Rebels Return Home To Open Conference Play
Sept. 19, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - After playing the last two weeks on the road, the UNLV Rebels return to Las Vegas to open up the 2013 Mountain West schedule against the San Diego State Aztecs on Saturday, Sept. 21.
The Rebels and Aztecs, the 2012 MW co-champions, serve it up at 2:00 pm inside the Cox Pavilion.
The match will be streamed live on UNLVRebels.com for free in cooperation with a broadcast produced by UNLV TV through UNLV's Greenspun School of Journalism and Mass Media for the Mountain West Network.
UNLV enters the league tilt with a 4-5 overall record after playing nine non-conference contests in a span of three weeks in round-robin tournaments.
SDSU carries a .500 mark (5-5) north up I-15 into Saturday's match. The Aztecs, who also played in three tournaments to open the year, suffered a 3-0 setback to the #2 University of San Diego Toreros this past Tuesday evening.
CONFERENCE OPENERS: Dating back to the Mountain West's inaugural season of 1999, the UNLV Rebels are 9-5 in the first league match of a season. UNLV has won three straight and eight of its last nine conference openers.
CONFERENCE HOME OPENERS: Dating back to the Mountain West's inaugural season of 1999, the UNLV Rebels are 8-6 in the first league match of a season played in Las Vegas. UNLV has won three straight and eight of its last nine conference home openers.
ON THE SIDELINES: The UNLV Rebels have two matches on the docket for next week with one on the road and the other at home.
UNLV will first travel north up I-15 to Cedar City, Utah, for a 6:00 pm MT (7:00 pm PT) affair against Southern Utah on Tuesday, Sept. 24.
Two days later, on the 26th, the Rebels will welcome their in-state rival Nevada, Reno to Las Vegas in a 7:00 pm contest that will have implications in the standings for the Governor's Series presented by NV Energy and sponsored by Barrick Gold.
REBEL REWIND: The UNLV Rebels went 1-2 last week at the WKU Invitational in Bowling Green, Ky., against some stiff competition.
UNLV notched its lone win against Virginia in come-from-behind fashion - 3-1 - after it had fallen behind 1-0.
Unfortunately, the Rebels faced two teams in the tournament that were recognized in the AVCA Div. I Top 25 Poll. Ohio, who was receiving votes, and then-#21 Western Kentucky both swept the Scarlet & Gray.
Ohio won the tournament with a perfect 3-0 record, which helped propel it to a #24 ranking in the Sept. 16 version of the rankings.
WKU, on the other hand, finished second with a 2-1 mark, but dropped out of the poll to 29th overall.
UNLV and Virginia (0-3) took third and fourth, respectively.
Madeline Westman was the lone Rebel named to the all-tournament team after she led the team with a .429 hitting efficiency off of 26 kills amassed in the three matches. Westman also contributed nine digs, six assisted blocks and one ace.
In her final two matches, Westman had 23 kills and three errors in 37 swings, which translated to a .541 hitting output. All nine of her digs and each assisted block occurred in these final two contests, as well.
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: When the NCAA released its team and individual statistics through week three of the season on Sept. 16, the UNLV Rebels were recognized as a team, while two of their own made the Top 100 in a pair of categories.
The Rebels are ranked as high as 101st in assists per set with a 12.30 average, while they come in a tie for 118th in blocks per set (2.17).
Sekola Falemaka is the highest ranked member of the program, as she ranks 17th nationally in aces per set. Falemaka, who sat 32nd overall a week ago, has 15 aces in nine matches for a 0.54 average.
Stephanie Thelen comes in 70th in the assists per-set category with 311 helpers in nine matches for a 10.37 average.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT(S):
San Diego State Aztecs (5-5): San Diego State enters the match with UNLV with a 5-5 overall record through four weeks of the 2013 season. The Aztecs started the year with two straight wins, but followed them up with a three-match losing streak. They have since won three of their last five. SDSU, who won a share of the 2012 Mountain West championship, was selected to finish first overall by the conference's 11 head coaches. This year's squad returns five starters that finished 23-8 last season.
Head-To-Head Record Overall: SDSU leads the series 23-14.