Rebels Serve It Up This Weekend
The Rebels open up the 2007 season at home this weekend with the UNLV Tournament.
The Rebels open up the 2007 season at home this weekend with the UNLV Tournament.

Aug. 22, 2007


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First Serve: The UNLV Rebels serve up their 2007 season this weekend with its own tournament on Friday, Aug. 24 and Saturday, Aug. 25. The Rebels will welcome the Arizona State Sun Devils, Texas Tech Red Raiders and Virginia Cavaliers to Las Vegas and the Cox Pavilion. All four teams will play three games apiece with one each on Friday and two each on Saturday.

UNLV and Arizona State will square off at 7:00 pm Friday evening following the conclussion of the Texas Tech vs. Virginia match (4:30 pm). On Saturday, the Sun Devils and Cavaliers open up action bright and early at 10:00 am and will be followed by the Rebels and Red Raiders at noon. After a few hours away from the court, the Red Raiders and Sun Devils play their final match at 4:30 pm. The Cavaliers and Rebels conclude the tournament with a 7:00 pm contest.

Note: A tournament central page can be found on the lower rightside of the volleyball page on There you will find a full tournament schedule, as well as, links to follow all matches live through GameTracker. Also, all UNLV home matches for the tournament can be viewed live via the "Video" link on the volleyball schedule page.

2007 UNLV Tournament Schedule: Friday, August 24 4:30 pm Virginia vs. Texas Tech 7:00 pm UNLV vs. Arizona State

Saturday, August 25 10:00 am Arizona State vs. Virginia 12:00 pm UNLV vs. Texas Tech 4:30 pm Texas Tech vs. Arizona State 7:00 pm UNLV vs. Virginia

2007 Rebel Outlook: Under the direction of fourth-year head coach Allison Keeley, the UNLV volleyball program appears to be headed in the right direction.

Following back-to-back 15-win seasons in 2004 and 2005, the Rebels broke out in 2006 with a 20-win performance. That 20-10 mark qualified for the third-best record in program history.

After three straight fourth place finishes in Mountain West Conference action, the Rebels look to improve upon their back-to-back 10-win seasons in league play.

The 2007 Rebels return 10 members of the 2006 squad and welcome eight newcomers to the program. The program returns six starters from last season, while only losing one key starter (Kristin Koochi).

The two main losses from the 2006 squad were to eligibility fulfillment for Koochi and Michelle Banks.

The 2007 edition returns 83% of its attacking prowess from last season. The top five kill specialists are back, led by Maria Aladjova's 402 tallies. The remaining four attacking Rebels are: Lauren Miramontes, Brittani Lumsden, Erin Greenwood and Jessica Walters.

The 2007 squad returns only 72% of its assisting totals with the loss of Koochi. Melody Nua returns and looks to lead the Rebels in department for the third straight season.

On the defensive side of the ball, the team returns 85% of its dig tally and 88% of its block ing. Jada Walker has reset the UNLV single-season record book the past three seasons and looks to up it once more in 2007. At the net, Miramontes and Greenwood head up the group of players that led the team in blocks last year.

Returning Rebels - Seniors: The Rebels have four seniors on the 2007 squad and those four will help lead the way. Aladjova, Miramontes and Walker were named to the 2006 Mountain West All-Conference Team and will be joined by Lumsden.

Aladjova, an outside hitter, returns for her fourth season as a Rebel. Besides being named to the all-conference squad, she was a one-time MWC Player of the Week and was named to two in-season tournament teams. Besides leading the team in kills, she was tops in kills per game (3.83) and total attempts (1,158), while playing in all 30 matches. She posted 20 career double-doubles, including 14 in 2006 and in 83 matches, she has tallied double-digits in kills on 65 occasions.

Miramontes, a middle blocker, returns for her fifth season as a Rebel. After suffering an injury during the 2003 season, she has been a force at the net. Besides being named to the all-conference squad, she was named to two in-season tournament teams. She led the team in hitting percentage (.273) and blocks per game (1.02). Last season, she notched her first career double-double en route to tallying 260 kills (3.06 per game) and 102 total blocks (13 solo, 89 assisted).

Jada Walker, a libero, returns for her fourth season as a Rebel. The defensive player has supadded to her own total as the all-time career leader in digs the past two seasons. After taking over the category in 2004, she has one-upped herself the past two years. In 2006, she tallied 532 digs, while playing in all 30 matches. She also contributed 44 assists and 22 aces.

Lumsden, an outside hitter, returns for her fourth season as a Rebel. Last season, she was named the Mountain West Player of the Week once for her MVP efforts in the UNLV Invitational. She finished 2006 with 256 kills and a 3.05 per game average in 25 matches. Defensively, she posted 172 digs and 30 total blocks. In her career, she has recorded 25 double-doubles, including six last season. In 82 matches, she has amassed double-digits in kills 41 times.

Returning Rebels - Juniors: The Rebels have three juniors on the 2007 squad with Nua leading the way with Camille Cunningham and Gerryn Moran in the mix.

Nua, a setter, was named to the UNLV Invitational All-Tournament Team. She led the Rebels in assists (944) and assists per game (8.99), while tallying no less than 14 assists in each match. She played in all 30 matches last season. In her career, she has recorded double-digits in assists in all 60 matches played and in digs 16 times.

Cunningham, a defensive specialist, played in all 30 matches and racked up 271 digs, 20 assists and 12 aces.

Moran, an outside hitter, saw action in four matches. She tallied three kills and one dig in eight games.

Returning Rebels - Sophomores: The Rebels have three sophomores on the 2007 squad with Greenwood, Samantha Noland and Jessica Walters rounding out the returners.

Greenwood, a middle blocker, racked up team-highs in block assists (94) and total blocks (103). She put back nine blocks by herself. She played in all 30 matches, with a total of 196 kills, six assists and eight aces.

Noland, a middle blocker, played in 25 matches and amassed 80 kills and 70 total blocks (14 solo, 56 assisted). She dished out seven assists, as well.

Walters, an outside hitter, played in 25 matches and threw down 156 kills and had 102 digs. She assisted on 21 kills and served up six aces. She had 34 blocks (three solo).

New Rebels: Keeley has brought in the largest freshman class since she arrived in Las Vegas. Keeley has reeled in eight newcomers. Joining the mix will be three outside hitters, three liberos, one middle blocker and one setter.

The outside hitters are Kelsey Keeler (Concord, Calif.), Sara Nehf (Centennial, Colo.) and Saulie-Ann Wong (Hanapepe, Hawaii).

The liberos are Kela Lau Hee (Pukalani, Hawaii), Tabitha Mabrey (Coeur d'Alene, Idaho) and Jeralynn Makaiwi (Las Vegas, Nev.).

The middle blocker is Mercedes Winchester (Walnut, Calif.), while the lone setter is Alyssa Erickson (San Marcos, Calif.).

2007 Schedule: The 2007 UNLV volleyball schedule includes three tournaments and a total of 26 regular-season contests. The three tournaments are the UNLV Tournament (Aug. 24-25), Loyola Marymount's Four Points Sheraton LAX Classic (Sept. 1-2) in Los Angeles, Calif., and then Nevada, Reno's AT&T Invitational (Sept. 8-9) in Reno, Nev.

Following the three tournaments, the Rebels will play 17 matches with 16 of them against Mountain West Conference foes. The lone non-conference match will be at Santa Clara on Sept. 23.

UNLV opens conference action in the Cox Pavilion on Sept. 13 and 15 against BYU and Utah, respectively. After hosting the Beehive State institutions, the Rebels hit the road for three straight matches, with San Diego State leading the way on Sept. 21. The team then heads up to Santa Clara and then to Colorado State (Sept. 29) before coming home.

After its three-match road swing, the team will then play a schedule of two at home and then two on the road with the regular season concluding at Utah and BYU on Nov. 16 and 17, respectively.

The Rebels will play host to the Mountain West Conference Volleyball Championships on Nov. 21-24 for the third straight year.

Breaking down the 2007 opponents, the Rebels will be playing six squads that advanced to the 2006 NCAA Tournament. Three of the six came from the MWC (BYU, Colorado State and Utah), while the remaining three were: Arizona State, UC Santa Barbara and Santa Clara. Utah and BYU closed out the 2006 season ranked 15th and 20th, respectively, in the AVCA's Final Top 25 Poll. Santa Clara was receiving votes in the final poll, as well.



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