Volleyball Returns Home This Week, Faces Wyoming and No. 9 Colorado State
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  10/18/2004
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Oct. 18, 2004

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New Mexico (7-11, 1-6 MWC) vs. Wyoming (10-9, 3-4)

Johnson Center - Albuquerque, N.M. - Thursday, Oct. 21 - 7 p.m.

New Mexico vs. No. 9 Colorado State (14-2, 6-1)


Albuquerque, N.M. - Johnson Center - Friday, Oct. 22 - 7 p.m.

LOBOS RETURN HOME TO FACE WYOMING AND NO. 9 COLORADO STATE - After playing six of their last eight matches on the road, including four in a row, the New Mexico volleyball team (7-11, 1-6 Mountain West) returns home this week to play Wyoming and No. 9 Colorado State at the Johnson Center. The Lobos face the Cowgirls Thursday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. and the Rams Friday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. Friday's match is Jam Johnson Night, along with Youth Night. All tickets for the event are only $1, and the first 200 youths in attendance will receive a sheet of Lobo face decals.

The Lobos are looking to get back on the winning track after getting swept at San Diego State and UNLV last weekend. First up is Wyoming, who brings a 10-9 (3-4 MWC) record into the Duke City. The Lobos lost a tough match to the Cowgirls in five games earlier this season (Sept. 24) in Laramie, falling in five games after leading two games to one. Wyoming split two matches at home last weekend, topping BYU in four games but losing to No. 14 Utah in four games.

UNM faces a stiff challenge on Jam Johnson Night, going up against ninth-ranked Colorado State. The Rams are 14-2 (6-1 MWC) on the season, but did lose their first match since Aug. 27 last weekend at home, faltering to Utah in four games. CSU's only other loss came at the hands of No. 2 Minnesota. The Lobos were swept by the Rams Sept. 25 in Fort Collins.



Thursday, Oct. 21 -- 7 p.m. -- Johnson Center

The Lobos are looking to snap a four-match skid to Wyoming. The Cowgirls edged the Lobos earlier this season in Laramie in five games after the Lobos were up two games to one.

Wyoming has won two of its last three matches. It beat BYU at home last weekend but also fell to Utah.

Sara Maytorena leads the team and is second in the Mountain West with 3.68 kills per game. Amy Doman paces the offense with 13.04 assists per game, Lauren Scott leads the team in blocks with 1.19 per game, and Rachael Booth leads the team with 3.44 digs per game.

HEAD COACH: Pat Strangle. Overall record: 10-9 (First year). Record at Wyoming: Same.


-Wyoming leads, 28-23

-Series streak: Wyoming has won the last four meetings

-UNM vs. Wyoming in Albuquerque: 12-11

-Last UNM win: 11/9/01 in Laramie, 3-2

-Last UNM win in Albuquerque: 10/6/00, 3-0

-Last meeting: 9/24/04 in Laramie, Wyoming won, 3-2


Friday, Oct. 22 -- 7 p.m. -- Johnson Center

No. 9 Colorado State suffered a rare conference loss last weekend at the hands of Utah. The Rams were undefeated in league play last season and were 5-0 this year before falling to the Utes. CSU recovered with a sweep over BYU the next night. The Rams swept the Lobos earlier this season in Fort Collins.

HEAD COACH: Tom Hilbert. Overall record: 382-115 (16th year). Record at CSU: 205-43 (Eighth year).


-Colorado State leads, 29-20

-Series streak: CSU has won the last 16 meetings

-UNM vs. CSU in Albuquerque: 11-11

-Last UNM win: 11/12/94 in Albuquerque, 3-0

-Last meeting: 9/25/04 in Fort Collins, CSU won, 3-0

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. UNM picked up its first conference win of the season with a three-game sweep at Air Force Oct. 8.

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. UNM nearly upset No. 14 Utah in its last home match Oct. 2, leading two games to one and ahead by five points midway through the fourth game before the Utes rallied back for the win.

Coach McKee

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 164-161 (.505) 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.


-- Junior Chelsea Sondrup became the all-time leader in New Mexico history in block assists after recording 10 in the Utah match Oct. 2. Sondrup currently has 266 career block assists and now is adding to her all-time record every match - she put down five in last week's action against San Diego State and UNLV. Sondrup's next goal is to become the all-time blocks leader in school history - she is currently seventh on the school charts with 282, 44 behind Linda Archuleta's school record 326. Sondrup is tied for fourth in MWC matches with 1.40 per game.

Updated\ New\ Mexico\ Career\ Records

-- Junior Nicole Ryan leads the team and is ninth in the Mountain West with 3.22 kills per game. In Mountain West matches, she is also ranked ninth with 3.28 kills per game.

-- Senior Adah Burke is living up to her billing as the top libero in the Mountain West Conference. The preseason All-MWC selection leads the team and is second in the league with 4.11 digs per game. She dug a career-high 32 in the Wyoming match Sept. 24, which is third most in a match in school history and second most in a MWC match.


-- The Lobos played five of their first seven Mountain West matches on the road during the first half of the league schedule

-- The Lobos are glad to be back home - they have a winning record (5-4) this season at the Johnson Center, and nearly upset No. 14 Utah in the last home match. UNM's numbers are clearly better when playing on its home court. Below is a look at the difference for UNM when playing at the Johnson Center:

			        Kills P/G		   Assists P/G	  Aces P/G		   Blocks P/G
Home (5-4)	13.38 (+0.71)	11.76 (+0.79)	1.84 (+0.71)	2.81 (+0.38)
Road (2-7)	12.67		       10.97		       1.13		       2.43

-- The Lobos are third in the MWC with 3.04 blocks per game in conference matches. They set a school record with 43 block assists in the Utah match Oct. 2. The Lobos' 22.5 team blocks vs. the Utes are the most of any Mountain West team this season.


SWEPT UP - LOBOS FALL TO SAN DIEGO STATE AND UNLV ON THE ROAD: San Diego and Las Vegas are two of the nation's top travel destinations, but unfortunately the trip wasn't sweet for the Lobos, as they were swept at San Diego State and UNLV last weekend.

UNM fell to San Diego State in three games, 32-34, 15-30, 26-30, Friday, Oct. 15 at Peterson Gym on the SDSU campus. Samie Weber matched her season high with 14 kills while hitting at a .391 clip (14K-5E-23TA) to pace the Lobos. She also put down a five blocks. Nicole Ryan put together another nice all-around match, registering 11 kills, four digs and two blocks. Jennifer Heasty collected a team-high six blocks and Chelsea Sondrup tallied five.

The Lobos lost a heartbreaker in game one, falling 34-32. The Aztecs jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead, but UNM bounced back, and went ahead 14-13 near the midway point. SDSU went back in front, however, and led by 1-2 points until the Lobos again tied the score at 28. UNM went ahead 30-29, and again at 32-31, but three straight kills from SDSU's Melissa Stapley ended the game and gave the Aztecs the slim 34-32 victory in game one.

San Diego State led the entire second game, although it was close at first. The Aztecs only held a two-point advantage at the 9-7 mark, but clinched the 30-15 game two win on a 21-8 run. The Aztecs topped the Lobos by four points, 30-26, in the third and final game of the match.

Freshman Samie Weber leads the Lobos with 80 blocks.

On Saturday, Oct. 16, UNLV defeated the New Mexico volleyball team in three games, 24-30, 19-30, 21-30, at Cox Arena on the UNLV campus. Kelly Therkelsen and Samie Weber led the Lobos with seven kills apiece. Chelsea Sondrup hit .455 (6K-1E-11TA) in the match, and Monica Meihack dished out 24 assists.

In game one, the Lobos took an early lead, 4-3, but the Rebels followed with an 11-5 run to go up 14-9. UNM scored four of the next five points to trim the margin to 15-14, but once again the Rebels responded, and closed the game on a 15-10 run in the 30-24 win. The Lobos only managed to hit .133 in the game compared to UNLV's .371 percentage. Therkelsen led UNM with four kills in the game.

Game two was more of the same for UNLV, who continued its hot hitting with 17 kills and a .333 attack percentage. The Lobos only held one lead at the 3-2 mark, and after the Rebels took the lead at 5-4, they went on a 7-0 run to go up 12-4 to put the game away. UNM would not get closer than six points the rest of the game as UNLV won, 30-19.

New Mexico stayed close to the Rebels in the first half of game three. The Rebels maintained a three-to-four point lead, but the Lobos cut the advantage to two points at the 16-14 at 17-15 marks. UNLV scored 13 of the next 19 points, however, to complete the sweep with the 30-21 game three victory.


CAUTION - DIGGING AHEAD: Senior Adah Burke is showing why she was named the top libero in the Mountain West Conference in the preseason. Burke is second in the conference with 4.11 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. In conference matches, Burke is fourth in the league with 3.92 digs per game.

BLOCK YOU VERY MUCH: Junior Chelsea Sondrup is climbing the career charts at UNM in blocks in her third season. Sondrup is seventh all-time with 282 blocks (record: 326) and became the leader in block assists when she recorded 10 vs. Utah Oct. 2. Sondrup currently has 266 career block assists.

This season, she is second on the team with 72 blocks (1.18 per game; eighth in MWC). Her 35 blocks (1.40 pg) in conference action is tied for fourth 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 also 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 80 blocks (1.19 per game), which is tied for sixth in the MWC. Her 11 blocks (one solo, 10 assists) against Utah Oct. 2 tied for the second most ever in UNM match. In conference matches, Weber is sixth in the MWC with 1.32 blocks per game. 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. She is currently sixth all-time in Lobo volleyball history with 2,541 career assists.

Monica Meihack is sixth all-time at UNM with 2,541 career assists.

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 seventh in the Mountain West with 10.28 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 3.22 kills per game, which ranks ninth in the Mountain West. Her numbers are even better in conference matches, as she is ninth in the league with 3.28 kills per game. She put down a season-high 22 kills at Wyoming Sept. 24.

THERKELSEN SHOWING IMPROVEMENT: Sophomore Kelly Therkelsen has shown dramatic improvement in her second season as a Lobo. She is second on the team with 2.94 kills per game (16th in Mountain West), 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. In the Oct. 8 win over Air Force, Therkelsen hit for a career-high .524 (13K-2E-21TA) with a team-high 13 kills.

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. Thus far in the conference season, she has displayed her blocking ability, racking up 35 in seven matches (1.44 pg) to rank third in the Mountain West. Heasty put down a career-high 11 blocks against Utah Oct. 2. She is also seeing improvement in her hitting, as she had a season-high .375 attack percentage (9K-3E-16TA) in the Air Force match Oct. 8.

LIVE FROM BUDAPEST: Junior transfer Gabriella Veres, a native of Budapest, Hungary, made her Divison I debut against Creighton Sept. 4. She also saw action at Air Force Oct. 8. Veres has played on the Hungarian Junior National Team and was a member of the PRSC Division II junior championship team in 2003 (21-under) and the PRSC Division II championship team in 2004 (all ages).

BRINGING A LOCAL FLAVOR TO THE LOBOS: Two freshmen on the team this season, Laura Conklin and Jessica Hezekiah, hail from Albuquerque. Conklin is a defensive specialist who has seen action in 56 games this season and is averaging 1.14 digs per game. Hezekiah has played in seven games.

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:

Jam Johnson

-- 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 will 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.

Senior Day

-- 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.

Thursday, August 20
6:30 PM - 
vs. Cherry vs. Silver
Friday, August 28
8:00 AM - 
at Belmont
3:00 PM - 
at Albany
Saturday, August 29
5:00 PM - 
at Ball State