Lobos Host Media Day; Receive Votes in AVCA Poll
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- At Media Day on Monday, Lobo Coach Jeff Nelson said the 2014 season “has the potential to be maybe the greatest season in a long, long time here.” It also was a day New Mexico volleyball was recognized in the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 poll as one of the best teams in the nation.
New Mexico received nine votes which placed the Lobos among the Top 40 teams that were mentioned on a least two ballots in the national poll of collegiate coaches. The poll also pointed out something the Lobos already know – Colorado State is considered the bully on the Mountain West block until someone proves differently
The Rams fell into the No. 18 slot, but Nelson told the media his 2014 team should be a strong challenger for the 2014 MW title. He also said he expected Utah State to be one of the stronger teams in the Mountain West.
“I think we are as deep as a team can hope to be with quality players,” Nelson told members of the Albuquerque media which gathered in Johnson Center for UNM’s 2014 Media Day. “The level in all the drills is extremely high. Practices have been really, really good. The level is so high.”
The Lobos will be led in 2014 by senior All-American Chantale Riddle, who has led the Mountain West for two straight seasons in kills. Riddle is one of several MW players expected to be in a battle for 2014 MW Player of The Year honors. UNM also returns the 2013 MW Freshman of the Year in Julia Warren.
“We’re going to push her to do more,” Nelson said of Riddle. “She’ll have a bigger leadership role and we expect her to continue to raise her game. She is a fan favorite wherever she goes.”
Four of the Lobos’ 2014 opponents were recognized in the AVCA poll. The Texas Longhorns will bring a No. 2 ranking into Johnson Center to play Nelson’s Lobos on Friday, August 29 at 7:30 p.m. The Longhorns also play at 10:30 a.m., that Friday in the Lobo Classic vs. UTEP. The Lobos start the season on August 29 with a match against Seattle U at 1:30 p.m.
The Lobos will play at Hawaii on September 4 which is ranked No. 17, one spot ahead of CSU. Oregon was not in the top 25 but was at the top of receiving votes which makes Oregon the unofficial No. 26 team. The Lobos play Oregon in Honolulu on September 6.
The next poll will be on September 1 which means it follows UNM's showdown in Johnson Center with No. 2 Texas.
Last season the Lobos finished with a 24-7 record and 68 RPI. They finished second in the Mountain West with a 14-6 record.
“This team has been a long time in the making and we’re excited about it and were excited about how young it still is. Chantale is the only senior,” said Nelson. “We’re ready to make a run at the conference championship. We have some pretty lofty goals. This is a really good team.”
Lobo Pride Pass
Lobo Pride Passes are on sale now. For just $50 fans can gain access to both home exhibition matches and all 11 regular-season matches at the UNM Soccer Complex. The purchaser will also be able to attend all ticketed women's soccer, volleyball, track and field, softball and baseball home games during the 2014-15 season. The first 500 purchasers will also receive a free red Nike Lobo hat and a $5 concessions voucher. Call (505) 925-LOBO or visit the Lobo Ticket Office in The Pit to order or for more information.
Lobos Volleyball -- 2014 Roster
|Hometown (Prev School)|
|1||Devanne Sours||OH||6-2||So.||1L||Tatum, N.M. (Tatum HS)|
|2||Hannah Johnson||S||5-11||RJr.||2L||Longview, Wash. (R.A. Long HS)|
|3||Chantale Riddle||RS||6-0||RSr.||3L||Roswell, N.M. (Roswell HS)|
|4||Samantha Sofka||OH||5-8||Fr.||HS||Farmington, N.M. (Piedra Vista HS)|
|5||Julia Warren||OH||6-1||So.||1L||Albuquerque, N.M. (La Cueva HS)|
|7||Victoria Spragg||MB||6-5||Fr.||HS||Belen, N.M. (Belen HS)|
|8||Ashley Kelsey||OH||6-0||RSo.||RS||Ewa Beach, Hawai'i (James Campbell HS)|
|9||Simone Henderson||MB||6-0||Jr.||TR||Palm Springs, Calif. (Grossmont College) (La Quinta HS)|
|10||Taylor Cross||DS||5-7||Fr.||HS||Colorado Springs, Colo. (Pine Creek HS )|
|11||Lise Rugland||S||5-9||So.||1L||Tananger, Norway (Sauda Vidergaende Skole, dept. ToppVolley Norway)|
|12||Cassie House||OH/MB||6-2||So.||1L||Rio Rancho, N.M. (Cleveland HS)|
|13||Keaton Alley||S||5-10||Fr.||HS||Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. (Palos Verdes HS)|
|14||Stephanie Chavez||DS||5-4||Fr.||HS||Bedford, Texas (Nolan Catholic HS)|
|16||Elsa Krieg||MB||6-2||RJr.||2L||Granby, Colo. (Middle Park HS)|
|17||Skye Gullatt||MB||5-11||Jr.||2L||Denver, Colo. (Smoky Hill HS)|
|18||Maddie Mayfield||DS||5-4||So.||1L||Albuquerque, N.M. (La Cueva HS)|
|21||Mariessa Carrasco||MB||6-0||Fr.||HS||El Paso, Texas (Chapin HS)|