Jump to UNLVboxscore SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Denitza Koleva and Karla Crose paced the University of Arkansas to a three-set win over UNLV at the San Diego Tournament in San Diego, Calif., Friday afternoon. Koleva is continuing to grow as a full rotation player and firmly controlled the pace of the match from every position on the floor as Arkansas (7-2) downed UNLV (3-6) 30-25, 30-26, 31-29 in the first match of the day. The Middleton, Wisc., native finished with a team-leading 11 kills and 33 touches for Arkansas. Crose also quietly stepped up her game leading the team and the match with a .562 hitting percentage and 10 kills. The Lincoln, Neb., native had just one hitting error and had four digs and six blocks in the win. A shuffle in the starting lineup prompted, in part, by an injury to senior setter Iva Docekalova, slowed Arkansas from the first serve and gave the Rebels a quick 8-3 lead. Poole took his first timeout and the Lady’Backs responded with a 5-1 run closing within a point, 9-8, to force a UNLV timeout. Arkansas tied the game on an ace serve from Ashley Miller and eventually took a 13-12 lead on a soft kill from Christina Lawrence. The Lady’Backs stretched the advantage to as many as four points but UNLV chipped away and closed within a pair trailing 23-21, as Poole burned his final timeout. The break settled Arkansas as Koleva crushed a kill down the line followed by a cross-court shot from Lawrence as the Lady’Backs expended the lead. The Rebels burned a timeout trying to slow Arkansas’ offense but the Lady’Backs were firmly in control of the game cruising to a five-point win. Arkansas hit just .125 in the frame paced by Koleva’s six kills, and was out-hit by UNLV who turned in a .189 mark with four fewer hitting errors than the Lady’Backs. The Lady Razorback offense improved in the second game with 18 kills, just four hitting errors and a .341 hitting percentage bettering the Rebels who hit .293 in the frame. Although Arkansas won by just four points, the game was never in doubt for the Lady’Backs who led from the opening serve. By the end of the frame, Koleva was still among the match leaders with 10 kills and a .400 hitting percentage. Corse stepped up with seven kills and a .500 hitting mark and was among the team leaders with three blocks as the Lady’Backs had out-blocked the Rebels 6.0-3.0 at that point. The scrappy Rebel defense fought hard to avoid the shutout in the third game, clawing their way back into the frame and taking a small lead mid-game. But Arkansas’ athleticism overcame the deficit and evened the score at 16. A sea-saw battle followed but Koleva put the team on her back with a nearly unreturnable jump serve that stymied the Rebel’s allowing the Lady’Backs to pull away. The third game was a little tighter, especially down the stretch. Arkansas had match point, 29-24, but UNLV would not go quietly into the night fighting for five consecutive points to tie the game at 29. A service error game Arkansas the go-ahead point and the ball back and a block from Koleva and Amy Allison closed the match. The Lady’Backs return to the court Friday night taking on 18th-ranked San Diego as tournament play continues.