Sept. 24, 2011
Albuquerque, N.M. --- The University of New Mexico volleyball team started out strong against TCU, but it couldn't keep that early momentum going as the visiting Horned Frogs downed the Lobos 18-25, 25-16, 25-21, 25-19. UNM dropped to 7-4 overall and 0-1 in the league, while TCU jumped 14-1 overall and 1-0 in the Mountain West.
The conference opening loss isn't entirely new for the Lobos, as UNM lost their openers in both 2009 and 2010, and both times UNM went on to reach the NCAA Tournament in both of those seasons.
Kelly Williamson and Ashley Rhoades paced the Lobos with 16 and 13 kills apiece in front of 2,272 fans as Friday served as both "Jam Johnson" and also as UNM's second annual "Love Red Live Green" game. The brainchild of Williamson, all waste from the game was to be recycled, and energy saving tips and posters were present for fans in the arena. Recycling station were also placed throughout Johnson Center.
While Rhoades and Williamson teamed up for 29 kills, topping by one TCU's Jordan Raines and Kristen Hester, Raines and Hester had just six errors combined. In fact, most of the stats for the match were basically even, what one caveat: hitting percentage. TCU had the better run in that stat, outhitting UNM .174-.082.
The Lobos won game one 25-18 as UNM picked up 10 kills to eight for TCU, but the Horned Frogs took the final three sets for the match. Allison Buck continued her torrid pace with 26 digs, and Mariah Agre had a team-best 33 assists.
New Mexico gets a chance to return to their winning ways on Monday evening, as the Lobos host regional rival Texas Tech at 7 p.m. at Johnson Center.