Nov. 15, 2006
LAS VEGAS -
First Serve: The Rebels (18-9 overall, 9-6 MWC) close out the 2006 regular season with a road contest at San Diego State on Friday, Nov. 17. Thus far in 2006, the Rebels are 1-0 against SDSU and 5-2 against California squads. UNLV takes with them a two-match winning streak to the Golden State after taking care of Air Force and Colorado State this past weekend.
Scouting The Opponent:
San Diego State Aztecs: 11-16 Overall / 5-10 MWC (T-6th) 2005 Overall / Conference: 16-14 Overall / 8-8 (5th)
Aladjova Earns MWC Weekly Honor: UNLV outside hitter Maria Aladjova earned Mountain West Conference Volleyball Player of the Week honors after her play this past weekend in victories over Air Force and Colorado State, marking her first career award.
Aladjova, a 5-11 junior from Sofia, Bulgaria, helped the Rebels to a 2-0 record in conference wins and led the Rebels in kills (34), kills per game (4.25), hitting percentage (.441), while coming in third-place in digs (25) and digs per game (3.12).
On the weekend, Aladjova notched double-doubles in both matches and now has 13 on the year. Against the Falcons, she threw down 19 kills and 10 digs, while hitting a season-high .680 (19-2-25) in the sweep. Against Colorado State, she amassed 15 kills and 15 digs, as the Rebels defeated the Rams in five games, marking the first time UNLV has beaten CSU in Las Vegas since 1999. She also had two total blocks vs. CSU. With the double-digit kill tallies against Air Force and Colorado State, Aladjova has now nailed 10+ kills on 23 occasions.
On the week, Aladjova averaged 4.25 kills, 3.13 digs and 0.25 blocks and assists per game, while hitting .441 (34-4-68), which is almost .300 points over her season average.
The honor is the second for the Rebels this season as Brittani Lumsden achieved the feat on Sept. 11. This is the first instance since the MWC began play in 1999 that UNLV has had two selections in one season, while it is the sixth overall honor.
UNLV Finishes Fourth...Once Again: Although, the Rebels have one Mountain West Conference match remaining at San Diego State on Friday, Nov. 17, the team can do no better/worse than a fourth-place regular season finish. This is the third straight season that the Rebels will head into the MWC Tournament as the #4 seed. UNLV holds a 9-6 league mark and trails #20 BYU and Colorado State, who are tied for second-place with identical 11-3 marks. With CSU's loss to the Rebels on Sunday, Nov. 12, the 9th-ranked Utah Utes claim the title of regular season champions with a 14-0 mark with two matches to play.
Looking Ahead: With the Rebels locking up the 4th seed into the Mountain West Conference Tournament, which will be hosted once again in Las Vegas on Nov. 22nd through the 25th, the team has four possible opponents that could claim the 5th position.
Currently, Wyoming sits in fifth-place with a 5-9 league mark and has two homematches remaining against TCU and New Mexico. The Cowgirls hold the keys to their own destiny by virtue of holding a 0.5-match lead over the three teams tied with 5-10 records (TCU, San Diego State and New Mexico).
The three teams that are tied with 5-10 marks have only one match remaining on each of their schedules. San Diego State will play host to the Rebels on Friday, while TCU and New Mexico need to win on the road.
Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas: As the famous sign on the Las Vegas "Strip" reads, "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas", the UNLV program will be the host of the Mountain West Conference's Tournament on Nov. 22nd through the 25th. This is the second straight year that the tournament has resided in Las Vegas and been played at UNLV's Cox Pavilion.
The tournament serves it up on Wednesday, Nov. 22, with the "Play-In" match featuring the 8th and 9th seeded squads at 3:30 pm. The winner of that match moves on to play the top-seeded Utah Utes on Thursday, Nov. 23. Besides the Utah vs. the "Play-In" winner match, there will be three other quarterfinal matches to be played on Thanksgiving Day. Quarterfinal #1 is set to start at 11:00 am, while #2 is scheduled to begin 40-minutes following the first. Quarterfinal #3 is scheduled for a 4:00 pm start time with #4 beginning 40-minutes after the third's conclusion.
The four teams that are thankful for victories on Turkey Day will move onto Friday, Nov. 24th's semifinal round. Those matches are set for 1:30 pm and 4:00 pm.
The championship match on Saturday, Nov. 25th is set for an 8:00 pm serve.