Rebels Return Home To Open Up MWC Play
Jessica Walters and the Rebels return home for the first time after bing on the road the past two weekends.
Jessica Walters and the Rebels return home for the first time after bing on the road the past two weekends.

Sept. 11, 2007


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First Serve: The UNLV Rebels head into Mountain West Conference play with a record of 8-1 and the winners of three straight tournaments. Inside of that 8-1 mark is a seven-match winning streak. UNLV will open up MWC action against #12 BYU on Thursday, Sept. 13 at 7:00 pm, while Utah follows on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 1:00 pm. After playing nine non-conference contests, the Rebels have 17 matches remaining (one non-conference against Santa Clara and 16 MWC tilts).

Week Four Opponents:

BYU Cougars: 6-2 overall, 0-0 MWC (Predicted MWC Finish - 1st). BYU leads the all-time series 20-2, including 10 straight dating back to 2002. BYU is led by Chelsea Goodman (132 kills, 113 digs, 18 blocks); Erica Lott (101 kills, 10 aces, 84 digs, 27 blocks) and Rachel Dyer (100 kills, 33 blocks). Kiana Rogers leads the team in assists with 299, while Annie Pinegar is tips on the Cougars in digs with 141.

Utah Utes: 2-5 overall, 0-0 MWC (Predicted MWC Finish - 3rd) Utah leads the all-time series 23-1, including 19 straight dating back to 1999. Utah is led by Kathryn Haynie (98 kills, nine aces, 38 digs, 19 blocks) and Whitney Webb (96 kills, 72 digs, 29 blocks). Lori Baird leads the team in blocks with 42. Keisha Fisher leads the team in assists with 311, while Connie Dangerfield leads in digs with 136.

Looking Back: The Rebels went 3-0 this past weekend in the AT&T Invitational in Reno, Nev. The Rebels played only 10 games and won nine of them. The team defeated in-state rival and the host of the tournament Nevada, Reno 3-1 on Friday, Sept. 7, and followed that up with sweeps of Washington State and Hofstra on Saturday, Sept. 8.



It was the third straight tournament championship claimed by the Rebels, while Melody Nua was named the MVP in all three tourneys. Lauren Miramontes was selected to all three tournament teams, while Maria Aladjova took home honors for the first time.

In the first match, the Rebels fell behind UNR after the first game, but fought back to win three consecutive games to claim the victory. UNLV won the match by scores of 26-30, 30-17, 30-27, 30-16. UNLV out-hit UNR .261-to.162 in the match.

The Rebels had four attackers reach double-digit kill figures with Jessica Walters leading the way with 20. Aladjova contributed 18, while Miramontes notched 17. Samantha Noland rounded out the foursome with 10 of her own.

Melody Nua assisted on 38 kills, while Alyssa Erickson had nine to Camille Cunningham's eight.

Aladjova notched a double-double thanks to her match-high 23 digs. Jada Walker fell one dig shy of tying Aladjova with 22. Cunningham provided 17.

Against Washington State, the Rebels handily defeated the Cougars. UNLV hit higher than .195 in all three of its games, while WSU failed to hit above .190 in its three. Overall, UNLV out-hit WSU .257-to-.094. UNLV won with scores of 30-19, 30-22, 30-26.

Aladjova, Miramontes and Walters reached double-digit kills numbers with 16, 12 and 10, respectively.

Nua racked up a double-double with 35 assists and 10 digs. Walker tied for the match-lead in digs with 11.

In UNLV's final match, the Rebels disposed of the Hofstra Pride in three by scores of 30-25, 33-31, 30-27. UNLV out-hit Hofstra by a margin of .309-to-.236. The Rebels never dipped below .204, as they hit for .317 in game one and .408 in the second. HU stayed within .167 and .294.

Walters, Miramontes and Aladjova notched double-digit kills with 15, 13 and 11, respectively.

Nua fell two digs shy of a double-double with 40 assists and eight digs. Walker led the Rebels with her 15, while Aladjova used her 10 to notch another double-double.

The Start: After playing in nine contests and three tournaments, UNLV owns a 8-1 record and three tournament titles. Since their loss to Texas Tech on Aug. 25, the Rebels have reeled off seven straight wins.

The 8-1 record is the best after nine matches of play in the program's history. The 8-1 mark bests the 7-2 record set back in 1997, 1999 and 2006.

The seven-match winning streak is the longest since the start of the 1999 season, in which that Rebel team began the year 7-0. The next longest streak is 10 matches, which ranks as the best. The 10-match streak is owned by the 1998 team.

Just Setting Around: After three weekends of play, Melody Nua has added three 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. Two weekends ago, 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). This past weekend in the AT&T Invitational she had one double-double (Washington State) and tallied 114 assists (12.67 apg).

Thus far in 2007, she has registered no less than 35 assists in any match and is averaging 13.00 apg. Overall, she has registered 403 assists with a season-high of 59 coming against UC Santa Barbara on Aug. 31.

In her three-year career as a Rebel, she now has 19 career double-doubles after registering one this past weekend. She has three on the season with help from double-digit dig matches against UC Santa Barbara (Aug. 31), Loyola Marymount (Sept. 1) and Washington State (Sept. 8).

Overall, she sits third in the all-time career assists chart with 2,719 helpers. She has also amassed 10+ assists in all 69 matches in which she has played.

Ala-Board: After three weekends of play, Maria Aladjova has shown why she is the Rebels' main outside threat. Through nine matches of play, she has registered a team-best seven double-doubles. She sits atop the kills (136) and kills-per-game (4.25) categories, while coming in second in aces (7), digs (127) and digs-per-game (3.22). She is hitting at a .220 clip (136-56-363). At the net, she is one of five Rebels with 11 or more blocks, as she ranks fourth with 12 (one solo).

She has hit in the .294 range in four of her nine 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 three +.294 matches were against Texas Tech (.333), UC Santa Barbara (.300) and Washington State (.294).

She has broken the 20+ kill mark on one occasion with 23 against UC Santa Barbara (Aug. 31). In her remaining eight matches she has stayed within the 11-to-18 kill range. The 18 came on the road this past weekend at Nevada, Reno (Sept. 7). Defensively, she has notched seven 10+ dig matches. She tallied only six each against Virginia and Washington State, but has 10 or more in the remaining seven. She picked up a career-high 28 vs. UC Santa Barbara (Aug. 31). She followed that up with 23 at Nevada, Reno on Sept. 7.

For her career she now has reached double-digits in kills 74 times and in digs 27 times. Overall, she has tallied 27 double-doubles. She sits second in UNLV's career record book in kills with 1,272.

Mira-Mira On The Ball: Lauren Miramontes has earned all-tournament honors in all three tournaments that UNLV has played in to-date. Miramontes' play has helped UNLV to an 8-1 start, which includes a seven-match winning streak. Overall, she leads the team in total blocks (30), solo blocks (9) and assisted blocks (21), while coming in second in kills (134) and kills-per-game (4.19). She has even registered four assists, three aces and 23 digs.

She has hit above .250 on five occasions with a season-best .462 coming in her last match vs. Hofstra (Sept. 8). Against the Pride, she had 13 kills and only one error in 26 attempts. The other four +.250 matches were against Arizona State (.407), UC Santa Barbara (.250), Nevada, Reno (.283) and Washington State (.333).

She has hit at least 11+ kills in all nine matches this season, with a season-best 20 coming against UC Santa Barbara (Aug. 31). She threw down 18 vs. Texas Tech (Aug. 25) and 17 on two occasions (Northwestern - Sept. 1 and Nevada, Reno - Sept. 7).

At the net, she has registered four or more blocks five times. She put back five attacks by Washington State (Sept. 8) this past weekend with one solo and four assisted blocks. She notched four against Arizona State (Aug. 24), Virginia (Aug. 25), UC Santa Barbara (Aug. 31) and Nevada, Reno (Sept. 7).

For her career she now has 59 double-digit kill matches. She sits third in UNLV's career record book in kills with 1,112 and third in blocks with 324.

Greener Pastures: Through three weekends of play, Erin Greenwood leads the Rebels in hitting percentage with a .277 average. Greenwood has totaled 42 kills with only 11 errors in 112 total attempts. She has hit above the .250 mark five times, with a season-best .444 coming against Virginia (Aug. 25). The other four matches were: Arizona State (.250), Northwestern (.308), Loyola Marymount (.353) and Washington State (.333).

On the year, her highest kill tally is 10 against Texas Tech (Aug. 25). She tallied seven against Loyola Marymount (Sept. 1) and six vs. Arizona State (Aug. 24).

At the net, she ranks second on the team in blocks (23), solo blocks (6) and assisted blocks (17). She picked up four solo blocks against UC Santa Barbara (Aug. 31) and two against Nevada, Reno (Sept. 7). She has two matches with five blocks each, Virginia (Aug. 25) and UC Santa Barbara.

Walking On Sunshine: Jada Walker, the all-time career leader in digs at UNLV, has registered team-highs in digs (195) and digs-per-game (6.09). Walker earned all-tournament team honors in the first weekend of action at the UNLV Tournament where she stopped 74 opponent attacks, including a UNLV single-match record of 34 against Arizona State.

Thus far in 2007, she has totaled at least 11 digs in every match. Five of her nine matches has witnessed her tally 20 or more digs, with the Arizona State match topping out at 34. She came close to breaking the 30 barrier again at Loyola Marymount, but stopped at 29 vs. the Lions on Sept. 1.

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 all nine matches played she has assisted on at least one kill and set a season-best 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 Arizona State.

For her career she now has 1,624 career digs and keeps adding to her own record. She is ninth in career aces with a total of 71.

Glamour Shots: After seeing little action in the UNLV Tournament, Jessica Walters warmed up quickly in the Four Points Sheraton LAX Classic two weekends ago and remained on fire in the AT&T Invitational.

She racked up only four kills (all against Arizona State - Aug. 24) in that first weekend of play, but has since tallied 89 kills over the past two weekends. She hit for a career-best 22 at Loyola Marymount on Sept. 1.

She has hit the 20-kill plateau twice with the 22 at LMU and 20 at Nevada, Reno (Sept. 7) this past weekend.

Her 45 kills, two assists, four aces, 15 digs and one block helped UNLV to a perfect 3-0 mark in the AT&T Invitational and a spot on the all-tournament team. She above .267 in two of the three matches, while topping out at .344 against Hofstra (Sept. 8).

Since she began hitting 10 or more kills in a match, she has hit above the .267 mark on five out of six occasions.

In the UC Santa Barbara (Aug. 31) and Northwestern (Sept. 1) matches she picked up double-doubles by adding 11 and 21 digs, respectively, to her stat line. The 21 digs vs. Northwestern were a career-best. Overall, she now has six career double-doubles.

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 nine matches, she has 103 digs for an average of 3.22 dpg. Included in the 103 digs are a career-best 22 notched against Virginia on Aug. 25. She has hit double-digit dig totals in four of nine matches.

Offensively, she has thrown down four kills. She has a total of 19 assists on the year with a career-high of eight coming against Nevada, Reno (Sept. 7). She has served up nine aces with three coming against Hofstra (Sept. 8).

Sam I Am: Through the first six matches, Samantha "Sam" Noland had stayed between the five and six kill figure, but bucked the trend when she notched 10 at Nevada, Reno (Sept. 7). Overall, she has the fourth-best amount of kills (50) and kills-per-game (1.61).

She has three matches in which she has hit .389 or better. This past weekend against Hofstra (Sept. 8) she hit .500 (5-1-8). Against Arizona State (Aug. 24), she hit .444 and hit .389 against Nevada, Reno.

At the net, she has thrown up 19 blocks (six solo). Her block total ranks as the third-most on the squad. She stuffed four attacks by Northwestern (Sept. 1) with one solo and three assisted blocks.

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 three weekends of play, she has played in eight matches and registered 27 kills (1.35 kpg). She has hit a career-best of nine in two matches (Arizona State - Aug. 24 and Virginia - Aug. 25).

Defensively, she has totaled 40 digs (2.00 dpg) with a career-best 13 coming against Virginia (Aug. 25).

Playing The Games: Through nine matches of play, UNLV holds winning marks in each frame of play. The second game has been the best frame for UNLV, as the Rebels are 8-1 (88%). The team is 7-2 (78%) in game ones and 5-1 in game fours (83%). The third frame had been the toughest for the team, but after going 3-0 in game threes, the team improved to 6-3 (67%) in that stanza.

Last year, UNLV held a 21-9 (70%) edge in winning the second game of its matches. The Rebels were 19-11 (63%) in the first game and 17-13 (57%) in the third. The team went 5-6 (45%) in the fourth game and 3-1 (75%) in the fifth frame.

Since 1996, UNLV's best record in any frame is 1998's game one mark of 23-8 (74%).

Double-Doubles Coming Right Up: Through three weekends of play the Rebels have racked up 12 double-doubles with Maria Aladjova leading the way with seven. Melody Nua comes in second with three, while Jessica Walters has two.

Aladjova has combined kills and digs in matches against Arizona State (14/11), Texas Tech (13/15), UC Santa Barbara (23/28), Northwestern (12/11), Loyola Marymount (15/17), Nevada, Reno (18/23) and Hofstra (11/10).

Nua has combined assists and digs in matches against UC Santa Barbara (59/16), Loyola Marymount (48/15) and Washington State (35/10).

Walters has combined kills and digs in matches against UC Santa Barbara (10/11) and Northwestern (12/21).

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