Home Stand Closedown
Sept. 30, 2008
LAS VEGAS -
First Serve: The UNLV Rebels will have its lightest workload of the season this week, as they welcome San Diego State to Las Vegas for a Mountain West Conference contest. The match will signal the end of UNLV's four-match home stand, after playing three last weekend in the Cox Pavilion.
San Diego State comes to Las Vegas with a 4-9 overall record after dropping both of its conference matches last weekend at home to TCU and New Mexico in sweeping fashion. The Aztecs have played four straight matches to 3-0 scores, but unfortunately, have dropped three of the quartet. SDSU is 3-5 this season when playing away from Peterson Gym. In the all-time series, UNLV trails by a 15-11 margin, but has reeled off eight wins in the last nine meetings. The Aztecs' last win (3-2, Sept. 21 in San Diego) was monumental, as it not only snapped a seven-match losing streak in the series to UNLV, but ended the Rebels nine-match winning streak it had been riding early in 2007. UNLV rebounded to later take the affair played in Las Vegas on Oct. 19, by a 3-1 tally.
Promotion: "Think Pink Night" - $1 Tickets Sponsored by the UNLV Jean Nidetch Women's Center & Komen Grantee "Rebel Rally For A Cause".
On The Sidelines: After playing its only match this week, the Rebels will hit the road for the fourth time this season with a pair of tilts to be played in the Beehive State next week. Both of UNLV's matches will be televised. The Rebels will play the Utah Utes on Thursday, Oct. 9 (6:00 pm PT) in Salt Lake City, which will be aired on The Mtn (Cox Digital 334/DirecTV 616). UNLV will then travel south down I-15 to Provo on Oct. 11 (6:00 pm PT) to play the BYU Cougars on BYUTV (Cox Digital 352/DirecTV 374).
Weekly Rewind: Prior to last week, UNLV had played 10 of its first 13 matches on the road. The Rebels returned home last weekend with three contests in the Cox Pavilion. The team went 2-1 last weekend with wins over TCU and Nevada, Reno sandwiched around a loss to New Mexico.
It was a weekend that involved two winning streaks being extended, while a third was snapped. UNLV pushed its series' winning streak to seven against TCU and three over UNR. UNM, on the other hand, wasn't as compliant, as the Lobos ended an eight-match futility string vs. UNLV.
vs. TCU: The UNLV Rebels (8-6 overall, 2-0 Mountain West Conference) kept its winning ways going with a 3-1 win over the TCU Horned Frogs (12-3, 1-1) on Thursday night. The Rebels increased its all-time lead to 8-1 in the series and have not lost to TCU in seven straight meetings, while the win also gives UNLV its second three-match winning streak of the year. UNLV won the match with set scores of 21-25, 25-20, 25-22, 26-24.
The Rebels out-hit the Horned Frogs by a .173 to .105 margin. UNLV knocked down eight more kills (55-to-47) and accumulated four less errors (31-to-27). Although UNLV held a .061 to .056 edge in hitting in the first set, TCU managed to take the frame and a 1-0 lead. The Rebels wound up upping its hitting in the remaining three sets and hit no worse than .148. TCU never hit above the .100 barrier until its .220 tally in the fifth.
UNLV's offense was led by a two-prong approach by Jessica Walters and Cursty Jackson. Walters topped all hitters with her 19 kills, while Jackson pitched in 13. Jackson led UNLV in hitting efficiency for the third straight match with her .333 tally and even stuffed a team-high six blocks.
Melody Nua dished out a match-high 43 assists to give her 4,214. Nua moved closer to the top spot in UNLV's all-time assist category, as she trails the 4,261 posted by Nicki King (2001-04) by only 47.
vs. New Mexico: The UNLV Rebels (8-7 overall, 2-1 Mountain West) lost a tightly played volleyball match in straight sets to the New Mexico Lobos (12-2, 2-1) Saturday afternoon at the Cox Pavilion. The match was a see-saw affair that witnessed ties as late as 23-23 in the first two frames, but ultimately the Lobos prevailed. UNM staved off a rally by the Rebels in the third to claim the set and match. The Lobos won the match with set scores of 25-23, 25-23, 25-22.
UNLV owns the series with a 15-7 edge, but the loss snapped an eight-match winning streak the Rebels had ridden since 2004.
The Lobos out-hit UNLV by a .242 to .146 margin. The visitors amassed four more kills (45-to-41) and seven less errors (16-to-23) in the match. UNLV hit in the .100s throughout the contest with a .171 in the third, as its best. UNM, on the other hand, hit around the .200 barrier in the first two sets before swinging .333 in the third.
The Rebels were led by Melody Nua's fifth double-double of the season and 32nd of her career. Nua dished out a match-high 36 assists and dug out 10 Lobo attacks. She sits 11 assists shy of tying Nicki King (2001-04) atop UNLV's all-time assist chart. Nua owns 4,250 for her career, while King finished with 4,261.
Samantha Richard and Jessica Walters led the Rebel attack with their double-figure efforts. Richard contributed a match-high 14 kills, while hitting .444 to lead her squad in that category. Walters managed to knock down 10 kills.
Camille Cunningham had the match-high in digs with 16.
vs. Nevada, Reno: The UNLV Rebels (9-7) improved to 10-7 all-time in their series with the Nevada, Reno Wolf Pack (5-8) on Sunday with a 3-1 victory in the Cox Pavilion. UNLV fell behind 1-0 after the first set, but rebounded to win the next three frames to extend its winning streak to three in the battle of Silver State universities. The Rebels won the match with set scores of 24-26, 25-23, 25-13, 25-18.
Coming into the match, UNLV's Melody Nua needed 12 assists to surpass Nicki King's (2001-04) career tally of 4,261. Nua managed to dish out the record-setting assist at the 2-2 mark of the second set on a kill by Erin Greenwood. Nua ended the contest with a match-high 46 assists to give her 4,296 for her career.
Nua wound up picking up her sixth double-double of the season and 33rd of her career, as she combined her 43 assists with 13 digs.
UNLV out-hit UNR .248 to .141 and racked up 18 more kills (60-to-42) in the match. Both squads registered 23 errors, while the Rebels took 14 more swings (149-to-135). The Wolf Pack hit better in the first two sets of the match, but was only able to come away with one win in those sets. UNR's best hitting efficiency came in the second set with its .235 tally, but it wasn't good enough, as UNLV took the frame. After going to intermission, the Rebels came out on fire and hit .400 and .355 in the final two stanzas. UNR, on the other hand, didn't come out of the gate so well at the half and hit -.033.
A Nua Record For The Books: With her 12th assist coming at the 2-2 mark of the second set vs. Nevada, Reno on Sunday, Sept. 28, Melody Nua became the all-time assist leader in UNLV volleyball history surpassing Nicki King's (2001-04) 4,261. Nua has dished out 4,296 through three-plus years of play. She already owns the 2nd, 3rd and 8th-best single-season tallies in school history.
She dished out double-digits in assists in all 16 of UNLV's matches this season and has achieved the feat in 105 of 106 career matches. Her best match, thus far, in 2008 came at Arizona State (Aug. 29). At ASU, she set a season-high 51 assists.
She has amassed the third-most digs on the team with 128. She has hit the double-digit mark in digs on six occasions: Dayton (Aug. 29), South Carolina (Aug. 30), Wisconsin (Sept. 5), Cal State Fullerton (Sept. 6), New Mexico (Sept. 27) and Nevada, Reno (Sept. 28).
She has six double-doubles on the year with help from double-figure assist and dig totals in those matches. In all, she has 33 double-doubles for her career.
Besides helping her hitters rack up kills, she is known to contribute one every now and then. She has 50 kills of her own this year with a season-high six occurring twice: Arizona State (Aug. 29) and Oregon (Sept. 12).
She is UNLV's second-best at serving up aces, as she has knocked down 15 in 2008.
Besides taking over the top spot in the history books in assists, she sits ranked in matches played (T-9th, 106), sets played (7th, 391), aces (10th, 77) and digs (4th, 853).
Going Green: Erin Greenwood has made her presence felt in the middle with her ability to attack and put back attacks. Greenwood sits sixth in solo blocks (34) and seventh in UNLV's all-time record book in total blocks (228) and assisted blocks (194). She ranks fifth all-time in hitting efficiency with a .266 tally.
She is second on the team in kills (134) and kills-per-set (2.35). She is hitting at a .274 efficiency, which is the second-best amongst Rebels with 50 or more kills.
At the net, she is first in blocks with 36 (nine solo, 27 assisted) with a season-high five (one solo) coming against Denver (Sept. 19).
Thus far, her best match of the season came against South Carolina (Aug. 30) in ASU's Sheraton Classic. Against the Gamecocks, she knocked down 20 kills and hit .452. The 20 kills were two shy of tying her career-best 22 racked up against BYU on Nov. 23, 2007.
On The Outside: Jessica Walters played well enough the first month of 2008 to earn all-tournament honors four times over. At the ASU Sheraton Classic (Aug. 29-30), Walters smashed 60 kills (4.62 kps) and hit .278. In the UNLV Invitational (Sept. 5-6), she had 29 kills (2.42 kps). In the Oregon Classic (Sept. 12-13), she collected 42 kills (4.20 kps) and hit .293. At last weekend's Denver Invitational (Sept. 19-20), she had 31 kills (3.10 kps) and hit .244.
She leads the team in kills (202) and kills-per-set (3.54). She has hit for double-digits in 13 of UNLV's 16 matches. She has seven matches of 15 or more kills and one where she tallied more than 20 (Arizona State - Aug. 29).
Against ASU (Aug. 29), she collected a career-best 27 kills, while hitting at a .404 clip.
Her best hitting efficiency came against Eastern Washington (Sept. 13), when she posted a .435 with 11 kills and one error in 23 attempts.
Sam I Am: After growing up in Las Vegas, Samantha Richard began her collegiate volleyball career in Salt Lake City at Salt Lake Community College. After a stellar career at SLCC, Richard chose to come back to Las Vegas and close out the final two years of her eligibility at UNLV.
Through five weeks of play she has two double-doubles (South Carolina and Cal State Fullerton). She combined 10 kills with 12 digs for her first as a Rebel against USC (Aug. 30) and then meshed 12 kills and 17 digs for the feat against CSF (Sept. 6).
She currently sits third amongst attackers with 99 kills. She is averaging 1.74 kills-per-set. Defensively, she is second on the squad in digs (135) and third in digs-per-set (2.37). She is third on the squad in aces with 10.
Another Cunningham: Camille Cunningham shares the same last name (but no relation) with a former UNLV all-time great...Randall Cunningham. Randall was inducted into the UNLV Hall of Fame in 1996 after his accomplishments on the gridiron, while Camille has spent her time on the court and has slowly worked her way into the record books.
After spending the past three years as a defensive specialist, she has taken over the libero jersey for the 2008 season. She leads the Rebels with her 302 digs and sits second all-time in that category with 1,032 defensive stops. She surpassed Brittani Lumsden's (2004-07) career tally of 922 two weekends ago to move up the ladder.
She earned all-tournament honors in the UNLV Invitational (Sept. 5-6) and the Denver Invitational (Sept. 19-20).
She has registered at least 11 digs in all16 matches this season with seven contests of at least 20. She amassed a career-best 33 against Arizona State (Aug. 29).
Not only does she stop opponents' attacks, but she manages to produce offensively for UNLV, as well. She leads the team in aces with 17. She has six matches in which she has at least two aces. She notched a career-best four aces against South Carolina (Aug. 30) and has two contests where she nailed down three.
Action Jackson: Before playing in UNLV's road trip through the state of Colorado (Sept. 18-20), Cursty Jackson had played in a total of four matches and eight sets. Since the Air Force match on Sept. 18, Jackson has seen plenty of court time, as she has played in all seven matches and 24 sets.
In the last seven matches, she has tallied 59 kills which equates to 2.46 kills-per-set and a .274 hitting efficiency. She has amassed no less than five kills in each match, while maxing out at 13 on two occasions. She knocked down her first 13 against Denver (Sept. 19) and then did it again this past weekend vs. TCU (Sept. 25). She has tallied nine kills twice, with one outing vs. Georgia State (Sept. 20) going down as her best hitting-wise with a .750 hitting efficiency.
Not only has she been strong attacking, she has been just as effective as a blocker. In the past seven matches, she leads all Rebels with 20 stuffs (three solo, 17 assisted).
Overall, she has thrown down 69 kills (2.16 kps) and its tops amongst the team with a .299 hitting efficiency. At the net, she is second with 28 blocks (six solo, 22 assisted).
Hi, My Name Is Kelsey: Kelsey Keeler had a sort of coming out party in the UNLV Invitational (Sept. 5-6). After playing sparingly as a freshman last year, Keeler has played in all 13 matches and in 37 sets. She has collected 62 kills for a 1.68 kills-per-set average.
After registering only nine kills at ASU's Sheraton Classic, she had a monster weekend at the UNLV Invitational. She tied Jessica Walters for the most kills (29) and best kills-per-set mark (2.42).
She kept her play up in the Oregon Classic (Sept. 12-13), when she was named to her first career all-tournament team. She threw down 13 kills, four aces, 13 digs and eight blocks (one solo). Against Baylor (Sept. 13), she managed career-highs with four aces, eight digs and four blocks (all assisted).
She had her best match hitting wise, as a Rebel against then-10th ranked Wisconsin on Sept. 5. She knocked down a career-best 13 kills. She got stronger as the match progressed, as she threw down six kills in the fifth and final set. She followed that double-digit kill performance with a second against Cal State Fullerton (Sept. 6) when she picked up 10 more.
She hit a season-high .462 at Air Force (Sept. 18). She knocked down seven kills to only one error in 13 swings.
Maurer Power: Leah Maurer has seen action in 10 matches this season (44 kills, .239, 16 blocks), but made the most of her opportunity in UNLV's three-match home stand this past weekend.
In the trio of matches, she led in kills with 28 and owned the highest hitting efficiency (.254) of players with 10 or more kills.
She began with a nine-kill, four-block performance vs. TCU (Sept. 26) and then one-upped herself with 15 kills and a .448 hitting outing vs. Nevada, Reno (Sept. 28).
MWC Anniversary Team: Three former UNLV volleyball greats earned spots on the Mountain West Conference's 10th Anniversary Volleyball Team, as selected by a combined panel of media, institutional and conference personnel and on-line fan poll, the league announced Wednesday. Lauren Miramontes (2003-07), Maria Aladjova (2004-07) and Jada Walker (2004-07) represented the Rebels on the 16-member squad.
The three Rebels that were selected were vital to helping establish UNLV volleyball to the level it has risen to over the past four seasons. The trio helped UNLV to the program's first-ever conference championship and first trip to the NCAA Tournament. UNLV witnessed its first back-to-back 20-win season, which included a program-best 24 victories in 2007 and a brief stint in the Top-25 rankings.