UNM Volleyball, Fresh Off Winning Comcast Lobo Invitational, Heads To Washington State Tournament This Weekend
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  09/09/2003
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Sept. 9, 2003

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New Mexico (3-3) at Washington State Cougar Mania Invitational

Pullman, Wash. - Bohler Gym


Friday, Sept. 12 - New Mexico vs. No. 22 Loyola Marymount (7-0), 4 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 13 - New Mexico vs. Washington State (1-5), Noon

Saturday, Sept. 13 - New Mexico vs. Saint Louis (2-6), 5 p.m.

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 Invitational last weekend 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.

Chelsea Sondrup of UNM was named the Tournament MVP after tallying 10 blocks and hitting .286 in the three matches.

GET OFF MY CLOUD - FOUR'S A CROWD FOR LOBOS ON ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM- 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.

AMAZIN' ANNA - Senior Anna Reines leads the team in kills (3.73 pg) and points (97.5) through the first six 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. In UNM's first two tournaments of the season, Reines has been named to the all-tournament team both times.

The Big Lake, Minn., 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.

BLOCK YOU VERY MUCH - The Lobos blocked their way to the Comcast Lobo Invitational title, stuffing Delaware a season-best 12.5 times. Freshman Jennifer Heasty recorded eight block assists at the net, which is a team season high and a career best for the young freshman. As a team, UNM produced 25 block assists, including a career-best six from Anna Reines, four from Chelsea Sondrup and three from Kelly Therkelsen and Georgia Whitson.

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 156-128 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.


Here's a look at this weekend's Cougar Mania Invitational in Pullman, Wash. Coach Sliva McKee has never faced either of the three teams in tournament.

No. 22 LOYOLA MARYMOUNT - The Lions entered the national rankings this week after cruising to a 7-0 start. LMU leads the series against UNM, 4-3. Among its wins, the Lions have defeated Mountain West foe UNLV and 2002 NCAA Tournament participants UC-Santa Barbara and Sacramento State. Diani DeBarnardi was recently named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week.

WASHINGTON STATE - The Cougars are struggling to begin the season with a 1-6 record. WSU had one of its most successful seasons in program history in 2002 as it reached the NCAA Elite Eight, however, the Cougars graduated five seniors from that team. Brenn Larson, a sophomore setter, is the only returning starter for WSU. UNM leads the series, 3-1.

SAINT LOUIS - The Billikens are 2-6 after two weekends of tournament play. They went 0-4 at last weekend's SMS Invitational, including a 3-1 defeat to BYU. SLU hosts Western Illinois Sept. 9 before flying out to Washington. This will be the first-ever contest between the Lobos and the Billikens.

2003 Team Season Highs

Kills - 62 vs. Youngstown State (9/5) Attempts - 157 vs. Youngstown State (9/5) Hitting % - .327 (58K-22E-110A) vs. Alcorn State (9/6) Assists - 52 vs. Youngstown State (9/5) Service Aces - 13 vs. Alcorn State (9/6) Digs - 42 vs. Idaho State (8/30) Block Solo - 3 vs. Cal Poly (8/30) Block Assists - 25 vs. Delaware (9/6) Total Blocks - 12.5, vs. Delaware (9/6)

2003 Individual Season Highs

Kills - 17, Anna Reines vs. Idaho State (8/30) Attempts - 39, Anna Reines vs. Youngstown State (9/5) Hitting % - .360 (15K-6E-25A), Anna Reines vs. Alcorn State (9/6) Assists - 38, Monica Meihack vs. Youngtown State (9/5) Service Aces - 4, Anna Reines vs. Alcorn State (9/6); Lauren Dunsmoor vs. ASU Digs - 15, Adah Burke vs. Youngstown State (9/5) Block Solo - 1, Three players Block Assists - 8, Jennifer Heasty vs. Delaware (9/6) Total Blocks - 8, Jennifer Heasty vs. Delaware (9/6) Points - 20.0, Anna Reines vs. Idaho State (8/30)

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