Danielle Leichliter had a career-high 28 digs to lead Utah to a 3-2 win over UNLV tonight.
Nov. 18, 2005
LAS VEGAS - The University of Utah volleyball team (19-7, 11-4, Mountain West) bested a stellar defensive effort to rally past UNLV tonight and insure at least a third-place finish in the league.
The Utes spotted the Rebels a two-game lead but rallied to win in the last three frames as Utah escaped with the 3-2 league win. Game scores were 22-30. 30-32, 30-16, 30-24 and 15-13 as the Rebels fall to 14-13 overall and to 10-5 in league play.
"Danielle (Leichliter)'s passionate speech after game two turned things around for us," noted head coach Beth Launiere. "We were down 2-0 and we said that we had to win this match in three games. We went out there, played hard, made no excuses and came away with the win.
"UNLV leads the conference in digs and they got everything we hit at them in games one and two. We finally started to get kills after game three and won it with a great team effort."
It was a solid defensive effort on both sides of the net. The two rivals combined to record 207 total digs with UNLV holding the statistical edge, 104-103.
Four Utes tallied double-digit digs on the night and combined to scoop up 87 UNLV attempts. Leichliter led the way with a career-high 28 digs while Shelly Sommerfeldt and Airial Salvo each tallied 20 digs on the evening. Shannon Krug rounded out Utah's digs leaders with a career-best 19.
Utah hit .256 for the night as it had three players record double-doubles and five players tally double-digit kills. Pacing the offense was Sommerfeldt as she had a match-high 24 kills to go along with her 20 digs. Salvo (17 kills, 20 digs), Emillie Toone (15 kills), Lori Baird (14 kills) and Whitney Webb (11 kills) rounded out the multi-faceted attack.
UNLV hit just .159 for the night as Baird and Toone led Utah at the net. They each recorded seven total blocks while Salvo helped out with five total blocks of her own. The Utes out-blocked their rivals, 15-7.
Leading the way for UNLV's offense was Lauren Miramontes (20 kills) and Melody Nua (60 assists). The Rebel defense was led by Jada Walker's 27 digs and Maria Aladjova's four total blocks.
Utah wraps up the regular season at San Diego State on Saturday, Nov. 19. First serve is set for 7 p.m. (PST).