ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – It was a day to bounce back and take care of business for the University of New Mexico volleyball team, sweeping UTEP at the Lobos Classic on Saturday afternoon with scores of 25-8, 25-16, 25-12.
After losing a match to the No. 2 team in the country, the Texas Longhorns, last night, the Lobos really bounced back and took control of the match early. New Mexico used a different lineup due to Julia Warren being sick but the lineup showed the depth that the Lobos have on their team.
“We had to regroup,” said head coach Jeff Nelson. “We put together a different lineup but I think it speaks to what we’ve been talking about all through the preseason; the great depth of this team, the outstanding freshman.”
Sophomore Devanne Sours took the place of Warren and led the team in kills with nine. She also picked up six digs. Senior Chantale Riddle also bounced back from last night, hitting .429 on the match and picking up seven blocks and eight digs. Hannah Johnson tallied 29 assists and eight digs while Ashley Kelsey dug up 14 balls in the back row. Freshman Taylor Cross, who adds depth in the back row, picked up six digs.
“Taylor ended up being a starter in that group and did a really good job,” said Nelson. “Everyone just pulled it up. Cassie and Devanne did a great job on the outside and I think we really saw what we needed to see.”
The Lobos were really athletic on defense, hold UTEP to a (-) minus .061 hitting percentage and putting up big blocks, collecting 11 team blocks for the match.
New Mexico came out hot in the first set, taking a 13-3 lead over the Miners. The Lobos went on a 12-5 run to take control of the set. The team was led by Sours with her four kills and her four digs.
UTEP managed to gain some more action in the second set but the Lobos were still on top of their game, holding the Miners to a .028 hitting percentage. Simone Henderson held down the middles for the Lobos, collecting four kills in the second set. Sours and Riddle both added two more.
“Simone had another great day but you saw Chantale and Hannah put it together finally. Any time that happens, we’re going to have a lot of success. Chantale had seven blocks and hit almost .500 and that’s not abnormal for her.”
The Lobos improve to 2-1 on the season and they finish second at the Lobo Classic behind No. 2 Texas. The team will travel to Hawaii next Tuesday to play matches against No. 17 Hawai’i, St. Johns, and RV Oregon. The Lobos will return to Johnson Center Sept. 12 & 13, playing host to UC Irvine, Bethune Cookman and Montana State.
“I feel really good about it and this should really help our nerves when we travel to Hawaii next week. Only one game in this whole tournament that I am really disappointed in and that was the middle game yesterday.”
2014 Lobo Classic All-Tournament Team & MVP
|MVP: Pilar Victoria
|Simone Henderson||New Mexico|
|Chantale Riddle||New Mexico|
|Matea Mamec||Seattle U|