Two Tourneys Down, One To Go
 
Jada Walker and the Rebels play in Reno, Nev., this weekend at the AT&T Invitational.
Jada Walker and the Rebels play in Reno, Nev., this weekend at the AT&T Invitational.
 
 
 

Sept. 6, 2007

LAS VEGAS -

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First Serve: After going 3-0 away from the friendly confines of the Cox Pavilion last weekend at the Four Points Sheraton LAX Classic hosted by Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, the Rebels hit the road once again this weekend. UNLV heads up to Reno, Nev., for the AT&T Invitational hosted by Nevada, Reno. Joining the host Wolf Pack (2-2) and Rebels (5-1) in "The Biggest Little City in the World" will be Washington State (7-1) and Hofstra (5-1).

2007 AT&T Invitational Schedule:

Friday, September 7
4:30 pm	Washington State vs. Hofstra
7:00 pm	Nevada, Reno vs. UNLV

Saturday, September 1 10:00 am Washington State vs. UNLV 12:00 pm Nevada, Reno vs. Hofstra 5:00 pm UNLV vs. Hofstra 7:00 pm Nevada, Reno vs. Washington State

Follow all of the AT&T Invitational here or you can link to the UNLV volleyball schedule page here.

Looking Back: After taking the UNLV Tournament champion honors the opening weekend of the 2007 season the Rebels carried over their winning ways in Los Angeles, this past weekend. UNLV went a perfect 3-0 en route to winning the Four Points Sheraton LAX Classic hosted by Loyola Marymount. The Classic wound up having a true championship match after UNLV and LMU waltzed into the finale with identical 2-0 marks after each disposed of UC Santa Barbara and Northwestern. Ultimately, the Rebels needed only four games to take care of the Lions en route to the championship.

UNLV's Melody Nua took home MVP honors for her play in the Classic. Nua fell on dig shy versus Northwestern of tallying three double-doubles. She assisted on 156 kills for a 13.00 assists-per-game average, while registering 40 digs (3.33 dpg).

Lauren Miramontes and Jessica Walters joined Nua on the all-tournament team. Miramontes' selection is the second for her this season after being named to the UNLV Tournament's team. This is the first for Walters. Miramontes led the Rebels with 51 kills for a team-best kills-per-game average of 4.25. She also led the team in total blocks with nine (six solo). Walters nailed down 44 kills (3.67 kpg) and had 40 digs (3.33 dpg).

In the Rebels first match of the Classic, they faced a familiar face in UC Santa Barbara. The Rebels got their second-straight win over the Gauchos with scores of 30-25, 27-30, 30-21, 30-27. UNLV jumped out to a 1-0 lead, but watched as UCSB evened things up at 1-1 before the intermission. The Rebels took the third game handily and then closed out the match with a win in the fourth. UNLV hit at a .222 clip to UCSB's .158 average.

The Rebels were led offensively by double-doubles registered by Nua (59 assists, 16 digs), Maria Aladjova (23 kills, 28 digs) and Walters (10 kills, 11 digs). Miramontes dropped in 20 kills in the win. Defensively, Aladjova's 28 digs were a match-high, while Jada Walker followed closely behind with 25 of her own.

Against Northwestern on Saturday morning, the Rebels took the victory in their first-ever meeting with the Wildcats. UNLV won the match by scores of 30-28, 30-24, 25-30, 30-27. The Rebels took games one and two for a 2-0 lead into the break, but watched NU cut the deficit down to one with a win in the third frame. UNLV ended the match with a win in the fourth. UNLV was out-hit .215 to .166 and only tallied a higher hitting percentage in one of the games (.417 to .233 in the second).

The Rebels were led offensively by double-doubles by Aladjova (12 kills, 11 digs) and Walters (12 kills, 21 digs). Miramontes nailed down a team-high 17 kills, as well. Defensively, Walters' 21 digs tied for the match-high, while Walker contributed 19 and Camille Cunningham had 14.

In the championship match of the Classic, UNLV took its third-straight match by a 3-1 score. The Rebels needed a bit of extra time to take care the Lions, as games one and two were pushed to 32-30 and 34-32 tallies. The Lions got the best of the Rebels in the third frame with a 30-16 score. UNLV rebounded its third two-point win with a 30-28 victory in the fourth. In a statistical oddity, the Rebels found a way to win all three of their games while being out-hit in each of them.

Nua (48 assists, 15 digs) and Aladjova (15 kills, 17 digs) registered double-doubles against LMU. Walters fell two digs shy of a double-double with eight, but nailed down a team-best 22 kills. Walker led all players in the match with 29 digs.

The Start: UNLV began the year with a 2-1 showing in week one, but improved upon that with a 3-0 record in week two. In both weekends, the Rebels won both tournaments (UNLV Tournament and Four Points Sheraton LAX Classic) that they played in. Overall, the 5-1 record sits tied for the second-best in program history (since the rebirth of the program in 1996) and tied with 1997 and 1998. First place goes to 1999 with a 6-0 record.

After this weekend of play at the AT&T Invitational in Reno, Nev., the Rebels will have participated in nine contests. Since 1996, the best nine-match start to a season is 7-2, which was accomplished in 1997, 1999 and 2006.

Just Setting Around: After two weekends of play, Melody Nua has added two tournament MVP titles to her list of accomplishments. In week one, at the UNLV Tournament, Nua assisted on 133 kills, while averaging 13.30 assists-per-game. This past weekend, at the Four Points Sheraton LAX Classic, she racked up two double-doubles (UC Santa Barbara and Loyola Marymount) and fell one dig shy of notching a third, with her main responsibility of assisting 156 kills (13.00 apg).

So far this season, she has registered no less than 41 assists in any match and is averaging 13.14 assists-per-game. Overall, she has registered 289 assists with a season-high of 59 coming against UC Santa Barbara (Aug. 31).

In her three-year career as a Rebel, she now has 18 career double-doubles after registering two more this past weekend. Against UCSB, she had 59 assists and 16 digs and against LMU, she had 48 assists and 15 digs. She has also hit double-digit assists in all 66 matches in which she has played.

Overall, she sits third in the all-time career assists chart with 2,605 helpers.

Ala-Board: After two weekends of play, Maria Aladjova has shown why she is the Rebels' main outside threat. Through six matches of play, she has registered five double-doubles. On the year, she trails Lauren Miramontes for the lead in kills by only one with 91 of her own. She is averaging 4.14 kills-per-game and hitting at a .215 clip. She has provided offensively in other ways with six assists and seven aces to boot. Defensively, she is second on the team in digs with 88 and has even tallied eight blocks (one solo).

This past weekend, in the first match of the Four Points Sheraton LAX Classic, she registered match-highs with 23 kills and 28 digs. The 23 kills fell five short of tying her career high of 28 set back in 2004 against Utah Valley State (Sept. 25), but the 28 digs are a career-best.

She has hit in the .300 range in three of her six matches played with a season-best .355 coming against Virginia. Against the Cavaliers, she had 14 kills and only three errors in 35 attempts. The other two .300 matches were against Texas Tech (.333) and UC Santa Barbara (.300).For her career she now has reached double-digits in kills 71 times and in digs 24 times. Overall, she has tallied 25 double-doubles. She sits second in UNLV's career record book in kills with 1,227.

Mira-Mira On The Ball: Lauren Miramontes earned all-tournament team honors in back-to-back tourneys to kick off the 2007 season. After helping the team to a 2-1 mark and championship in the UNLV Tournament, she aided in the 3-0 championship effort in the Four Points Sheraton LAX Classic hosted by Loyola Marymount this past weekend.

In the UNLV Tournament, she threw down 41 kills for a 4.10 kills-per-game average. She one upped herself after the LMU Tournament with 51 kills (4.25 kpg). On the year, she has 92 kills for a 4.18 kpg. She has hit at least 11+ kills in all six matches this season, with a season-best of 20 coming against UC Santa Barbara (Aug. 31).

She has three matches in which she has hit higher than .241. Her .407 tally against Arizona State in the opening match is her best to date. Against the Sun Devils, she only committed one error in 27 attempts, while knocking down 12 kills.

Defensively, she is can create for the Rebels. On the year, she leads the team with nine total blocks. Of those nine blocks, six have come via the solo variety. This past weekend, she registered three solo blocks against each UCSB (Aug. 31) and LMU (Sept. 1). She has tallied four total blocks on two occasions (ASU - Aug. 24 and UCSB - Sept. 1).

For her career she now has 57 double-digit kill matches. She sits fourth in UNLV's career record book in kills with 1,070 and third in blocks with 313.

Greener Pastures: Through two weekends of play, Erin Greenwood leads the Rebels in hitting percentage with a .283 average. Greenwood has totaled 37 kills with only nine errors in 99 total attempts. She has hit no worse than .200 in any of her six matches, with three matches having figures above .300. Her best tally to-date is .444 (5-1-9) against Virginia (Aug. 25) in the UNLV Tournament. She hit at a .353 clip in her last match in the LMU Tournament with seven kills and only one error in 17 attempts. On the year, her highest kill total is 10 against Texas Tech on Aug. 25.

At the net, she is second on the team in blocks with a total of 15 (four solo). All four of her solo blocks this season came against UC Santa Barbara (Aug. 31). She has two matches with five total blocks (Virginia - Aug. 25 and UCSB - Aug. 31).

Walking On Sunshine: Jada Walker, the all-time career leader in digs at UNLV, has registered 147 digs on the year for a 6.68 digs-per-game average. Walker earned all-tournament team honors in the first weekend of action at the UNLV Tournament. In that first weekend, she stopped 74 opponent attacks, including a UNLV single-match record of 34 against Arizona State. At the Four Points Sheraton LAX Classic, she amassed 73 digs in helping the Rebels to a 3-0 mark.

Thus far in 2007, she has totaled at least 13 digs in every match. Four of her six matches have totals in the 20+ range.

Although, she is known more for her defensive prowess, she has shown signs of offense, too. She notched her only kill of the season against Virginia (Aug. 25). In each of her six matches played she has assisted on at least one kill and set a season-best of three on two occasions (Arizona State - Aug. 25 and Loyola Marymount - Sept. 1). She has served up five aces with a season-best two coming against ASU.

For her career she now has 1,576 career digs and keeps adding to her own record. She is ninth in career aces with a total of 71.

Mor-an Meets The Eye: Gerryn Moran has had a hectic journey through her collegiate volleyball career. Moran started off at UC Riverside in 2004, but only played in eight matches for the Highlanders. She then transferred to the Xavier University of Louisiana (NAIA) only to be displaced by Hurricane Katrina. She finally settled at UNLV in 2006, but only saw action in four matches (eight games).

Through two weekends of play, she has played in six matches and registered 25 kills (1.67 kpg). She has hit a career-best of nine in two matches (Arizona State - Aug. 24 and Virginia - Aug. 25).

Defensively, she has totaled 31 digs (2.07 dpg) with a career-best 13 coming against Virginia (Aug. 25).

The Camille-ion: Camille Cunningham has become a defensive specialist that the Rebels can count on. Although, UNLV has Jada Walker as the libero, Cunningham has done a good job of getting a fare share of the dig totals, as well.

Through six matches, she has 77 digs for an average of 3.50 dpg. Included in the 77 digs are a career-best 22 notched against Virginia on Aug. 25. She had three-straight matches of double-digit kills that included Virginia, UC Santa Barbara and Northwestern.

Offensively, she has thrown down two kills (one each vs. Texas Tech and Northwestern). She has a total of 10 assists on the year with a career-high of four coming against UCSB (Aug. 31). She has served up four aces with two landing safely against Texas Tech (Aug. 25).

Glamour Shots: After seeing little action in the UNLV Tournament, Jessica Walters warmed up quickly in the Four Points Sheraton LAX Classic this past weekend. She left Las Vegas with four kills on the season (all against Virginia on Aug. 24) and came back with 44 more. Over the weekend, she nailed down double-digit kill figures in all three matches, including a career-best 22 vs. Loyola Marymount (Sept. 1).

Not only did she rack up the kill tallies, but she registered some good hitting numbers, as well. Against UC Santa Barbara (Aug. 31), she hit .318 (10-3-22) and stayed in a close range with a .276 (Northwestern - Sept. 1) and .286 (Loyola Marymount - Sept. 1).

In the UCSB and Northwestern matches she picked up double-doubles by adding 11 and 21 digs, respectively, to her stat line. The 21 digs vs. Northwestern are a career-best. Overall, she now has six career double-doubles.

Sam I Am: Samantha "Sam" Noland has stayed between two figures this season in the kill department - five and six. Noland has racked up five kills on three occasions and has hit six kills just as many times. The six kills have come against Texas Tech and Virginia on Aug. 25 and on Sept. 1, vs. Loyola Marymount.

Her best hitting percentage on the year came in the first match against Arizona State (Aug. 24). She hit .444 with five kills and one error in nine attempts.

At the net, she has thrown up 12 blocks (five solo). Her block total ranks as the third-most on the squad. Eight of her overall blocks came this past weekend in the Four Points Sheraton LAX Classic, including two solo blocks against both UC Santa Barbara (Aug. 31) and Loyola Marymount (Sept. 1).

 

 

 
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