Rebels Set To Play Two Midweek Matches
Sept. 23, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - Just days after opening the 2013 Mountain West season with a win over San Diego State, the UNLV Rebels will play their 10th and final non-conference match of the regular season on Tuesday night in Cedar City, Utah. UNLV will travel up I-15 to square off against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds in the Centrum Arena at 7:00 pm MT (6:00 pm PT).
The Rebels return to Las Vegas two days later to resume their MW schedule against in-state rival Nevada, Reno on Thursday evening (7:00 pm PT). The tussle between UNLV and UNR will be the first head-to-head competition between the Silver State universities in 2013 and it will have implications in the Governor's Series presented by NV Energy and sponsored by Barrick Gold.
WATCH THE STREAMS: The UNLV Rebels will have both of their matches streamed live and for free this week. The UNLV-SUU tilt can be found at WatchBigSky.com, while the UNR contest will be shown at UNLVRebels.com through the Mountain West Network.
GOVERNOR'S SERIES RECAP: The UNLV Rebels claimed the inaugural 2012 Governor's Series title with a 27-point differential (37.5-10.5) between themselves and the Nevada, Reno Wolf Pack.
The head-to-head competition, which is presented by NV Energy and sponsored by Barrick Gold, was launched by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval on Oct. 8, 2012 between the two universities.
In volleyball, UNLV claimed all six points possible with two wins against UNR last season.
In fact, the Rebels own a 15-7 advantage in the all-time head-to-head series between themselves and the Wolf Pack. The Scarlet & Gray has won eight straight, including four in Las Vegas.
ON THE SIDELINES: The UNLV Rebels, who will have played seven of their last nine matches on the road after this week's action, return to the Cox Pavilion for a pair of Mountain West contests on Oct. 3 and 5 against the San Jose State Spartans and Fresno State Bulldogs, respectively.
Both SJSU and FS are two of the four most recent additions to the league after the duo were welcomed after previously playing in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). SJSU and Utah State became official members of the MW on July 1, 2013, while FS and Nevada, Reno joined the mix a year before that in 2012.
REBEL REWIND: The UNLV Rebels went 1-0 last week with a 3-1, come-from-behind victory over San Diego State at home in the Cox Pavilion. UNLV fell behind by one set after losing the opening frame by a score of 25-22, but fought back to even the contest at 1-all with a 25-21 win in the second. The Scarlet & Gray carried the momentum through the subsequent sets with victories in the third (25-22) and fourth (25-20).
Stephanie Thelen dished out a match-high 45 assists and added seven digs, five assisted blocks and two kills in the win.
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: When the NCAA released its team and individual statistics through week four of the season on Sept. 23, 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 92nd in assists per set with a 12.35 average, while they sit outside the Top 100 in blocks (116th, 2.21) and kills (127th, 12.91).
Sekola Falemaka is the highest ranked member of the program, as she comes in 16th overall in aces per set (0.53). Falemaka is also 65th in points per set (4.31) and 97th in kills per set (3.59).
Stephanie Thelen comes in 61st in assists (10.47).
2013 SCHEDULE: Through four weeks of play, the UNLV Rebels have a 5-5 overall record with four of those losses - Arizona State, Ohio, Kansas State and Western Kentucky - coming against teams receiving votes in the Sept. 23 AVCA Div. I Top 25 Poll. In addition to those four teams, Colorado State, who entered the rankings at #22 last week, is 16th in this week's edition. ASU and Ohio are 18th and 24th, respectively.
Prior to the start of the season, the poll featured four teams - WKU, ASU, KSU and CSU - on UNLV's 2013 schedule. WKU was the only one of the four to sit inside the Top 25 at #21, while the other three were in the "receiving votes" category.
After the first weekend of play (Sept. 2), ASU and Ohio were added to the mix, while WKU moved up to 16th overall.
The Sept. 9 poll saw WKU fall back to #21 and the other four squads remain on the outside looking in.
Last week (Sept. 16), WKU fell out of the poll and into the "receiving votes" category, while ASU (18th), CSU (22nd) and Ohio (24th ) made their 2013 Top 25 debut. WKU and KSU were, hypothetically, ranked 29th and 30th, respectively.
SCOUTING THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS
Southern Utah Thunderbirds (2-9, 1-1 Big Sky): Southern Utah enters the fifth week of the 2013 season with a 2-9 overall record. The Thunderbirds began the year with nine straight matches in three road tournaments, which produced a 1-8 mark. SUU finally played at home last week to open Big Sky competition and posted a win against Weber State (3-1) before a loss in straight sets to Idaho State. This year's squad returns four starters and was picked to finish ninth in the Big Sky.
Head-To-Head Record Overall: UNLV leads the series 6-2.
Nevada, Reno Wolf Pack (2-10, 0-0 Mountain West): Nevada, Reno enters the fifth week of the 2013 season with a 2-10 overall record. The Wolf Pack began the year with four straight losses before a win over Weber State (3-0). Since the victory, UNR has lost six of its last seven, which included three straight last week at a tournament hosted by Washington State. This year's squad returns four starters and was picked to finish 11th in the Mountain West.
Head-To-Head Record Overall: UNLV leads the series 15-7.