Rebel Recaps: Volleyball rallies for victory at Air Force

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Members of the UNLV volleyball team celebrates after scoring a point at a home match at Cox Pavilion earlier this season. Photo by Jordan Anders-McClain.

UNLV volleyball rallied from an early two-set deficit to beat the Air Force Falcons 3-2 (24-26, 21-25, 25,17, 25-13, 16-14) Saturday afternoon at the United States Air Force Academy.

The Rebels opened their week with a 3-0 (25-22, 31-29, 26-24) win against the New Mexico Lobos on Thursday.

Against Air Force, UNLV led by as many as eight points, 17-9, midway through the first set. The Rebels were at match-point, leading 24-20, but six straight points by the Falcons gave them the win in the first set.

Both teams traded the lead multiple times in the second set. Air Force went on a 8-1 run to take the lead late in the set and hold onto the victory.

Trailing 2-0, UNLV jumped out to an early lead in the third set and led by as many as 11 points on its way to a comfortable third set win. The Rebels maintained that control in the fourth set as they won the set easily.

The Rebels were in a tough challenge for the final set, as both teams traded the lead several times. Tied 14-14, Isabell Martin recorded a kill, and an attack error by Air Force gave the Rebels the set win and game win. Martin led the Rebels with 15 kills.

On Thursday, the Rebels swept the Lobos in three straight sets in Albuquerque, New Mexico. UNLV had to sweat out each set on its way to the sweep.

In the first set, the Rebels broke a 20-20 tie with four kills to edge the Lobos to take an early 1-0 lead.

Both teams traded the lead back and forth in the second set, before the Rebels closed out the set with a pair of kills from Martin.

The Rebels rallied from a 22-18 deficit in the third set with four straight points to take a brief lead. After the Lobos responded to take a 24-23 lead, the Rebels closed out the set with three straight points to win the set and game.

Gabrielle Arretche-Ramos led the Rebels with 22 kills and Martin added 13.

The Rebels are now 14-3 overall and 5-1 in Mountain West play. Next up, UNLV returns home for two games against Utah State, Thursday at 6:30 p.m., and Boise State, Saturday at 1 p.m.

Women’s Cross Country

Sophomore runner Natalia Ruiz won the women’s 5k race at the Steve T. Reeder Memorial Invitational in Logan, Utah Friday afternoon.

Ruiz led wire-to-wire and finished with a time of 18:08.4, nearly 17 seconds ahead of second place. Ruiz’s strong showing helped the Rebels finish in third place in the women’s 5k.

The Rebels competed against Mountain West opponent and host Utah State, along with BYU and Weber State, among notable schools. 

Ruiz won the same race and event in 2021. She has led the Rebels in all three of their events this season. Junior Isabelle Schrader recorded a season best time of 20:01.9

“Really happy with Natalia’s performance, anytime you get an individual win at a big competition like that is exciting,” head coach Dorian Scott said in a statement. “[Schrader]  going out there and getting a season best this time of year is really exciting. It shows that training is going well for everybody and things are coming together at the right time.”

The Rebels return to action at the Bronco Invitational on Oct. 15, hosted by Santa Clara University. The Mountain West Championships take place later this month, on Oct. 28 in Laramie, Wyoming.

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