VOLLEYBALL PREPARES FOR A PAIR OF ROAD MATCHES THIS WEEK
The UNLV volleyball team will round out their three-game road stint this weekend before heading back to Cox Pavilion, competing out east in Colorado and New Mexico. The Rebels will first take on Air Force on Thursday, Oct. 26 at 5 p.m. PT before stopping in Albuquerque, N.M. for their match against New Mexico on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 12 p.m. PT. Both in-conference rematches will be streamed on the Mountain West Network.
LAST WEEK: UNLV (12-10, 4-5 Mountain West) fell in both matches last weekend, falling just short in the tight battles against Utah State at home and against Boise State on the road. The final scores of the matches were 3-2 and 3-1, respectively.
REBEL LEADERS: The Rebels remain a Mountain West top-three program in hitting percentage, improving their rate to .254 and reaching second overall in the league. Isabel Martin remains the conference’s second-place kill leader per set, her average of 4.15 remains as one of two student-athletes with an average over four. The redshirt senior upped her points per set average to 4.81, another mark that ranks second among individuals in the Mountain West. UNLV currently stands fourth overall as a team in service aces per set at 1.78, maintaining two players among the league’s top-10 service-ace performers in Livvy Setla (fifth; .44) and Caleigh King (ninth; .38).
Dakota Quinlin still remains among the top-10 competitors in hitting percentage, her weekend of 11 kills and no errors pushed up her rate to .344 at sixth in the conference. Jordyn Freeman moved up two slots over the course of last week to fourth overall in the Mountain West in blocks per game, averaging now 1.18 after earning 12 total blocks in nine sets last weekend. Senior Arien Fafard sits as one of eight student-athletes in the conference who holds seven or more assists per set, the UNLV setter holding 7.3 assists per set for eighth overall.
ABOUT THE OPPONENTS:
Air Force (13-8, 5-5)
The Falcons still boast one of the conference’s top offenses, sitting at third in both hitting percentage (.245) and kills per set (13.32) as a team. Joi Harvey paces the league with a .463 hitting rate as an individual with Mac Russ behind her at fourth overall on a .361 rate, Air Force being one of two programs in the conference with two student-athletes in the league’s top 10 individuals in hitting percentage. Caroline Reinkensmeyer tallies just under 10 assists per game for the Falcons, averaging 9.83 sets per rate after the program’s 41 sets played in Mountain West matches.
New Mexico (15-6, 7-3)
Sitting with the second-best record in the Mountain West, the Lobos are led by a rugged defense that currently paces the league in digs per set (15.58), opponent hitting percentage (.179) and ranks second overall in blocks per set (2.71). New Mexico hosts two student-athletes among the league’s top-six blockers, Elizabeth Woods currently ranked second (1.33 per set) and Athina Dimitriadis hailing at sixth overall (1.11 per set) in the conference standings. Kaitlynn Biassou leads the Lobos with 3.53 kills per set, ranking fourth in the Mountain West alongside Melissa Walden as the program’s assist leader. Walden’s average per set ranks sixth in the conference as of Wednesday, holding a 8.11 rate.
LIVE COVERAGE: Video stream and live stats links from UNLV’s matches are available on the volleyball schedule page at UNLVRebels.com.
REBEL ROSTER MAKEUP: The Rebels, who are led by first-year head coach Malia Shoji, returned 11 letterwinnersfrom last season’s team, including the 2022 MW Player of the Year and the 2023 Preseason MW Player of the Year in senior outside hitter Isabel Martin. Also returning are last season’s all-conference honorees: senior outside hitter Gabrielle Arretche-Ramos and senior middle blocker Jordyn Freeman.
Martin also earned all-region honors last season and was named an honorable mention All-American.
The Rebels have also added five new players to their 2023 roster.
PRESEASON FAVORITES: UNLV was named the preseason league favorite along with Utah State in a poll voted on by the conference’s head coaches.
LAST SEASON: UNLV went 26-5 overall in 2022, including a 17-1 record in Mountain West play, and made another NCAA Tournament appearance.
2023 TICKETS: Tickets for UNLV volleyball may be purchased at UNLVtickets.com or by calling 702-739-3267. Single-game tickets are $6 per adult when purchased in advance of game day, $10 on game day and free for kids in high school or younger.