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Preseason Practice Begins for Lobo Volleyball
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  08/08/2012
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Aug. 8, 2012

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The University of New Mexico volleyball team reported to Johnson Gym on Wednesday afternoon for the first official practice of the 2012 season.

The day began with a weightlifting session followed by NCAA compliance and team meetings. The Lobos passed out uniforms and other gear, and then took team and individual pictures before hitting the court.

Six returning players and seven newcomers were eager to get to work.

Jordan Russell returns as the Lobos' lone senior and team captain.

"We have a great group of freshmen coming in and our returners are ready to go," Russell said. "Today couldn't have come soon enough."

The Lobos will practice intensely over the next two weeks with several days seeing two training sessions.

New Mexico head coach Jeff Nelson plans to focus on the basics to start with before easing in to more complex drills.

"Today we're going to work on ball control quite a bit and get a lot of repetitions in for the setters so they're ready to go for drills," Nelson said. "A lot of touches on the ball and trying to work through the nerves that happen along with the first day."

"We've been looking forward to this for a while now," he said. "We have a lot of new people and I feel like it's a transition time for us, which is fun. It will be good to get in the gym and let them go to work."

The Lobos will host their annual alumni match at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18. A number of former UNM greats will be participating in the event.

New Mexico begins regular-season play at home Aug. 24-25 with the Sheraton Airport/LA Boxing Lobo Classic. The Lobos open Friday, Aug. 24 with matches against Southern and Duquesne at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively.

Returners

No. Name Height Position Year Experience Hometown/Last School
3 Chantale Riddle 6-0 MB RS SO 1VL Roswell, N.M./Roswell HS
5 Jordan Russell 5-8 S SR 3VL Stanley, N.M./Moriarty HS
6 Lexi Ross 6-2 MB JR 2VL Lake Oswego, Ore./Lakeride HS
16 Elsa Krieg 6-2 MB SO 1VL Granby, Colo./Middle Park HS
18 Ashley Newman 6-0 OH JR 2VL Albuquerque, N.M./St. Pius X HS
21 Miquella Lovato 5-2 L JR 2VL Pojoaque, N.M./Pojoaque HS

Newcomers

E-News
No. Name Height Position Year Experience Hometown/Last School
1 Alijah Gunsaulus 5-10 OH FR HS Long Beach, Calif./Los Alamitos HS
2 Hannah Johnson 5-11 S RS FR RS Longview, Wash./R.A. Long HS
4 Lena Skipper 5-10 OH JR TR Melbourne, Australia
8 Ashley Kelsey 6-0 OH FR HS Ewa Beach, Hawai'i/James Campbell HS
12 Megan Short 6-4 MB RS FR RS Arlington, Texas/Lamar HS
17 Skye Gullatt 5-11 MB FR HS Denver, Colo./Smoky Hill HS
20 Sara Stelzer 5-7 DS FR HS Albuquerque, N.M./Hope Christian