Packin' Up For The Golden State
Jessica Walters and the Rebels head to California for a pair of matches this weekend.
Jessica Walters and the Rebels head to California for a pair of matches this weekend.

Sept. 20, 2007


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First Serve: The UNLV Rebels head back out onto the open road with a pair of matches in the Golden State after a brief two-match stint in Las Vegas. After defeating then-#12 BYU and Utah this past weekend, the Rebels saw their record increase to 10-1. The 10-1 mark is the best start in the program's history and has been aided by a nine-match winning streak that the team will ride into its Mountain West Conference match on Friday, Sept. 21 against San Diego State. Following the trip to So-Cal, the team will head to Nor-Cal to face the Santa Clara Broncos on Sunday, Sept. 23.

Week Five Opponents:

San Diego State Aztecs: 9-4 overall, 1-1 MWC. (Predicted MWC Finish - 6th). San Diego State leads the all-time series 14-10, which includes seven straight wins by UNLV dating back to 2004. SDSU is led by Stephanie Darnell's 170 kills (3.54 kpg), Leah Lathrop's 316 assists (6.45 apg), Aime Cordeiro's 315 digs (6.70 dpg) and Lauren Salisubury's 72 blocks (1.47 bpg).

Santa Clara Broncos: 7-6 overall. Santa Clara leads the all-time series 2-0. Santa Clara is led by Lindsy Evans' 155 kills (3.69 kpg), Crystal Matich's 569 assists (12.64 apg), Caroline Walters' 213 digs (4.73 dpg) and Alex Scoffone's 33 blocks (0.79 bpg).

Rebels In The Poll: After starting off the year 10-1, it appears that the 60 NCAA Division I coaches that are responsible for voting in the CSTV/AVCA's Top 25 Poll have taken note of the Rebels. UNLV sits on the cusp of cracking the top 25 for the first time in the program's history. UNLV is ranked 26th after receiving 92 votes. The Rebels sit 23 points behind the #25 New Mexico State Aggies.



Rebels' RKPI Ranks Sixth: In the latest Nitty Gritty Report produced by, the Rebels own the sixth-best RKPI in the country. UNLV's RKPI is aided by having a 2-1 mark amongst schools with RKPI's in the 1-25 range. The Rebels are a perfect 8-0 against schools in the 26-100 range. Nebraska, the reigning national champion and top-ranked team in the nation, holds the top spot in the RKPI and is closely followed by Stanford, USC, UCLA and Penn State.

Aladjova Earns Weekly Award: UNLV senior outside hitter Maria Aladjova has earned Mountain West Conference Volleyball Player of the Week for the second time in her career.

Aladjova, a Sofia, Bulgaria, native, led the Rebels to conference wins over No. 12 BYU and Utah last week, notching back-to-back double-doubles in the process. Against the 12th-ranked Cougars, she threw down 18 kills and collected 10 digs, while hitting .353 (18-6-34) in the UNLV sweep. Against Utah, Aladjova had 18 kills and 14 digs, while also tallying three blocks and two assists in a 3-1 win. The victories over BYU and Utah mark the first time the Rebels have defeated both teams in the same season in school history.

For the week, Aladjova averaged 5.14 kills, 3.43 digs, 0.86 blocks and 5.64 points per game, while hitting .276 in seven games played.

Her first MWC weekly award came on Nov. 13, 2006.

History Making Week: Last week, the Rebels did some things that had not been done recently or even in the history of the UNLV volleyball program.

~ UNLV had never defeated BYU and Utah in the same season until the wins last week.
~ The last time UNLV had defeated BYU was Nov. 9, 2001.  A span of 12 straight losses.
~ The last time UNLV had defeated Utah was Nov. 25, 1998.  A span of 19 straight losses.
~ The last time UNLV had defeated a ranked opponent was Nov. 9, 2001 (#16 BYU).

The Start: After playing in 11 contests and three tournaments, UNLV owns a 10-1 record and three tournament titles. The 10-1 record is the best after 11 matches of play in the program's history.

Included in those 10 victories is a nine-match winning streak that dates back to Aug. 25 in a win over Virginia. The winning streak ranks as the second-longest in the program's history. The 1998 squad owns the longest streak with 10 straight from Sept. 19 (George Mason) to Oct. 17 (TCU).

Nationally Speaking - Team: The UNLV volleyball team ranks nationally in per-game statistics in assists, digs and kills, as well as being tied for the 10th-best winning percentage. The statistics are compiled through Sept. 16.

~ Assists:  UNLV ranks 11th with an average of 15.49 apg.  Nebraska leads with a 16.75 apg.
~ Digs:  UNLV ranks 4th with an average of 20.18 dpg.  Chattanooga leads with a 23.00 dpg.
~ Kills:  UNLV ranks 15th with an average of 16.74 kpg.  Nebraska leads with a 17.96 kpg.

Nationally Speaking - Individual: The UNLV volleyball team has three players rank nationally in individual per-game statistics in assists, digs and kills. The statistics are compiled through Sept. 16.

~ Assists:  Melody Nua ranks 14th with an average of 13.11 apg.
~ Digs:  Jada Walker ranks 13th with an average of 6.00 dpg.
~ Kills:  Maria Aladjova ranks 59th with an average of 4.41 kpg.
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