Pilots Navigate Past Rebels In Five
Sept. 1, 2012
PORTLAND (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV Rebels (3-3) lost a heartbreaking five-set match to the Portland Pilots (4-3) by a final score of 3-2 in the finale of the Nike Portland Invitational played in the Chiles Center in Portland. UNLV rallied from a one-set deficit to claim a 2-1 advantage before the host Pilots rallied to win the fourth and fifth frames en route to the victory. Portland won the match with set scores of 25-21, 22-25, 17-25, 25-21, 15-9.
Portland out-hit UNLV .308 to .214 in the match, and it owned a six-kill advantage (65-59) off nine less swings (146-154). The Pilots, who committed six less errors than UNLV (20-26), hit a staggering .750 (12-0-16) in the decisive fifth set. Portland, who also hit .429 in the initial set, only hit .235 or lower the remaining stanzas. The Rebels, on the other hand, topped out a .333 in two frames, but stayed between .030 to .268 hitting efficiencies the rest of the match.
UNLV was led by double-doubles from Stephanie Thelen and Sekola Falemaka, who both combined their kills and digs for the feat. Thelen had 10 digs to go along with her match- and career-high 15 kills off .406 hitting. Falemaka provided 13 kills and 11 digs for her double-double, while chipping in five assists and two blocks.
Candice Thomas, who was the only Rebel named to the all-tournament team, had 10 kills and five blocks (two solo) and a dig.
Kinsey Caldwell dished out a match-high 45 assists and also pitched in seven digs, four kills and three aces.
Besides the double-digit dig outputs from Thelen and Falemaka, Allison Davies led all defenders in the category with 14.
Portland was led by a pair of players that both made the all-tournament team, Autumn Wedan and Ariel Usher. Wedan, who was named the MVP of the two-day event had 14 kills on .344 hitting, five digs, one block and one ace. Usher threw down a match-high 20 kills - .348 hitting - with four digs, three blocks and two assists.
Monica Jordan was the lone Pilot to notch a double-double with 32 assists and 12 digs coupled with three kills.
The Rebels returns to action next week with its own UNLV Invitational, as they host Prairie View A&M, Texas Southern and Gonzaga next Friday and Saturday. UNLV opens up with Prairie View A&M on Friday night at 7:00 pm following the Texas Southern-Gonzaga affair at 5:00 pm.