Rebels Go Trick Or Treating With Aztecs
Oct. 28, 2008
LAS VEGAS -
First Serve: The UNLV Rebels stay on the road for the second straight week with a match at San Diego State on Halloween night. The Rebels will be making its lone visit to the Golden State on Oct. 31 (7:00 pm).
The San Diego State Aztecs enters the match with a 7-13 overall record and 4-6 in Mountain West Conference action. The Aztecs sat 4-10 and victims of a three-match losing streak after UNLV defeated them on Oct. 3, in Las Vegas. Since that encounter, SDSU has split its last six matches, all of which have been against league opponents. In their most recent outings, the Aztecs defeated TCU (Oct. 23) by a 3-1 margin before getting swept by New Mexico on the road. In the all-time series, UNLV trails by a 15-12 margin. The Rebels have managed to creep closer to .500 by winning nine of the past 10 meetings. SDSU snapped UNLV's eight consecutive wins in the series on Sept. 21, 2007, in San Diego with a 3-2 win. Since that loss, the Rebels have won two in-a-row over the Aztecs.
On The Sidelines: After opening the second half of MWC action on the road in consecutive weekends, the Rebels return to Las Vegas to host the Beehive State squads. BYU comes to town for a Thursday night affair (7:00 pm) on Nov. 6. Utah will follow on Saturday, Nov. 8, with an afternoon tilt slated for 1:00 pm.
at New Mexico: The UNLV Rebels (13-9 overall, 6-3 Mountain West) were swept for the second time by the New Mexico Lobos (16-4, 6-3) in 2008 with Thursday's loss in Albuquerque, N.M. Coming into the season, UNLV owned an eight-match winning streak over New Mexico, but now has lost two straight. This is the first year since 1997 that the Rebels have lost the season series to the Lobos and the first setback by UNLV in Albuquerque since 2003. UNLV lost the match by set scores of 13-25, 19-25, 18-25.
The Rebels managed only a .147 hitting efficiency in the match, which was only slightly better than their previous output vs. New Mexico, a .146 on Sept. 27. The two encounters with the Lobos have produced the second- and third-lowest hitting figures for UNLV this season. The Rebels ranged between .026 (first) and .219 (third) in the three-set match.
New Mexico, on the other hand, threw down a .375, which is the second-best hitting produced by a Rebel opponent in 2008. The Lobos cranked out consecutive .351s in the first and second sets and topped their offensive off with a .433 in the third and final set.
UNLV was led offensively by Erin Greenwood's 10 kills, while hitting .222. Greenwood has now gone four straight matches with 10 or more kills and has achieved the feat 10 times this season.
Cursty Jackson tied Greenwood with a .222 hitting efficiency and followed closely behind her teammate in kills with eight of her own. Jackson led the Rebels with three blocks (all assisted) in the match.
Melody Nua topped all Rebels in assists with 25 helpers. Nua has tossed up double-digits assists in all of UNLV's matches this season and in 111 of 112 career contests. She managed the Rebels' best hitting efficiency with her .444 tally on five kills.
Camille Cunningham led the Rebels defensively with her 16 digs. Cunningham has tallied 10 or more digs in all 22 of this season's matches.
at TCU: The UNLV Rebels (13-10 overall, 6-4 Mountain West) lost its first match in Forth Worth, Texas to the TCU Horned Frogs (17-6, 6-4) for the first time since 1998 on Saturday afternoon. The Rebels had owned a seven-match winning streak over TCU, since the Texas natives joined the Mountain West Conference in 2005. Today's loss, coupled with Thursday's defeat at New Mexico, gives UNLV its second two-match losing streak of the season. The Rebels lost the match by set scores of 26-28, 25-15, 13-25, 22-25.
The match began with a see-saw first set that witnessed UNLV own a set point at 24-23. Unfortunately, the home squad evened the score and had three set points of their own before eventually taking the opening frame.
UNLV came out strong in the second and built as much as an 11-point lead on two occasions (21-10 and 23-12) before putting the set away and sending the match tied into intermission.
The third began with a 1-0 lead for the Rebels, but TCU managed to reel off five consecutive points to never look back. The Horned Frogs owned multiple 11-point leads until finishing off the stanza up 12.
The fourth and final set was won by TCU, but saw nine ties and four lead changes. UNLV led for most of the set, but watched as the Horned Frogs evened things up at 18-18 for the final tie. TCU took the lead for good in the fourth on a Rebel attacking error.
TCU out-hit UNLV by a .205 to .166 margin, while knocking down eight more kills (58-to-50). The teams hit identical .220s in the first and then traded .000 sets in the second and third before the Horned Frogs took ownership of the better hitting efficiencies in the final two frames. UNLV managed a .250 in the second, its best in the match, before hitting .000 in the third and .105 in the fourth. TCU, on the other hand, hit .000 in the second prior to smashing a .433 in the third and .244 in the fourth.
UNLV was led by Melody Nua's 10th double-double of the year and 37th of her career. Nua combined 15 digs with a team-best 36 assists. She has notched double-digits in assists in 112 of 113 career matches.
The Rebel offense was led by 13-kill tallies by Erin Greenwood and Sara Nehf. Greenwood's .290 hitting efficiency was the best for the Rebels. She contributed defensively with a team-best six blocks (one solo).
A Nua Record For The Books: With her 12th assist coming at the 2-2 mark of the second set vs. Nevada, Reno on 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 4,498 through three-plus years of play. She already owns the 2nd, 3rd and 8th-best single-season tallies in school history.
She has dished out double-digits in assists in all 23 of UNLV's matches this season and has achieved the feat in 112 of 113 career matches. Her best match, thus far, in 2008 came this at home vs. San Diego State (Oct. 3), where she dished out 54 helpers.
She has amassed the second-most digs on the team with 192. She has hit the double-digit mark in digs on 10 occasions.
She has 10 double-doubles on the year with help from double-figure assist and dig totals. In all, she has 37 double-doubles for her career.
Besides helping her hitters rack up kills, she is known to contribute one every now and then. She has 69 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 16 in 2008.
Besides taking over the top spot in the history books in assists, she sits ranked in matches played (3rd, 113), sets played (3rd, 415), aces (10th, 78) and digs (4th, 917).
Going Green: Erin Greenwood has made her presence felt in the middle with her ability to attack and put back attacks. In UNLV's all-time record book, Greenwood ranks fourth in hitting efficiency with a .278 average and in total blocks (245), fifth in solo blocks (39) and fifth in assisted blocks (206).
At the net, she is first in blocks with 53 (14 solo, 39 assisted) with a season-high six coming against TCU on Oct. 25.
She is second on the team in kills (213) and kills-per-set (2.70). She is hitting at a .291 efficiency, which is the best amongst Rebels. She has amassed 10 or more kills in 11 matches with five coming in UNLV's last quintet of contests.
In the past five matches, she has racked up 67 kills for a 3.94 kills-per-set average and hit .329. She threw down her best hitting efficiency of her career when she hit .579 at BYU (Oct. 11) and nearly surpassed that figure against Wyoming (Oct. 18) when she hit .567.
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 with only one errors in 42 swings and hit .452. The 20 kills were two shy of tying her career-best 22 racked up against BYU on Nov. 23, 2007.
In the Wyoming (Oct. 18) match, she had 19 kills and two errors in 30 attempts.
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 the Denver Invitational (Sept. 19-20), she had 31 kills (3.10 kps) and hit .244.
She leads the team in kills (261) and kills-per-set (3.30). She has hit for double-digits in 15 of UNLV's 23 matches. She has eight 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.
She set a career-best in hitting efficiency when she smashed a .520 at BYU (Oct. 11). She knocked down 14 kills with only one errors in 25 swings.
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 426 digs and sits second all-time in that category with 1,156 defensive stops. Coming into 2008, her 2007 output of 354 digs ranked fifth, she surpassed that figure two weekends ago with her 2008 tally moving into that position.
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 all 23 matches this season with nine 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 19. 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 14 matches and 48 sets.
In the last 14 matches, she has tallied 126 kills which equates to 2.62 kills-per-set and a .255 hitting efficiency. She has amassed no less than five kills in each match, while maxing out at 14 vs. Wyoming (Oct. 18). In all, she has gone into double-digits on five occasions. Against Georgia State (Sept. 20) she hit at a .750 clip.
Not only has she been strong attacking, she has been just as effective as a blocker. In the past 14 matches, she leads the team with 37 (eight solo, 29 assisted).
Overall, she has thrown down 136 kills (2.43 kps) and is second on the team with a .269 hitting efficiency. At the net, she is second with 45 blocks (11 solo, 34 assisted).
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 23 matches of play she has three double-doubles (Dayton, Cal State Fullerton and San Diego State). She picked up her first two double-doubles in the season's first five matches with 10 kills and 12 digs for her first as a Rebel vs. Dayton (Aug. 29) and then 12 kills and 17 digs vs. Fullerton (Sept. 6). It took her 12 matches to notch her third double-double with a 14 kill-10 dig effort vs. San Diego State (Oct. 3).
She currently sits fourth amongst attackers with 121 kills for an average of 1.55 kills-per-set. She has notched double-digits in kills on four occasions, with New Mexico (Sept. 27) and San Diego State (Oct. 3) topping the list with 14 kills in each. In the New Mexico match, she hit a season-best .444 with only two errors in 27 swings.
Defensively, she is third on the squad in digs (178) and fourth in digs-per-set (2.26). She has eight matches with 10 or more digs with a season-high 17 coming against Cal State Fullerton on Sept. 6.
She is third on the squad in aces with 11.
Maurer Power: Leah Maurer has seen action in 16 matches this season (67 kills, .222, 25 blocks), but made the most of her opportunity in UNLV's four-match home stand from Sept. 27 to Oct. 3.
In the quartet of matches, she led the team in kills with 39 and owned the highest hitting efficiency (.280) of players with 10 or more kills. She was third in kills-per-set with a 2.60.
She began the home stand 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).
Nehf Said: Sara Nehf has racked up 91 kills on the year for an average of 2.02 and a hitting efficiency of .224. Nehf has seen action in 19 matches and 45 sets, but has been more of a factor lately.
In the past seven matches, she has contributed 62 kills for an average of 2.95 kills-per-set and is hitting .231. She has tallied eight or more kills in five of the seven contests, while topping out at a career-best 13 against TCU (Oct. 25).
In the same time frame, she has produced defensively, as well. She had 28 digs in those seven matches matches with 10 coming against Wyoming (10-18) to give her her second career double-double and first of the season.
From There To Now: UNLV began the year 2-5, but have since turned things around with 11 wins in its last 16 matches.
The Rebels opened up the year with identical 1-2 marks in back-to-back tournaments, but then notched matching 2-1 records in the following two tournaments.
Over the past 16 matches, the team has owned three winning streaks of three matches and won seven of the 11 by 3-0 scores.