ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The University of New Mexico improved to 19-5 overall and 9-4 in Mountain West play with a 3-1 (16-25, 25-23-, 25-15, 25-17) win over Boise State in the Johnson Center on Thursday night in front of 1,363 fans. The Broncos dropped to 11-13 overall and 5-9 in MW contests.
The Lobos host Utah State at noon on Saturday afternoon. The Aggies mproved to 14-9 overall and 9-4 in league matches with a 3-1 win at Air Force on Thursday night.
New Mexico came out flat against the Broncos, dropping the first set 16-25. The Lobos were still looking for consistency for much of the second set, and after trailing almost the entire set, rallied at the end to secure the win, 25-23.
"We went in at the break feeling fortunate to be tied 1-1 and our message to the team was that we needed to take advantage of that," head coach Jeff Nelson said. "We turned it around in game two with Julia Warren just lighting up the scoreboard and Lena Skipper and Elsa Krieg going back and serving tough.
"From there, it seemed like everyone just took a deep breath and relaxed and we finally got out of the funk from last Saturday -- we finally loosened up and looked really good again in games three and four."
UNM secured a lead early in set three and cruised to a 25-15 win. In set four, the Lobos trailed, 7-10 before Riddle sparked a 5-0 run to give the Lobos the lead and momentum to seal the set and match.
"We had six blocks in the third set and that really made a difference," Nelson said. "We served tougher which kept them out of system and gave us time to set up the block. Our middles did a good job after their middles hurt us in the first and second set. We didn't do a good job with their right-side hitters and we'll have to work on that this week."
UNM was led by redshirt junior Chantale Riddle who had a match-best 18 kills. She added eight digs and four block assists.
Redshirt sophomore Hannah Johnson recorded her 15th double-double of the season and eighth in MW play with 52 assists and 15 digs.
"Julia hit .500 and had 11 digs and just really had a great night for us," Nelson said. "I really challenged her this week to step up and be our bull dog out there, pumping her fist and getting eveyone fired up. She responded and did a great job tonight."
Warren welcomed the challenge.
"I was just thinking, 'Let's get this going,'" Warren said of her scoring spree late in set two. "I was just trying to pump the team up. Hannah set amazing and Miquella got some great digs. The momentum was going and we really benefited from a great second, third and fourth set."
Lexi Ross, a senior, hit .556 with 11 kills on 18 swings and just one error at the net. She led the Lobos in blocks with six.
Miquella Lovato anchored the back court with 12 digs. The senior added one ace serve.
Set One – Boise State 25, Lobos 16
The Broncos opened 8-2 in set one and the Lobos were never able to recover. New Mexico strung together two runs of three but wasn’t able to come closer than five points.
Boise State hit .343 in the first set while the Lobos were held to a .094 hitting percentage, recording 10 kills on 32 swings and committing seven errors.
Set Two – Lobos 25, Boise State 23
The Lobos trailed the entire second set, not making their move until late in the set when Warren had three consecutive kills to pull the Lobos from a three-point deficit to a tie, 22-all. A few plays later another kill by Warren pushed the Lobos ahead, 24-23, and an ace by Elsa Krieg sealed the set-two win, 25-23.
Warren finished with seven kills in the set -- four coming in the final seven rallies.
Set Three – Lobos 25, Boise State 15
The Lobos found rhythm in set three, taking early leads of 7-3 and 11-6, forcing Boise State to burn their two timeouts early. The Lobos maintained control of the set, using six blocks to hold the Broncos to a .114 attack percentage (13-9-35). New Mexico got five kills from Riddle and four from Ross, and as a team, hit a scorching .565 (14-1-23).
Set Four – Lobos 25, Boise State 17
Boise State claimed a 10-7 lead early in set four before Riddle crushed three-consecutive kills to tie the set. An attack error by the Broncos moved the Lobos ahead one point and then a kill from Krieg made it 12-10 and the Lobos rolled from there.
Riddle again produced offensively, tallying six kills in the fourth set. Ross, House and Krieg each added three kills.