Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 | 6 p.m.
There are a lot of expectations on this year’s UNLV basketball team. If the Rebels need advice about dealing with that and performing in crunch time, they can just go to the sideline and ask a Rebel Girl.
After months of training and a two-day competition at the College Dance Team National Championships in Orlando, Fla., this weekend, the Rebel Girls won their first team national championship.
“I’m thrilled with my team,” coach Marca Decastroverde said in a statement. “They are so deserving of this championship.”
Led by seniors Erin Bush and Alex Ferdinand, the Rebel Girls won the hip hop competition and also took third in the pom routine. The team has placed in the top five at nationals before but had never won a title until this weekend, beating out Louisiana State University and Cincinnati for the crown. The Rebel Girls finished behind Minnesota and Cincinnati in the pom routine.
Last year the team placed fifth in hip hop and failed to make the finals in pom. This year they finished the first day with a lead in hip hop and slotted second in pom.
“We knew we had targets on our backs going into finals,” Bush said. “We also knew our conditioning and coaching were excellent. Our coach kept us grounded and my amazing teammates came through. No better way to end my four-year UNLV experience than with a national championship.”
The Rebel Girls got some practice in front of a crowd with their final hip hop routine at the Jan. 12 home basketball game against Air Force. The Rebels needed overtime to win that game. Just more than a week later the Rebel Girls won in regulation.
“With the support of our UNLV students, student-athletes, community and administration, we rose to the challenge and nailed it in the end,” Decastroverde said.