It's A Wrap
Feb. 9, 2012
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) -
FINAL SERVE: The UNLV Rebels closed out its season with a Cinderalla-like run through the 2011 Mountain West Volleyball Championship. UNLV entered the three-day tournament as the seventh seed and worked its way to the championship match for the second time in program history. The Rebels swept past the second-seeded San Diego State Aztecs in straight sets (3-0) to advance out of the quarterfinal round. The Scarlet and Gray then rallied from a 1-0 deficit to knock off the third-seeded TCU Horned Frogs in the semifinals. Unfortunately, UNLV's magical run came to an end when it lost to the top-seeded Colorado State Rams in the championship match.
By virtue of reaching the tournament's finale, UNLV became the lowest seeded team to qualify for the MW Championship since the Utah Utes did so as the fifth seed in 2007. Coincidentally, the Rebels were the Utes opponent in that '07 championship match, which saw UNLV win its first and only MW title.
DUO TABBED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT SQUAD: The UNLV Rebels had two of its own, Candice Thomas and Stephanie Thelen (designated setter) named to the 2011 Mountain West Volleyball Championship All-Tournament Team following the squad's play in the three-day competition.
Thomas led the Rebels in hitting efficiency with a .368 average and in kills with 35. She had at least six kills in all three matches and topped out with a career-best 20 vs. TCU (Nov. 19). Besides contributing offensively, Thomas had seven blocks and four digs.
Thelen led UNLV in assists (109) and assists per set (10.90). She dished out 19 or more helpers in all three contests and tied her season and career high with 56 against TCU (Nov. 19). She also added 21 digs, nine blocks, seven kills and two aces.
WESTMAN EARNS ALL-CONFERENCE HONORS: UNLV's Madeline Westman was named to the 2011 Mountain West All-Conference Team, as selected by the league's eight head coaches.
Westman led the Rebels in hitting (.323), total blocks (62) and assisted blocks (50) in conference play. She finished second on the squad in kills (135) and solo blocks (12). In 14 league matches, she threw down at least five kills 13 times and hit .250 or better in 12 outings. For the year, she led the team in all three blocking categories and hitting efficiency (.300) this season.
SEVEN EARN ACADEMIC RECOGNITION: The UNLV volleyball program had seven student-athletes named to the 2011 Fall Academic All-Mountain West Conference Team, including two repeat selections, the league announced.
The Rebels on the list included Allison Davies (3.94, undeclared), Sekola Falemaka (3.06, undeclared), Daryn Glenn (3.46, undeclared), Taylor Richard (3.26, criminal justice), Stephanie Thelen (3.09, undeclared), Madeline Westman (3.90, communication studies) and Layne Wilson (3.70, hospitality management). Davies, Glenn, Richard, Thelen and Wilson are first-time honorees, while Falemaka and Westman were recognized last year, as well.
To be eligible for selection, student-athletes must have completed at least one academic term at the member institution while maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better, and be a starter or significant contributor on their athletic team.
RECORD BOOK RAMBLINGS: The UNLV Rebels have had five players either alter the program's record book this season.
Madeline Westman -Career: Ranks fifth in total blocks (257); sixth in hitting efficiency (.268) and assisted blocks (219) ; and seventh in solo blocks (39). -Season: Total blocks - third (107 in 2011) and seventh (123 in 2010); assisted blocks - fourth (112 in '11) and fifth (107 in '10); solo blocks - eighth (22 in '11); and hitting efficiency - eighth (.290 in '11).