October 31, 2019 - 10:19 pm
UNLV was picked seventh in the Mountain West preseason women’s basketball poll, voted on by the league’s 11 coaches and select media members.
The Lady Rebels graduated four starters from last season’s team that placed fifth. Defending champion Boise State is the preseason favorite with 305 points and 25 first-place votes. New Mexico (280) received three first-place votes.
Fresno State (228) was picked third, followed by Wyoming (201), San Diego State (192) and Colorado State (185). Next were UNLV (130), Utah State (116), UNR (115), Air Force (85) and San Jose State (77).
The Lady Rebels return 32 percent of their scoring from last season. Among the returners is Rodjanae Wade, a senior center who was voted the league’s sixth player of the year in 2018-19. She averaged 8.1 points and 5.9 rebounds as a junior.
Another key returner is junior guard Bailey Thomas, who made the league’s all-defensive team last season.
At Cox Pavilion, Mariena Hayden had 22 kills on .364 hitting and five aces to lead the Rebels to their ninth straight win, a 3-1 decision over Fresno State in a Mountain West match.
Antonette Rolda had 19 assists and 10 digs for UNLV (13-9, 9-2), which won by scores of 22-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-14.
Amaria Kelley had 12 kills on .303 hitting for the Bulldogs (12-11, 5-6), who were outhit .222 to .071.
Alison French had eight kills, Shelby Capllonch 15 digs, Lauryn Burt 14 assists, Paris Oliveira 12 digs and Kate Brennan four blocks for the Rebels, who held edges of 48-33 in kills and 9-6 in aces.
Amilya Thompson had 10 kills and 10 digs, Madelyn Halteman 25 assists and 11 digs and Reagan Leonard 12 digs for Fresno State, which lost its second straight.
At Orem, Utah, Blake Frischknecht had a goal and an assist to lead Utah Valley past the Rebels 3-1 in a Western Athletic Conference match.
Luis Garza and Zach Maas scored in the first half for the Wolverines (9-6-1, 6-3), who are 6-1 at home. Timo Mehlich scored in the second half for UNLV (5-11-1, 3-5-1), which was outshot 19-10.
Garza opened the scoring in the fifth minute, with assists by Mark Brown and Frischknecht. Leo Fuchs assisted on Maas’ goal in the 40th minute.
Mehlich cut the Rebels’ deficit in half with a goal in the 58th minute, which was answered in the 83rd minute by Frischknecht.
Frischknecht put five of his match-high eight shots on goal as Utah Valley held an 8-6 edge in shots on goal.
Mehlich put all four of his team-best four shots on goal. Lukas Betz had five saves for UNLV, and Mitch Jensen had four saves for the Wolverines.