Sept. 27, 2004
THIS WEEK IN LOBO VOLLEYBALL
New Mexico (6-6, 0-2 MWC) vs. BYU (5-5, 0-1)
Johnson Center - Albuquerque, N.M. - Thursday, Sept. 30 - 7 p.m.
New Mexico vs. No. 22 Utah (8-2, 1-0)
Johnson Center - Albuquerque, N.M. - Saturday, Oct. 2 - 7 p.m. - Student Night
LOBOS HOST BYU, No. 22 UTAH THIS WEEKEND - After opening the Mountain West conference season on the road, the New Mexico volleyball team returns to the Johnson Center this weekend for two home matches. The Lobos match up against BYU (5-5, 0-1 MWC) Thursday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. and against No. 22 Utah (8-2, 1-0) Saturday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m.
UNM lost both of its matches on the road last weekend in Laramie and Fort Collins. The Lobos battled Wyoming to five games on Sept. 24, but ultimately lost to the Cowgirls 16-14 in the fifth and deciding game. Senior libero Adah Burke collected 32 digs in the match, which is third best all-time in school history. The next night in Fort Collins, No. 9 Colorado State swept the Lobos in three games.
The Lobos will be looking for their first conference win of the season against BYU Thursday night. The Cougars lost their MWC opening match to Utah last weekend. BYU leads the overall series against UNM, 54-7; the Lobos' last victory over the Cougars arrived Oct. 13, 1995 in Provo.
On Saturday, the Lobos play host to Utah on "Student Night" at the Johnson Center. The first 200 UNM students in attendance will receive a free 12-CD or 12-DVD holder, UNM student-only contents will be held and prizes will be given away throughout the match. The Utes enter the match ranked 22nd nationally with an 8-2 record, 1-0 in the Mountain West. Utah holds a 32-26 advantage in the overall series vs. New Mexico; UNM's last win against Utah came on Nov. 27, 1996 in the WAC Tournament in Las Vegas.
QUICK LOOK AT THE LOBOS - New Mexico is a mix of five returning letterwinners, two junior transfers and five freshmen. The young team has already eclipsed last season's win total and is looking to move up the Mountain West Conference standings with a strong league showing. The Lobos showed their promise after claiming the Albuquerque Marriott Classic Sept. 17-18 with victories over Hartford, UTEP and Weber State. UNM placed four players on the all-tournament team, including Nicole Ryan, who was named the Most Valuable Player.
Head coach Kelley McKee is in her third season with the Lobos, teaming up with third-year assistant Brent Aldridge and second-year assistant Chelsea Robb. McKee has a 163-156 (.511) career record in 12 years of coaching. She amassed a 143-104 (.579) in her nine years at Northern Arizona prior to arriving at UNM.
The Lobos were picked to finish seventh in the Mountain West Conference preseason poll. Individually, Adah Burke earned preseason All-Mountain West honors as the top libero in the conference.
LOBOS TO WATCH
-- Junior Nicole Ryan put down a season-high 22 kills in the Wyoming match last Friday. Ryan leads the team with 3.17 kills per game, which ranks 10th in the Mountain West Conference.
-- Junior Chelsea Sondrup is moving closer to becoming the all-time blocks and block assists leader in New Mexico history. Sondrup is fifth in blocks with 256 (record: 299) and fourth in block assists with 241 (record: 252). Sondrup registered 13 blocks in action last weekend against Wyoming and Colorado State, including eight vs. the Cowgirls.
-- Senior Adah Burke is living up to her billing as the top libero in the Mountain West Conference. The preseason All-MWC selection is leading the league with 4.71 digs per game. She dug a career-high 32 in the Wyoming match, which is third most in a match in school history and second most in a MWC match.
LOBO NOTES OF THE WEEK
-- The Lobos have already eclipsed their win total from 2003.
-- The Lobos are 3-2 all-time in home Mountain West openers.
-- The Lobos are 3-1 in five-game matches this season.
-- The Lobos lead the MWC with 3.12 blocks per game in conference matches.
-- The Lobos are 5-2 at home this season.
LOBOS FALL IN OPENING CONFERENCE MATCHES: New Mexico opened the MWC season with two road losses last weekend at Wyoming and No. 9 Colorado State.
The Lobos fell to Wyoming in five games in the first match of the Mountain West Conference season Sept. 24, 22-30, 30-25, 30-27, 24-30, 14-16.
Nicole Ryan put down a season-high 22 kills in the match. Monica Meihack paced the offense with 51 assists and nine digs. Adah Burke recorded 32 digs in the match, which is third best all-time in a UNM match. Three other Lobos tallied double-digit kills in the match. Samie Weber had 11 kills, while Kelly Therkelsen and Chelsea Sondrup had 10 kills.
Ninth-ranked Colorado State defeated UNM in three games, 15-30, 25-30, 21-30, Sept. 25 at Moby Arena.
The Rams limited the Lobos to a .082 attack percentage for the match. Chelsea Sondrup led UNM with eight kills and five blocks, Samie Weber had six kills and two blocks and Jennifer Heasty recorded four blocks. Adah Burke led the defense with nine digs and Monica Meihack dished out 18 assists.
Three Rams tallied double-digits in kills as they hit .305 as a team for the match. Bri Frech recorded a double-double with 13 kills and 12 digs and Dre Downs and Becky Sarauer each put down 10 kills.
CAUTION - DIGGING AHEAD: Senior Adah Burke is showing why she was named the top libero in the Mountain West Conference in the preseason. Burke leads the conference with 4.71 digs per game and was named the top libero at the Albquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic (Sept. 17-18). She recorded a career-high 32 digs at Wyoming, which is third most all-time in a UNM match and second all-time in a Mountain West match.
BLOCK YOU VERY MUCH: Junior Chelsea Sondrup is climbing the career charts at UNM in blocks in her third season. Sondrup is fifth all-time with 256 blocks (record: 299) and fourth in blocks assists with 241 (record: 252).
This season, she is second on the team with 46 blocks (1.12 per game; ninth in MWC). Her 13 blocks (1.62 pg) in conference action ranks third in the conference. She earned Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic all-tournament team honors after putting down 11 block assists vs. Weber State, which is the second most in a UNM match.
Sondrup already holds the single-season UNM mark for block assists, as she tallied 131 her freshman year. She also established UNM single-match block (14) and block assists (13) records with her performance against SMU on Sept. 20, 2002.
BLOCK YOU VERY MUCH, Pt. 2: Following in Sondrup's footsteps, freshman Samie Weber has put on an impressive display of blocking in her rookie season. Weber leads the team with 53 blocks (1.13 per game), which is eighth in the MWC, and a .268 attack percentage, which is 11th in the MWC. Weber earned all-tournament honors in both the Comcast Lobo Invitational and the Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic.
SET ME UP: Senior setter Monica Meihack returns as the starting setter for the third straight year. Meihack collected a double-double in the first match of the year against Northern Colorado, tallying 50 assists and 10 digs. She dished out a season-high 55 assists vs. UTEP Sept. 18. For the season, she has recorded at least 50 assists on five occasions. Meihack, a Fallon, Nev., native, is sixth in the Mountain West with 10.49 assists per game.
FROM THE BEACH TO THE DESERT: Junior outside hitter Nicole Ryan transferred to UNM this season after playing for Golden West Community College in California last year. She led the Rustlers to a perfect 22-0 season in 2003 and is looking to bring some of that magic to the Lobos in 2004. Ryan displayed her winning mentality in the Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic, leading the Lobos to a perfect 3-0 record. She was named the MVP of the tournament after averaging 4.00 kills per game and 1.42 blocks per game, all while hitting at a .339 clip.
Ryan currently leads the team with 3.17 kills per game, which ranks 11th in the Mountain West. She put down a season-high 22 kills at Wyoming Sept. 24.
THERKELSEN SHOWING IMPROVEMENT: Sophomore Kelly Therkelsen has shown dramatic improvement in the Lobos' first month of the season. She is second on the team with 2.98 kills per game, which is an improvement over last year's 1.72 kpg. Therkelsen earned Comcast Lobo Invitational all-tournament team honors the first weekend of the season, and the following week she earned all-tournament accolades at the Delaware Invitational after recording a career-high 25 kills against George Washington. She registered double-digit kills in two of UNM's three matches in the Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic.
HEASTY BRINGS EXPERIENCE TO THE FRONT LINE: Sophomore outside/middle Jennifer Heasty is one of five starters returing to the lineup this season for UNM. Heasty led the Lobos in 2003 in hitting percentage and is very versatile around the net. Last weekend she displayed her blocking ability, tying her career high with eight blocks at Wyoming (one solo, seven assists). She followed that effort with four more blocks at Colorado State. Heasty is averaging 1.50 blocks per game for the first two MWC matches, which is sixth best in the MWC.
UNM VOLLEYBALL PROMOTIONAL DATES - The UNM Athletic Department is sponsoring several promotional dates this season for Lobo volleyball. All home matches are played at the Johnson Center on the UNM main campus. The following promotions are listed below:
-- Saturday, Oct. 2 vs. Utah, 7 p.m. The first 200 UNM students in attendance will receive a free 12-CD or 12-DVD holder, UNM student-only contents will be held and prizes will be given away throughout the match.
-- Friday, Oct. 22 vs. Colorado State, 7 p.m. Jam Johnson Night/Youth Night: All tickets for this event are only $1! First 200 youths in attendance with receive a sheet of Lobo face decals.
Lobo League Appreciation Night
-- Friday, Nov. 5 vs. Air Force, 7 p.m. Wear your uniform (girl/boy scouts, team uniform, public safety uniform, military uniform, school uniform, work uniform, etc.) and get in for only $1! All other UNM Athletic Teams are also encouraged to be in attendance for this event to support the Lobo Volleyball team.
-- Sunday, Nov. 14 vs. San Diego State, 1 p.m. Come honor the Lobo volleyball seniors as they play their last home match of the season. First 200 fans will receive a Lobo cheering noodle.