Lobo Volleyball heads to Arizona
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  08/30/2007
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Aug. 30, 2007

Hilton Phoenix/East Mesa Challenge Game Notes
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This Week in Lobo Volleyball
Match #5-7 - Hilton Phoenix/East Mesa Challenge
Friday, Aug. 31 • vs. Iowa State 3 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 31 • at Arizona State 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 1 • vs. Northern Arizona 12 p.m.
Wells Fargo Arena • Tempe, Ariz.

Live Stats and Video: Link on www.golobos.com

Against Iowa State (0-2): This will be the fourth meeting between the Lobos and Iowa State. ISU holds a 2-1 lead in the series. The teams have not met on the court since 1997. The Cyclones, coached by Christy Johnson, are led by senior outside hitter Erin Boeve with 2.88 kills per game.
Against Arizona State (0-3): This will be the 18th meeting between the Lobos and Arizona State. ASU holds a 17-0 lead in the series. The Sun Devils, coached by Brad Saindon, are led by junior outside hitter Margie Giodano with 3.91 kills per game.
Against Northern Arizona (2-1): This will be the 20th meeting between the Lobos and Northern Arizona. UNM holds an 11-8 lead in the series. The Lumberjacks, coached by Chris Campbell, are led by senior outside hitter with 4.50 kills per game.

UP NEXT: The Lobo volleyball team will kickoff the 2007-08 Rio Grande Rivalry on Tuesday, Sept. 4, when they travel to Las Cruces to take on the New Mexico State Aggies. Match time is set for 7 p.m.

QUICK HITS • BEST START IN A WHILE ... At 4-0, the Lobos are off to its best season start since 1994 ... The last time New Mexico started the season 5-0 was in 1990 ... The Lobos started the 1990 season with a 10-0 record.

• PLAYING AGAINST THE BEST ... The Lobos continue its three match stretch of opponents who participated in the 2006 NCAA Tournament - Long Island, Iowa State, and Arizona State. In all, the Lobos will play 11 matches this season against teams that participated in the 2006 NCAA Tournament.

• TOURNAMENT HONORS ... Three Lobos were named to the MCM Elegante Lobo Classic All-Tournament Team on Saturday. All-America candidate Jeanne Fairchild was named the MVP of the tournament, while junior libero Gayle Tripp and freshman outside hitter Lisa Meeter were also named to the all-tourney team.

• YOUNG PUPS GET EARLY START ... Three freshmen earned their first collegiate starts over the weekend - Lisa Meeter, Jade Michaelsen, and Kelsi Phillips. Meeter is currently the third-leading attacker on the team with 2.73 kills per game. Michaelsen is splitting time at setter with Sarah Kwasigroch. Phillips is a solid back row player who is third on the team with five service aces.

TO BE THE BEST, PLAY THE BEST ... New Mexico will play 11 matches this season against eight opponents who competed in the 2006 NCAA Tournament this season. The Lobos face three of those opponents this week - Long Island, Iowa State, and Arizona State. New Mexico State and San Diego will be early-mid-week matches in the coming month, while the other three `06 participants are in the Mountain West - BYU, Utah, and Colorado State.

PLAYING IN THE HOMETOWN (STATE) ... Four Lobos will get the opportunity to play close to home this week when New Mexico travels to Tempe, Ariz. for the Hilton Phoenix/East Mesa Challenge. Freshmen Melissa Middleton (Glendale) and Kelsi Phillips (Scottsdale) are from the Phoenix metropolitan area, while junior Joelle Ingram and redshirt freshman Jade Michaelsen are from Tucson.

DOUBLING UP ... Freshman outside hitter Lisa Meeter picked up the first double-double of her collegiate career on Aug. 25 against San Jose State with 18 kills and 15 digs. Meeter was a two-time high school All-American for Colorado Springs Christian School, the three-time 3A state champions ... Junior setter Sarah Kwasigroch recorded the first double-double of the season for the Lobos on Friday against Florida Atlantic with 27 assists and 10 digs.

AND THAT'S ANOTHER NEW MEXICO ACE ... The Lobos were on a tear from the service line with 28 aces in three matches to start the season, the most over the weekend by any team in the Mountain West Conference by 11 total aces ... UNM added eight more aces on Aug. 28 against Long Island ... Kerri Beck and Allie Suiter each had five aces in one match during the MCM Elegante Lobo Classic. Beck, a junior transfer from Eastern Washington known more for her hitting efficiency and blocking, recorded five aces against Florida Atlantic on Aug. 24. Suiter, a sophomore, had five against Grambling State on Aug. 25.

ASSISTS BY SARAH ... Junior setter Sarah Kwasigroch has a chance to move into the top-five on the UNM list for career assists this season. Coming into the season, Kwasigroch had 2,098 career assists, sitting at eighth on the career list. In four matches this season, she is now at 2,195, moving into seventh place. Sarah needs 646 assists to pass Monica Meihack (2,840; 2002-04) for sixth place.

UNM Career Assists 1. Janelle Tores 3,794 1996-99 2. Alicia Bergmann 3,283 1992-95 3. Sharon Browning 3,214 1989-92 4. Jocelyn Funk 3,153 1983-86 5. Karen Saavedra-Warnock 2,845 1985-88 6. Monica Meihack 2,840 2002-04 7. Sarah Kwasigroch 2,195 2005-present 8. Gretchen Gegenfurtner 2,193 1993-96

HITTING THE BOOKS ... In July, the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced that the University of New Mexico was one of 55 NCAA Division I institutions to receive the GamePlan/AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2006-07 season. The award, initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors collegiate and high school teams that displayed excellence in the classroom by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale and a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale during the school year. The UNM volleyball team had a team GPA of 3.63 in the 2006 fall semester and a 3.31 in the spring of 2007.

LAST TIME OUT ... Aug. 28 vs. Long Island (3-0)
The crowd at the Johnson Center came alive as the New Mexico volleyball team beat Long Island, 3-0, on Tuesday night to improve to 4-0 on the season. It is the best start to a Lobo volleyball season since 1994. "The crowd was awesome!" said UNM head coach Jeff Nelson. "Thank you to all the students that came out. All the fraternities and sororities, they were absolutely fantastic! It made a huge difference for us. It really impacted the other team with all their noise. It was just loud all night and we are grateful for that support." The Johnson Center crowd got into the match early as the Lobos went on a 7-1 run to start the action in Game One. Junior libero Gayle Tripp held serve for that stretch, while the Blackbirds struggled with their attack. Long Island settled down and forced their way back into the game, going on an 8-2 run to even the score at nine. The teams battled back and forth with neither team building a decisive lead, until freshman outside hitter Lisa Meeter put New Mexico ahead 25-22 with the first of her two service aces on the evening. New Mexico got the serve at 26-23 on a Long Island service error and Tripp was able to hold serve again, building a 29-23 lead. UNM All-America candidate Jeanne Fairchild put Game One away for the Lobos with a kill, 30-24. Game Two started out in similar fashion with the Lobos building a 6-2 lead, before Long Island evened up the score at nine. After being tied at 15, New Mexico was able to gradually build a lead until the final six-point advantage, 30-24. Sophomore outside hitter Rose Morris had the game-winning kill. In Game Three, the Lobos kept Long Island at arms-length after the Blackbirds closed to within one at 3-2 and 5-4. New Mexico built up to a double-digit lead at 26-16 and pushed on to a 30-17 final for the match win. "It was a great win for our team," said Nelson. "This team is in the (NCAA) tournament every year and are a really good team. That was exciting for us." Fairchild led the team in kills with 12, while junior middle blocker Kerri Beck added 10 kills and a team-high three service aces and six blocks. The Lobos had eight service aces and 12 team blocks on the evening. Sophomore Anna Lehne pitched in with five block assists, while redshirt freshman Jade Michaelsen had five. "I thought our serving was awesome with eight aces," said Nelson. "We got after it all night and took them out of their game. We also blocked really well tonight."

Saturday, August 22
7:00 PM - 
vs. Alumnae (Exhibition)
Friday, August 28
8:00 AM - 
at Belmont
3:00 PM - 
at Albany
Saturday, August 29
5:00 PM - 
at Ball State