September 15, 2003
THIS WEEK IN LOBO VOLLEYBALL:
New Mexico hosts Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Tournament
Johnson Arena - UNM Main Campus - September 19-20
New Mexico Lobos (3-6)
Kentucky Wildcats (7-2)
Ohio Bobcats (6-3)
Sacramento State Hornets (5-5)
Friday, September 19
Sacramento State vs. Ohio, 5 p.m.
New Mexico vs. Kentucky, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 20
Kentucky vs. Sacramento State, 10 a.m.
New Mexico vs. Ohio, 12:30 p.m.
Kentucky vs. Ohio, 5 p.m.
New Mexico vs. Sacramento State, 7:30 p.m.
Monday, September 22 - 7 p.m.
New Mexico Lobos vs. New Mexico St. Aggies
Johnson Arena - UNM Main Campus
LOBOS HOST SECOND TOURNAMENT OF THE SEASON THIS WEEKEND AT JOHNSON ARENA - The New Mexico volleyball team will host its second tournament of the season - the Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Tournament - this weekend (September 19-20) at Johnson Arena. UNM will welcome Kentucky, Ohio and Sacramento State to the Duke City. The Lobos are a perfect 3-0 on their home court this season after claiming the Comcast Lobo Invitational title September 5-6.
After the tournament, New Mexico will host intrastate rival New Mexico State at Johnson Arena Monday, September 22, at 7 p.m. UNM beat the Aggies at home last season in five games.
LOBOS FACE STIFF COMPETITION AT WSU COUGAR MANIA INVITATIONAL- New Mexico came away winless against three top-notch opponents at last weekend's Washington State Cougar Mania Invitational.
On Friday, UNM gave No. 22 Loyola Marymount all it could handle in the first game, but the Lobos fell just short 31-29. The Lions regrouped to take game two 30-20 and game three 30-24 for the sweep.
The weekend didn't get any easier as the Lobos had to take on host Washington State - an Elite Eight team in 2002 - on its home court Saturday afternoon. The Cougars came away with the victory in three games (30-25, 30-21, 30-22). In the tournament finale, the Lobos won their first game of the weekend against Saint Louis, but it wasn't enough as the Billikens prevailed in four games (27-30, 21-30, 30-24, 28-30).
"We really came out and played good volleyball in game one against Loyola Marymount," said UNM head coach Kelley Sliva McKee. "We had chances to win, but unfortunately we struggled with our passing. We served the ball really well, which led to some key points for us.
"Against Saint Louis, we had our best passing outing of the season. We just need to keep our errors down to keep ourselves in the match. We're looking to regroup this week and focus on the Marriott Lobo Tournament."
AMAZIN' ANNA - Senior Anna Reines leads the team in kills (3.94 pg) and points (143.5) through the first nine matches and ranks among the top 10 in the MWC in the same two categories. Reines is a dominant outside hitter who polished her game in the offseason by participating on the USA Select Team at the Spring Cup in Brno, Czech Republic. Reines earned all-tournament honors at the Fresno State Invitational and the Comcast Lobo Invitational.
The Big Lake, Minnesota, native transferred from the University of Minnesota after one season and has been a presence on the court ever since for the Lobos. Reines led the team in attack percentage (.257) and kills (3.86 pg) last season. For her efforts, Reines became the first Lobo since 1998 to earn first-team all-conference honors.
ACES WILD - With 28 service aces last weekend, the Lobos now lead the Mountain West with 2.19 aces per game. UNM posted a season-high 13 aces vs. Alcorn State September 6.
SET ME UP - The Lobos have the fortune of two excellent setters on this year's roster. Junior Monica Meihack returns after tallying 1,249 assists last season, which was good for second all-time in a Lobo season. In addition, freshman Lindsay Smith is seeing time at the position and responded well last weekend, collecting a career-high 48 assists vs. Saint Louis. Smith has the ability to set up a very up-tempo offense and won the Davis Volleyball Festival over the summer. Currently, Smith is averaging 5.89 apg and Meihack is at 4.60 apg.
YOUNG GUNS - This year's Lobo squad features 10 freshmen to go along with one senior (Anna Reines), two juniors (Monica Meihack, Adah Burke) and one sophomore (Chelsea Sondrup). Reines, Meihack and Sondrup all started last season for UNM. Eight of the 10 freshmen have seen action thus far in the season.
HEAD COACH Kelley Sliva McKee - Kelley Sliva McKee begins her second season at the helm of the Lobo volleyball program. Sliva McKee came to UNM after spending nine years at Northern Arizona University. Her career record stands at 156-131 after guiding the 2002 Lobos to a 10-21 record.
While at NAU, Sliva McKee took the Lumberjacks to their first NCAA Tournament appearance (1999) and earned two Big Sky titles (1999 tournament and 2000 regular season). She was named the 1999 Big Sky Coach of the Year.
SHOWING SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT - The young Lobos showed their potential in just the second weekend of the season by winning all three matches in their own Comcast Lobo Invitatational September 5-6 at Johnson Arena, claiming the tournament title for the second straight year.
The Lobos swept Delaware (32-30, 30-23, 30-19) for the championship in the tournament finale. With both teams entering the match at 2-0, UNM dominated the Blue Hens, showing no doubts who the best team was in the invitational. The Lobos produced a season-high 12.5 team blocks against UD, shutting down its offense the entire match. Freshman Jennifer Heasty led the way, stuffing the Blue Hens for eight block assists.
UNM outlasted Youngstown State in the tournament opener, beating the Penguins in five games. After leading two games to none, the Lobos lost games three and four before taking the fifth and decisive game, 15-13. UNM easily defeated Alcorn State in four games in the second match of the tournament.
The Lobos placed four players on the Comcast Lobo Invitational All-Tournament Team, including Chelsea Sondrup, who was named the Tournament MVP. Anna Reines, Jennifer Heasty and libero Adah Burke joined Sondrup in earning tournament honors.
ALBUQUERQUE MARRIOTT LOBO TOURNAMENT PREVIEW -
Here's a look at this weekend's Marriott Lobo Tournament at Johnson Arena:
KENTUCKY - The Wildcats bring a 7-2 record into Albuquerque. UK was riding a seven-match winning streak before losing to Virginia in the Kentucky Conference Challenge championship September 13. Kentucky posted a 13-18 record in 2002 and placed eighth in the SEC with a 6-10 mark. UK leads the overall series, 1-0; Coach Sliva McKee has never faced the Wildcats in her career.
OHIO - The Bobcats (6-3) enter the weekend on a four-match winning streak after winning last weekend's Marquette Challenge. Ohio beat Marquette, Missouri and Bradley to win the tournament. Laura Hageman earned MVP honors for the tournament and was named the MAC Player of the Week. Ohio went 25-9 last season to finish second in the MAC East Division. This marks the first meeting between the two schools, however, Coach Sliva McKee defeated Ohio once at Northern Arizona in her only coaching matchup against the Bobcats. Ohio received nine votes in this week's AVCA/USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll.
SACRAMENTO STATE - The Hornets, who went 24-11 and participated in last year's NCAA Tournament, enter the tournament with a 5-5 record. Sandra Bandimere leads the team with 3.63 kpg while Lisa Beauchene paces the offense with 10.71 apg. The Hornets lead the overall series with UNM, 1-0; Coach Sliva McKee is 3-13 lifetime against Sacramento State.