Heading To The Bluegrass State
Sept. 13, 2012
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV Rebels hit the road for the first of two weekends away from Las Vegas with the Louisville Tournament in Louisville, Ky., prior to the start of Mountain West action in the Rocky Mountains. UNLV will play in its fourth and final tournament this weekend in the two-day event hosted by the University of Louisville.
The Rebels will play three matches in the Bluegrass State with the first two against teams that are making waves in this week's AVCA Division I Top 25 Poll. The Miami Hurricanes (7-1) are the most votes of teams sitting outside the top 25, while the Louisville Cardinals (8-1) made a jump from 24th to 12th in this week's rankings. Middle Tennessee State, UNLV's final opponent, sits 3-9 through three weeks of action, but have been hampered with a six-game losing streak.
LOUISVILLE TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
Friday, Sept. 14 02:00 pm UNLV vs. Miami 04:30 pm Louisville vs. Middle Tennessee State
*All times listed in Pacific Time.
ON THE SIDELINES: The UNLVRebels stay out on the road for a two-match swing through the Rocky Mountains that kicks off the Mountain West schedule. UNLV will begin the week with a Thursday night affair against Air Force at the USAF Academy. Two days later, the Rebels and Boise State will square off on Saturday night. Both matches are scheduled for 6:00 pm PT (7:00 pm MT) first serves.
REBEL REWIND: The UNLV Rebels went a perfect 3-0 last weekend in their final home tournament - the UNLV Classic - played in Las Vegas. UNLV opened up with back-to-back sweeps of Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern before claiming the tournament title outright in its final match, a 3-1 win over Gonzaga. The Rebels were led by tournament MVP Candice Thomas and a trio of her teammates - Kinsey Caldwell, Stephanie Thelen and Madeline Westman - who comprised four of the seven spots on the all-tournament team.
UNLV dominated in all facets of the game - see side panel - and owned major advantages in kills, hitting efficiency, assists, aces, digs and blocks.
Thomas, who was named to the Nike Portland Invitational the second week of the season, led the Rebels in kills (37) and kills per set (3.70), while tying for second in total blocks (10), solo blocks (one) and assisted blocks (nine). She threw down nine or more kills and hit .364 or better in all three outings this past weekend. She topped out with 16 kills vs. Gonzaga, while hitting an astonishing .625 against Texas Southern. Eight (one solo) of her 10 blocks came in the finale vs. Gonzaga.
Westman loomed large on both sides of the net with 32 kills off a .397 hitting clip and a team-high 17 blocks (four solo). She had a career match vs. PVAMU with a personal-best .769 hitting efficiency (10-0-13) and a career-high tying nine blocks.
Caldwell led the team in assists (110), while chipping in 26 digs, 13 kills and five assisted blocks. She notched her second career double-double with a combination of 46 assists and 10 digs vs. Gonzaga.
Thelen's numbers were near the top in each statistical category, as she had 28 kills, 10 total blocks (one solo), 13 digs, 10 assists and three aces. She hit .312 on the weekend, which was greatly helped by a career-best .550 outing (12-1-20) vs. Texas Southern. She compiled at least seven kills in each contest and topped out at 12 vs. TSU.
Besides the quartet that were all-tourney selections, UNLV got a team-best 41 digs from Allison Davies, who had no less than 12 in each match. Daryn Glenn had two eight-kill outings and dug out 12 Gonzaga attacks.