Oct. 29, 2010
Friday: Lobos 3, UNLV 1 (22-25, 25-17, 25-9, 25-19)
Sunday: At Air Force, 4 p.m. -- CBS College
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- It almost looks as if the New Mexico Lobo volleyball team is out to punish Coach Jeff Nelson -- just a bit. They have this thing lately that Nelson surely would like to see go away because it doesn't make a match easy on a coach.
The Lobos come out flat in Game One, play nothing like the team Nelson sees in practice, and the Lobos get stomped. Then the Lobos get serious. Then they roll. The University of New Mexico did exactly that Friday night at UNLV losing the first game before rolling out three solid wins. The game scores went 22-25, 25-17, 25-9 and 25-19. The 3-1 win pushes UNM to 14-8 overall and 6-2 in Mountain West play.
The Lobos had the same pattern last week against Brigham Young and Utah, losing Game One in both matches before rallying for impressive 3-1 wins.
A game Nelson surely would like to bank and see over and over again the rest of the 2010 season is the one his Lobos threw out in Game Three. There was near perfection at the net as UNM had 14 kills against no errors on only 17 attack opportunities.
To put that game into perspective, compare the effort and the efficiency to Game One where the Lobos had 41 attack chances and earned only 12 kills with 10 errors. Big difference! The difference between a win and a loss.
Lobo senior Lisa Meeter led the Lobos with 20 kills and she definitely was a target for senior Jade Michaelsen (49 assists) as Meeter had 49 jabs at the ball. Meeter had eight attack errors to produce a .245 kill percentage.
Taylor Hadfield had 15 kills with two errors off 22 chances (.591 percentage). Kelly Williamson had 13 kills and Ashley Rhoades was net efficient in Vegas with 10 kills off 15 chances (.533). The Lobos hit .328 as a team compared to .171 for UNLV.
Vegas had 42 total kills with Sara Nehf getting 15. UNM had 61 team kills. Allison Buck held down the back with 16 digs and Mariah Agre added 13 digs. Meeter had eight digs and Michaelsen had seven digs.
The Lobos went up 12-10 in Game One on a Williamson kill and led 13-12 on a UNLV serving error. The Lobos never led again. The Rebs went up 19-16 before UNM rallied to earn ties at 19-all and 21-all. UNLV put the game away on a block by Amanda Alles followed by a kill from Sara Nehf. The Lobos had a .049 attack percentage in that game with their 12 kills and 10 errors. UNLV had 14 kills against five errors.
It was not a good start for the Lobos, but losing the first game doesn't seem to faze this talented group of Lobos. They snapped out of 2-0 and 6-4 holes in Game Two to cruise to a convincing 25-17 win. In that game, UNM went from a 9-8 lead to a 16-9 lead and to a 23-13 lead.
The Lobos hit a sharp .517 in Game Two with 17 kills against two errors. The Lobos actually had 12 fewer attack chances in Game Two (29) than they had in Game One (41), but the Lobos were much sharper at the net thanks to crisp passing.
The third game was even a more dominate performance by the Lobos. UNM was up 9-7 before a Rhoades spike started the Lobos on a run that led to UNM outscoring UNLV 16-2 down the stretch. UNM had no errors and 14 kills. The Lobos had only 17 attack opportunities, but the no misses gave them an amazing .824 hitting percentage. UNLV never showed up for this game, hitting a minus .053
Give the Rebs some credit. After rolling over 25-9, they put up more of a fight in the fourth game, but by that time the Lobos were throwing out a complete game. UNM jumped up 6-1 and 12-6 before the Rebs scratched to 15-12 and finally into a 17-all tie.
UNM used a kill by Hadfield, a Vegas attack error, and two kills by Meeter to go up 21-18. That pretty much ended it. Hadfield closed with a service ace to finalize the 25-19 win.
The Lobos are at Air Force at 4 p.m., Sunday with the game televised on CBS College Sports.