Lobo Volleyball Hosts Comcast/Sheraton Invitational
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  09/07/2011
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Sept. 7, 2011

Lobo Volleyball - Comcast/Sheraton Lobo Invitational

Who/When: Sept. 9 - Lobos vs. UC Irvine, 7:30 p.m.
                  Sept. 10 -Lobos vs. Portland State, 1 p.m.
                  Sept. 10 -Lobos vs. Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

All matches will take place at Johnson Center 

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ALBUQUERQUE , N.M. - The University of New Mexico volleyball team is back home and ready to host the Comcast/Sheraton Lobo Invitational set to take place Sept. 9-10 at Johnson Center. The Lobos begin the tournament with a match against UC Irvine at 7:30 p.m. Friday night. On Saturday, the Lobos face Portland State at 1 p.m. and follow that up with a nightcap against Montreal at 7:30 p.m.

UNM at a Glance: The Lobos' season record is 3-2 after going 2-1 at the Fiesta Bowl Classic, beating Hampton, 3-0 and San Jose State, 3-1, while losing to Northern Arizona 2-3 Sept. 2-3. Sophomore Mariah Agre and seniors Allison Buck and Ashley Rhoades were named to the Fiesta Bowl Classic All-Tournament Team. Rhoades had 47 kills and Buck recorded 50 digs over the three matches in the tournament. Each player set or tied career highs in the match against Northern Arizona. Rhoades set a new career high in kills with 25, Agre set a new career high in assists with 57 and Buck tied her career high in digs with 24.

Against UC Irvine (0-0) ... This will be the first meeting between the Lobos and UC Irvine.

Against Portland State (2-2) ... The Lobos are 2-2 all-time against Portland State. UNM is undefeated at home against Portland State, but is 0-2 when playing on a neutral court.

Against Montreal (0-0) ... This will be the first meeting between the Lobos and Montreal.

Visiting Teams at a Glance:

About UC Irvine (3-3, 0-0 Big West) ...
 UC Irvine is 3-3 in 2011, with two of its losses coming to top-25 ranked teams, Florida State and Northern Iowa. UCI finished with a 22-8 overall record in 2010, marking the fifth 20-win season in program history. UC Irvine has finished in the top three in the extremely competitive Big West Conference three of the last four years 

About Portland State (4-4, 0-0 Big Sky) ... Portland State comes to Albuquerque, N.M., with a 4-4 record in 2011. Three of PSU's four wins have come by way of 3-0 sweeps. One of PSU's losses was to No. 5 Washington. 

About Montreal (0-0) ... This will be the Carabins opening tournament, as Montreal has yet to play a match this season. 

What's Up Next ... The Lobos travel to Pittsburgh, Pa., to participate in the Pitt Blue and Gold Classic, hosted by the University of Pittsburgh, Sept. 16-17. The Lobos will match up against Pittsburgh, Delaware and Temple. 


• Senior libero Allison Buck has moved into the top three on the UNM all-time digs list, having recorded 75 digs thus far in her final season as a Lobo. She has 1,144 digs overall.

• Sophomore Mariah Agre and seniors Allison Buck and Ashley Rhoades were named to the Fiesta Bowl Classic All-Tournament Team Sept. 2-3. The Lobos compiled a record of 2-1 in the tourna- ment, beating Hampton 3-0 and SJSU 3-1, while losing to Northern Arizona 2-3.

• The Lobos were picked to finish second in the 2011 Mountain West Preseason Volleyball Poll. Seniors Buck and Rhoades were named to the MW Preseason Team. UNM made this year's vote a close one, finishing just a shade behind CSU for the top spot. If the preseason vote is any indication, the Lobos are continuing to close the gap on CSU's dominance of the MW.

Killin' It ... Ashley Rhoades currently sits atop the MW rankings for kills per set. She is averaging 3.63 KPS in matches played so far in 2011. She set a career single-match high for kills with 25 against Northern Arizona on Sept. 3. 

Homegrown Lobos ... Almost half of the 15 players on the UNM roster are local New Mexicans. Seven current Lobos played at high schools in the state of New Mexico. Ashley Rhoades, Chelsea McCampbell and Jayla Trombley all played at Rio Rancho HS, Chantale Riddle (Roswell HS), Jordan Russell (Moriarty HS), Ashley Newman (St. Pius X) and Miquella Lovato (Pojoaque HS).

Freshman Seeing Early Playing Time ... True freshman Cara Fisher has seen a significant amount of playing time during the early stages of this season. The Manvel, Texas, native has played a significant amount of time in all of New Mexico's matches this season. Fisher was a late addition to the Lobos' squad, and so far, has been a very pleasant surprise. Her defensive skills are advancing quicker than anyone anticipated, meaning she will most likely continue to play in a significant amount of sets throughout this season.

Huge Crowd on Hand vs. No. 5 Nebraska ... On Aug. 27 the Lobos hosted the No. 5 team in the nation Nebraska Huskers to a huge crowd of 4,112 fans. The crowd was larger than any crowd UNM hosted last season, beating out the 3,831 that rocked Johnson Center when the Lobos hosted Stanford. It is the second largest crowd ever to watch a match in Johnson Center.

Playing The Best To Be The Best ... Over four seasons, head coach Jeff Nelsonhas been a big believer in scheduling a tough, challenging schedule for his team. The team has responded to the challenge each year compiling four-straight winning seasons including three 20-win seasons and two NCAA Tournament appearances.

It’s not getting any easier for the Lobos in 2011. UNM faces three Top-25 programs and five 2010 NCAA Tournament participants.

The Lobos’ undefeated conference record (12-4 overall) at home in 2010 ranks as the best home record UNM has compiled against the MW in program history. The 12 conference wins are the most conference wins by the Lobos since the MW formed in 1999 and most in any conference since 1996. The Lobos have also recorded three of their best finishes in conference over the last three seasons, each ranking in the top-ten all time in school history.

Saturday, August 22
7:00 PM - 
vs. Alumnae (Exhibition)
Friday, August 28
8:00 AM - 
at Belmont
3:00 PM - 
at Albany
Saturday, August 29
5:00 PM - 
at Ball State