UNLV volleyball sweeps Air Force and New Mexico

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UNLV volleyball celebrates after a set win earlier this season. Photo by Jordan Anders-McClain.

The Rebels proved why they are atop the Mountain West. UNLV volleyball swept both Air Force and New Mexico in dominant fashion as they controlled every aspect in both matches. 

With the wins, the Rebels improve to 22-3 overall and 13-1 in Mountain West play. UNLV’s 13-game winning streak has put them in first place in the Mountain West.

UNLV opened the week against Air Force (12-14, 4-10) Thursday evening at the Cox Pavilion with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-23) win. 

The first set was filled with several UNLV runs, fueled by multiple aces from freshman libero Maya Sands and junior outside hitter Gabrielle Arretche-Ramos. The Rebels led as much as 11 and finished off the set, 25-17.

“Tonight we served really well and we are making sure to continue to play at the standard we play at, no matter what,” head coach Dawn Sullivan said. 

The standard Sullivan mentioned was evident in the second set as the team recorded only three attacking errors. In the second, the Rebels nearly doubled the Falcons in kills. UNLV claimed the set as they went up 2-0 in the matchup.

In the third set, junior outside hitter Isabel Martin recorded seven of her 14 kills in the final set. The third was back and forth till the end. UNLV closed out the sweep by winning the third, 25-23.

“It is not about making the best kill or the hardest swing,” said Martin, “but making the smartest decisions.” 

Martin – the Mountain West Player of the Week – finished the night with 14 kills and 12 digs.

Saturday vs New Mexico

UNLV hosted New Mexico (14-10, 5-9) Saturday afternoon looking to extend their win streak to 13.

And it did just that as UNLV swept New Mexico for the second time this season 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-18) on Saturday.

The Rebels came out on fire in the first set as they scored six unanswered points from the first serve. Junior middle blocker Jordyn Freeman and sophomore right side hitter Chloe Thomas combined for nine kills in this set, which sparked the efforts in a commanding first set win.

 UNLV led early and as much as 11, ending the set 25-15.

The second was characterized by the exchanging of unanswered points throughout the entire set totaling five lead changes. The Rebels managed to stay on top as they edged the Lobos 25-21.

Up 2-0, graduate setter Jhenna Gabriel recorded 15 of her 39 assists in the third set. 

In addition, several players finished with double-digit figures in digs: Gabriel (19), freshman libero Maya Sands (18), and sophomore libero Isha Knight (17). 

UNLV continued to stay disciplined as the team edged New Mexico in the majority of recorded categories. The Rebels swept the Lobos ending the final set 25-18.

UNLV begins its last road trip of the regular season to face San Diego State, Thursday at 7 p.m., and Fresno State, Saturday at noon.

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