters matched Winter's blocking output with 11 total blocks of her own - one of which was of the solo variety.
UNLV returns to the court on Saturday evening when the Wyoming Cowgirls come to town. The match is set for a 7:00 pm first serve and it is the volleyball program's "Breast Cancer Awareness Night."
NOTES: Winters' 11 total blocks are the most by a Rebel since Amanda Alles had 11 of her own (six solo and five assisted) on Nov. 13, 2010 against Utah ... With help from her 49 assists, Thelen became only the fourth Rebel setter to crack the 2,000 assist barrier ... Thelen has 2,025 for her career ... With help from her 63 attempts, Falemaka moved up to ninth place (2,230) in UNLV's career record book ... With help from her nine digs, Falemaka moved up into a 10th-place tie (777) with Meri-de Boyer (1996-98) in UNLV's career record book ... With help from her nine kills, Westman moved up into a ninth-place tie (879) with Sara Nehf (2007-10) in UNLV's career record book.