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Lobos Look To Regroup, Travel To New Mexico State And Air Force This Week
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  10/04/2004
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Oct. 4, 2004

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THIS WEEK IN LOBO VOLLEYBALL

New Mexico (6-8, 0-4 MWC) vs. New Mexico State (13-2)

Pan American Center - Las Cruces, N.M. - Tuesday, Oct. 5 - 7 p.m.

New Mexico vs. Air Force (4-9, 0-4)

Cadet East Gym - Colorado Springs, Colo. - Friday, Oct. 8 - 7 p.m.

GAMETRACKER: Live stats vs. Air Force available at www.GoLobos.com and www.AirForceSports.com

LOBOS TRAVEL TO ARCHRIVAL NEW MEXICO STATE BEFORE RETURNING TO MWC ACTION AT AIR FORCE - The New Mexico volleyball team (6-8, 0-4 Mountain West) must regroup after nearly knocking No. 22 Utah at home in its last match Oct. 2 with two road matches this week. The Lobos led the nationally-ranked Utes two games to one and held a five-point advantage midway through the fourth game, but Utah came back to life and claimed the next two games in the five-game victory.

In the first match of the week, UNM travels to Las Cruces Tuesday, Oct. 5 to face archrival New Mexico State in the Pan American Center at 7 p.m. The Aggies topped the Lobos in four games at the Johnson Center in the first meeting of the season Sept. 14. NMSU enters the match with a 13-2 record after sweeping Louisiana-Lafayette and North Texas at home last weekend. UNM, who took the Aggies to five games last year in Las Cruces, is looking to break a three-match losing streak against New Mexico State.

The Lobos return to conference action Friday, Oct. 8 when they travel to Air Force. The Falcons (4-9, 0-4) are also winless in MWC play after falling to Utah in four games and BYU in three games at home last weekend. Air Force travels to Northern Colorado Tuesday, Oct. 5 before taking on UNM. Live stats of the Air Force match will be available at www.GoLobos.com in the upcoming events box on the right side of the page.

QUICK LOOK AT THE LOBOS - New Mexico is a mix of five returning letterwinners, two junior transfers and five freshmen. The young team has already eclipsed last season's win total and is looking to move up the Mountain West Conference standings with a strong league showing. The Lobos showed their promise after claiming the Albuquerque Marriott Classic Sept. 17-18 with victories over Hartford, UTEP and Weber State. UNM placed four players on the all-tournament team, including Nicole Ryan, who was named the Most Valuable Player. UNM nearly upset No. 22 Utah in its last home match Oct. 2, leading two games to one and leading by five points midway through the fourth game before the Utes rallied back for the win.

Head coach Kelley McKee is in her third season with the Lobos, teaming up with third-year assistant Brent Aldridge and second-year assistant Chelsea Robb. McKee has a 163-158 (.508) career record in 12 years of coaching. She amassed a 143-104 (.579) in her nine years at Northern Arizona prior to arriving at UNM.

The Lobos were picked to finish seventh in the Mountain West Conference preseason poll. Individually, Adah Burke earned preseason All-Mountain West honors as the top libero in the conference.

LOBOS TO WATCH

-- Junior Chelsea Sondrup became the all-time leader in New Mexico history in block assists after recording 10 in the Utah match Oct. 2. Sondrup now has 254 career block assists, which moved her past Laurel Luman, who collected 252 during her career from 1990-93. Sondrup's next goal is to become the all-time blocks leader in school history - she is currently seventh on the school charts with 270, 56 behind Linda Archuleta's school record 326. Sondrup is second in MWC matches with 1.69 per game.

-- Junior Nicole Ryan leads the team and is seventh in the Mountain West with 3.33 kills per game. Ryan put down 21 in the Utah match.

-- Senior Adah Burke is living up to her billing as the top libero in the Mountain West Conference. The preseason All-MWC selection leads the team and is second in the league with 4.55 digs per game. She dug a career-high 32 in the Wyoming match Sept. 24, which is third most in a match in school history and second most in a MWC match.

LOBO NOTES OF THE WEEK

-- The Lobos have already eclipsed their win total from 2003.

-- The Lobos are second in the MWC with 3.31 blocks per game in conference matches. They set a school record with 43 block assists in the Utah match.

-- The Lobos had three players in double-digits in blocks in the Utah match. Jennifer Heasty and Samie Weber each tallied 11, which tied for second most ever in a UNM match, and Chelesa Sondrup had 10.

-- The Lobos' 22.5 team blocks vs. Utah Oct. 2 are the most of any Mountain West team this season.

WEEKEND RECAP:

LOBOS FALL IN FIRST TWO HOME MWC MATCHES: New Mexico fell to BYU and No. 22 Utah in its first home matches of the Mountain West season last weekend.

The Lobos lost to BYU in three games, 17-30, 12-30, 27-30, Thursday, Sept. 30. Nicole Ryan led the Lobos with 13 kills and also registered seven digs. Adah Burke collected a team-high 16 digs in the match. Kelly Therkelsen put down eight kills while senior Monica Meihack dished out 29 assists.

BYU dominated the match offensively, recording 44 kills for a .372 attack percentage. The Cougars' defense was also impressive, limiting the Lobos to a .037 hitting percentage while collecting 15 team blocks. BYU's Lindsy Hartsock tallied a double-double with 11 kills and 11 blocks.

The Cougars controlled the first two games, 30-17 and 30-12, but the Lobos bounced back for a competitive third game. UNM took several one-point leads early in the game, but after a 10-10 tie, the Cougars jumped out in front, leading by as many as five points at the 20-15 and 23-18 marks. Down five, UNM put together a 9-3 run to go up 27-26 late in the game. BYU called a timeout after a Lobo block gave UNM the lead, however, and responded with a 4-0 run to end the game and the match.

UNM was primed for an upset of No. 22 Utah Saturday, Oct. 2, up two games to one, but the Utes rallied back to win the final two games and topped the Lobos in five games, 21-30, 30-27, 30-27, 28-30, 8-15. Despite the loss, the Lobos played one of their best matches of the season against a nationally-ranked opponent, and had a block party at Utah's expense. UNM set a school record with 43 block assists in the match, crushing the old mark of 33. Chelsea Sondrup recorded 10 block assists on the night to become the all-time leader in New Mexico history with 254 career block assists.

Several other Lobos put up impressive blocking numbers. Jennifer Heasty had a career-high 11 blocks, while Samie Weber also put down a season-high 11 (one solo, 10 assists). Monica Meihack and Nicole Ryan each recorded five blocks. As a team, the Lobos had a total of 22.5 blocks (one solo, 43 assists).

The Lobos fell in the first game, 30-21, but bounced back with a 30-27 win in game two. Ryan, who had a team-high 21 kills in the match, tallied seven in the second game.

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The Lobos recorded a school record 43 block assists vs. No. 22 Utah in their last match.
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UNM started to pick up the pressure at the net in the third match with eight team blocks. The Lobos led most of the game, and after Utah tied it at 20, the Lobos held off the Ute attack and remained in front the rest of the game in the 30-27 win.

Utah jumped out to a quick 7-2 advantage in the fourth game, but the Lobos stormed back and went on a 16-6 run to go up 18-13. The Lobos appeared to be in control of the match and on the path to the upset. But the five-point lead was as large of a cushion the Lobos could build, and the Utes slowly crept back and tied the game at 24. From there, the teams traded points until it was tied again at 28. Utah ended the game on kills by Lyndsey Henderson and Kelsie Kartchner to win 30-28.

In the fifth and deciding game, the potent Ute offense came to life, racking up six kills for a .333 attack percentage in the 15-8 victory. The stingy Lobo defense that blocked Utah all match was held blockless in the fifth game.

LAST TIME VS. NEW MEXICO STATE:

LOBOS TAKE FIRST GAME, BUT FALL IN FOUR TO NEW MEXICO STATE: Five players recorded double-digits in kills, but the New Mexico volleyball team still fell to New Mexico State in four games, 30-24, 26-30, 28-30, 25-30, Tuesday, Sept. 14 at the Johnson Center.

Jennifer Heasty led all players with 14 kills and added 16 digs for her first career double-double. Chelsea Sondrup collected 13 kills and five blocks, Nicole Ryan had 12 kills and five digs, and Kelly Therkelsen put down 11 kills with seven digs.

UNM took the first game, 30-24, behind powerful hitting and a stifling defense. The Lobos pounded 20 kills in the first game to NMSU's nine, and outhit the Aggies .417 to .133. Therkelsen led the Lobos with seven kills in the game.

The second game remained close throughout, but the Aggies prevailed, 30-26, and the two teams went into intermission tied at one game apiece.

New Mexico State jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the third game. The Lobos fought back, however, and tied the game at 21 before taking a 23-22 advantage. NMSU ended the game on an 8-5 run to take the game and the 2-1 lead.

The Lobos managed to hit only .106 in the fourth game as the Aggies hit .297 with 16 kills in claiming the 30-25 win.

Kim Oguh led the Aggies with 12 kills, while Stevi Adams tallied a double-double with 11 kills and 14 digs.

PLAYER NOTES

CAUTION - DIGGING AHEAD: Senior Adah Burke is showing why she was named the top libero in the Mountain West Conference in the preseason. Burke is second in the conference with 4.55 digs per game and was named the top libero at the Albquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic (Sept. 17-18). She recorded a career-high 32 digs at Wyoming, which is third most all-time in a UNM match and second all-time in a Mountain West match.

BLOCK YOU VERY MUCH: Junior Chelsea Sondrup is climbing the career charts at UNM in blocks in her third season. Sondrup is seventh all-time with 270 blocks (record: 326) and became the leader in block assists last weekend with 14 in two matches. Sondrup currently has 254 career block assists, passing Laurel Luman's previous record of 252.

This season, she is second on the team with 60 blocks (1.22 per game; sixth in MWC). Her 27 blocks (1.69 pg) in conference action ranks second in the conference. She earned Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic all-tournament team honors after putting down 11 block assists vs. Weber State, which is the second most in a UNM match.

Sondrup already holds the single-season UNM mark for block assists, as she tallied 131 her freshman year. She also established UNM single-match block (14) and block assists (13) records with her performance against SMU on Sept. 20, 2002.

BLOCK YOU VERY MUCH, Pt. 2: Following in Sondrup's footsteps, freshman Samie Weber has put on an impressive display of blocking in her rookie season. Weber leads the team with 64 blocks (1.16 per game), which is seventh in the MWC. Her 11 blocks (one solo, 10 assists) against Utah tied for the second most ever in UNM match. Weber earned all-tournament honors in both the Comcast Lobo Invitational and the Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic.

SET ME UP: Senior setter Monica Meihack returns as the starting setter for the third straight year. Meihack collected a double-double in the first match of the year against Northern Colorado, tallying 50 assists and 10 digs. She dished out a season-high 55 assists vs. UTEP Sept. 18. For the season, she has recorded at least 50 assists on five occasions. Meihack, a Fallon, Nev., native, is sixth in the Mountain West with 10.36 assists per game.

Setter Monica Meihack


FROM THE BEACH TO THE DESERT: Junior outside hitter Nicole Ryan transferred to UNM this season after playing for Golden West Community College in California last year. She led the Rustlers to a perfect 22-0 season in 2003 and is looking to bring some of that magic to the Lobos in 2004. Ryan displayed her winning mentality in the Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic, leading the Lobos to a perfect 3-0 record. She was named the MVP of the tournament after averaging 4.00 kills per game and 1.42 blocks per game, all while hitting at a .339 clip.

Ryan currently leads the team with 3.33 kills per game, which ranks seventh in the Mountain West. She put down a season-high 22 kills at Wyoming Sept. 24.

THERKELSEN SHOWING IMPROVEMENT: Sophomore Kelly Therkelsen has shown dramatic improvement in the Lobos' first month of the season. She is second on the team with 2.98 kills per game, which is an improvement over last year's 1.72 kpg. Therkelsen earned Comcast Lobo Invitational all-tournament team honors the first weekend of the season, and the following week she earned all-tournament accolades at the Delaware Invitational after recording a career-high 25 kills against George Washington. She registered double-digit kills in two of UNM's three matches in the Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic.

HEASTY BRINGS EXPERIENCE TO THE FRONT LINE: Sophomore outside/middle Jennifer Heasty is one of five starters returing to the lineup this season for UNM. Heasty led the Lobos in 2003 in hitting percentage and is very versatile around the net. Thus far in the conference season, she has displayed her blocking ability, racking up 25 in four matches to rank fourth in the Mountain West. Heasty put down a career-high 11 blocks against Utah Oct. 2.

LIVE FROM BUDAPEST: Junior transfer Gabriella Veres, a native of Budapest, Hungary, made her Divison I debut against Creighton Sept. 4. Veres has played on the Hungarian Junior National Team and was a member of the PRSC Division II junior championship team in 2003 (21-under) and the PRSC Division II championship team in 2004 (all ages).

BRINGING A LOCAL FLAVOR TO THE LOBOS: Two freshmen on the team this season, Laura Conklin and Jessica Hezekiah, hail from Albuquerque. Conklin is a defensive specialist who has seen action in 45 games this season and is averaging 1.13 digs per game. Hezekiah has played in seven games.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS

NEW MEXICO STATE AGGIES (13-2, 4-0 SUN BELT)

Tuesday, Oct. 5 -- 7 p.m. -- Pan American Center

The Lobos will be looking for their first win in Las Cruces over the Aggies since Oct. 25, 1989. The Aggies have won four in a row over UNM in the Pan American Center.

New Mexico State enters the match with a 13-2 mark and a perfect 4-0 in Sun Belt play. The Aggies defeated Louisiana-Lafayette and North Texas at home last weekend.

Stevi Adams leads the team with 4.00 kills per game and is second with 3.47 digs per game. Alica Borden leads the team in blocks with 1.53 per game.

HEAD COACH: Mike Jordan. Overall record: 135-79 (Seventh year). Record at NMSU: Same.

SERIES NOTES:

New Mexico State leads, 30-23
Series streak: NMSU has won the last three meetings
UNM vs. NMSU in Las Cruces: 8-11 (After 1980)
Last UNM win: 9/24/02 in Albuquerque, 3-2
Last UNM win in Las Cruces: 10/25/89, 3-0
Last meeting: 9/14/04 in Albuquerque, NMSU won, 3-1

AIR FORCE FALCONS (4-9, 0-4 MWC)

Friday, Oct. 8 -- 7 p.m. -- Cadet East Gym

Air Force also enters this weekend's conference action winless in Mountain West play with an 0-4 league record. The Falcons defeated Louisiana-Lafayette, Army, Navy and Texas-Pan American in non-conference matches.

Kristin Hamlett leads the team with 3.53 kills per game, while Carly Siefken paces the offense with 10.88 assists pg.

HEAD COACH: Penny Lucas-White. Overall record: 164-247 (14th year). Record at Air Force: 69-168 (Ninth year).

SERIES NOTES:

UNM leads, 10-3
Series streak: Air Force has won the last two meetings
UNM vs. Air Force in Colorado Springs: 4-2
Last UNM win: 10/25/02 in Albuquerque, 3-0
Last UNM win in Colorado Springs: 11/2/01, 3-2
Last meeting: 10/23/03 in Albuquerque, Air Force won, 3-0
Thursday, October 02
6:30 PM - 
Volleyball
vs. Utah State
Saturday, October 04
12:00 PM - 
Volleyball
vs. Boise State
Thursday, October 09
7:00 PM - 
Volleyball
at San Diego State
Saturday, October 11
7:00 PM - 
Volleyball
at UNLV
Thursday, October 16
7:00 PM - 
Volleyball
vs. Colorado State
Saturday, October 18
2:00 PM - 
Volleyball
vs. Wyoming
Monday, October 20
7:00 PM - 
Volleyball
vs. New Mexico State
Thursday, October 23
7:00 PM - 
Volleyball
vs. Nevada
Saturday, October 25
2:00 PM - 
Volleyball
vs. San Jose State
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