Hello Rebel fans,
February is an unbelievably busy time around college athletics. Winter sports - like basketball, swimming and indoor track - are hitting the peak of their respective seasons and gearing up for their postseasons while spring sports - such as softball, baseball, tennis, golf and track & field - are just beginning their schedules. What does that mean for you? A lot of opportunities to support your Rebels. Obviously, we expect to have a packed house for the Runnin' Rebel vs. San Diego State game tomorrow, but here are a few more ways for you to support UNLV:
ESPN RADIO 1100 AM/98.9 FM TO HOST REBEL RADIO THIS WEDNESDAY (11 AM-6:45 PM)
For the second year in a row, our flagship station of ESPN Radio 1100 AM/98.9 FM will be designating one entire day of local programming to help support UNLV Athletics through the Rebel Athletic Fund Radiothon. Please listen this Wednesday (Feb. 20) from 11 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. for non-stop UNLV Rebels talk featuring ESPN Radio personalities as well as Rebel coaches, student-athletes and other UNLV reps. We received tremendous feedback from fans about last year's radiothon and hope even more fans will tune in this year to find out the terrific things going on with those student-athletes living the Scarlet. Gray. Every Day... The radiothon will be followed by the Runnin' Rebel pregame show prior to No. 24 Colorado State facing UNLV at the T&M at 7:15 p.m. PT... A special thank you to Lotus Broadcasting for supporting the Rebel Athletic Fund.
SOMETHING SPECIAL IN THE AIR TONIGHT? REBEL BASEBALL OPENER
Baseball Opening Day - those are three magical words for many of us. Tim Chambers' Rebel Baseball squad opens up the season tonight against Tennessee at 6:05 p.m. at Wilson Stadium. Tickets are just $8, kids 12-and-under are always free. If you can't make it out to the ballpark, be sure to tune in to Sports Radio 920 AM for the play-by-play of tonight's opener. (Lotus Broadcasting will be carrying a select number of Rebel baseball games this season on Sports Radio 920 AM to help increase awareness for the program. Once again, thank you Lotus Broadcasting!)... The two teams will also play a 1:05 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday and finish the four-game set with a 1:05 p.m. game on Sunday. (Half-price tickets to Sunday's game with a ticket from Saturday's Runnin' Rebel game vs. San Diego State.)
DODD BEGINS CAREER IN STYLE FOR REBEL SOFTBALL
Almost every coach can tell you the first game they were a head coach, the first game they won as a head coach and the first game they played against a ranked team as a head coach. For new Rebel Softball coach Lisa Dodd, they are all one in the same. Lisa officially began her career as a Div-I softball head coach last week and led UNLV to a win over nationally ranked Louisville in her first game. UNLV Softball is hosting the Easton Desert Classic this weekend (it started yesterday) and features UNLV playing six games in four days. If you get a chance, check the Rebels out. Good things are happening with our softball program.
PREGAME RUNNIN' REBEL FANZONE THIS SATUDAY STARTING AT 3 P.M.
Fans are urged to get to the Thomas & Mack Center early this Saturday and enjoy the Runnin' Rebel FanZone, which will be set up on the plaza in front of the arena. There will be games for kids, sign-making opportunities, a Scarlet & Gray hair-coloring station and booths featuring UNLV's corporate sponsors offering giveaways and coupons to fans. The FanZone will open at 3 p.m. with doors to the Thomas & Mack Center opening at 5 p.m., one hour prior to tip-off of the 6 p.m. game vs. San Diego State.
RAF DONOR APPRECIATION WATCH PARTY - SATURDAY, MARCH 2
All members of the Rebel Athletic Fund are invited to attend a special RAF Donor Appreciation Watch Party on Saturday, March 2 when the Runnin' Rebels travel to take on Nevada, Reno at 1 p.m. PT. The watch party will be held at Nacho Daddy restaurant, near the southwest corner of Eastern & St. Rose. (In the Lowe's shopping center.) Appetizers and select beers will be provided. Free tickets for the 3 p.m. Lady Rebel vs. UNR basketball game that day at the Cox Pavilion will also be available at the watch party. RAF members - thank you for supporting UNLV's student-athletes.
MEN'S SWIMMING RETURNS TO TOP 25
Riding an eight-meet win streak to end the regular season, UNLV Men's Swimming returned to the national rankings last week and is currently ranked No. 25 in the country. Up next is the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship meet next weekend.
REBEL NETTERS ON A ROLL
Men's Tennis is 5-0 for the first time since 2009 as sophomore Ace Matias was named Mountain West Player of the Week. The Rebels visit BYU later today... The 57th-ranked Women's Tennis team (3-2) has won its past three matches and plays host to San Jose State today at 10 a.m. PT and Southern Utah at 2 p.m. at the Fertitta Tennis Complex. Admission is always free to watch UNLV Tennis.
TRACK & FIELD PREPS FOR MW INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Led by senior Kelsey Williamson (who also serves as an intern with our department's communications team), our Women's Track & Field team is getting ready for next weekend's Mountain West Indoor Championships in Idaho. Kelsey won the 800m last week at the Don Kirby Elite Invitational in Albuquerque. In fact, her time of 2:06.77 moved her into second place in UNLV's indoor performance list surpassing Trena Hull, who registered a time of 2:07.30 in 1987.
SPECIAL THANK YOU TO ALLEGIANT AIR - AND OUR FANS
After last Saturday night's big win over New Mexico at the Thomas & Mack Center, Runnin' Rebel head coach Dave Rice gave a special thank you to Maury Gallagher and Allegiant Air in his press conference - and for good reason. Gallagher, Allegiant's CEO and a tremendous supporter of UNLV Athletics, arranged to have a commercial flight leave Las Vegas the afternoon on the day of the game at Fresno State allowing fans to get to the game. A commercial flight was also scheduled to return to Las Vegas the same night after the game with the team joining the fans on the plane. Without this special commercial flight back home, our guys would not have returned home until the following day missing both class and crucial prep and recovery time for the next game - against New Mexico - just two days later. Allegiant provided the same opportunity for our fans to travel this past Wednesday afternoon to the game at Air Force and then return home with the team on a commercial flight that night after the game. This creative thinking and commitment from Allegiant and Maury (who helped to make the Mendenhall Center a reality) - as well as the fans supporting this commercial flight package - makes us better. THANK YOU!
LADY REBELS SHINING DESPITE CHALLENGES; OLIVIER CAPTURES WIN NO. 300
A season of challenges due to graduation and injuries has turned into a season of hope for the Lady Rebels, who are 6-4 in conference play and have won four of their last five games. Led by senior Kelli Thompson - who is cementing herself as one of the all-time great Lady Rebels - this young women's basketball team is overcoming the loss of last year's starting point guard Mia Bell (redshirting due to injury) as well as second-leading scorer in sophomore Alana Cesarz (torn ACL in January). Check out this story from the Las Vegas Review-Journal about the success of the young squad... In addition, head coach Kathy Olivier captured her 300th career win as a head coach against Boise State earlier this month. Not only are we proud of her as a coach, but she is a proud UNLV alum. Let me tell you right now, KO lives the Scarlet. Gray. Every Day. She LOVES UNLV!
REBEL FOOTBALL SPRING SHOWCASE - FRIDAY, APRIL 12
Mark your calendars today for the Rebel Football Spring Showcase on Friday, April 12 at 5:30 p.m. PT at Rebel Park. The free event will give fans a chance to check out the Rebels in action as they wrap-up spring practice under new offensive coordinator Timm Rosenbach and new defensive coordinator Tim Hauck. We are fortunate to add these two experienced football minds to a team that is more talented than it has been in recent seasons... Immediately following the Showcase, UNLV Baseball will begin its three-game weekend series with Nevada, Reno as part of Governor's Series action. It's going to be a GREAT weekend to be a Rebel.
MAKE PLANS TO BE AT THE MACK TO WATCH THE MW BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS - MARCH 12-16
Even if you did not receive tickets through the UNLV allotment, please make plans to be at the T&M for the Mountain West Basketball Championships the second week in March. Ticket sales have been strong throughout the league and we need to make sure as many Rebel fans as possible are in the building to support our teams. Simply put, the tournament has turned into one of the most competitive and enjoyable conference tournaments in the nation. Don't delay in getting your tickets. Call (702) 739-FANS or visit UNLVtickets.com. Remember, we do not control the tickets that are not part of our allotment as this is not a UNLV Athletics event.
Thank you so much for caring about this great University and these amazing young student-athletes. You represent the Scarlet. Gray. Every Day.
For the Rebels,
Director of Athletics