Five-Gamer Goes To The Utes
Nov. 18, 2005
LAS VEGAS - The UNLV Rebels (14-13, 10-5 MWC) jumped out to an early 2-0 lead against Utah (19-7, 11-4 MWC) Friday night in the Cox Pavilion, but watched as the Utes fought back to even the score at two and then take the decisive fifth-game. With the 22-30, 30-32, 30-16, 30-24, 15-13 loss, the Rebels fall out of a second-place tie with Utah. Following tonight's Mountain West Conference play, UNLV sits in fourth with one match remaining, while Utah and Colorado State have identical 11-4 league marks.
Friday night's affair was hotly contested as UNLV fell behind the visiting Utes early in the first two games all to turn the tables and push to a 2-0 lead. In game one, the Rebels faced a six-point deficit at 10-4, but came back to even things up at 13. With the score knotted at 17, UNLV broke away and won 13 of the following 18 points. In the second game, Utah held a four-point edge at 28-24 and three game-points at 29-26, 29-27 and 29-28, before UNLV rattled off the next six of seven points.
The match turned out to be a tale of two halves as Utah's attackers made a big difference between games three through five. The Utes ran out of the gate with a 10-4 lead and never looked back en route to their 30-16 win. In the fourth game, Utah fluctuated between six- and seven-point leads before taking the game 30-24.
The fifth and final game was back and forth up through the first 10-points (5-5). UNLV took advantage of four-straight kills from Maria Aladjova to take a 9-5 lead. The Rebels held a three-point lead (13-10) and were two-points away from taking the match when Utah rallied with four kills and an attacking error by UNLV. Airial Salvo was responsible for points 12, 14 and 15 as she nailed three of her 17 kills to end the game and match.
In the match, there was only one game in which the team with the highest hitting percentage did not win that game (game two, UNLV hit .190 to Utah's .218). Utah out hit UNLV .256-to-.159 in percentages and in kills 82-to-72.
The Rebels were led by double-doubles by Melody Nua and Michelle Banks. Nua collected 60 assists and 11 digs, while Banks registered 10 kills and 18 digs. On the year, Nua has seven double-doubles to Banks' eight.
Lauren Miramontes topped all Rebels in kills for the 14th time this season, as she collected 20 in a career-high 68 attempts. aladjova followed closely behind with 18 kills of her own. A season-high 104 digs were picked up by the Rebel backline as Jada Walker led the way with 27. Brittani Lumsden (21), Banks (18), Camille Cunningham (15) and Nua's 11 rounded out those in double-figures.
Utah had six players register kills with five hitting in double-digits with Shelly Sommerfeldt throwing down a match-high 24. Emillie Toon hit for the highest attacking percentage with a .464 (15-2-28). Shannon Krug registered (75) all but three of Utah's 78 assists. Three Utes tallied double-digits in digs with Danielle Leichliter leading the way with 28. Sommerfeldt and Salvo tied for second with 20, apiece.
Next up for UNLV is its final regular season home match of the season. The 22nd-ranked BYU Cougars come to Las Vegas following their 3-0 sweep at San Diego State on Friday night. With the win, BYU wins the MWC regular season title outright. The Cougars own a 22-2 overall mark and are 13-2 in league play.