Sept. 15, 2008
Each week during the 2008 season a different Lobo will fill you in on what is going on in the life of the New Mexico Volleyball Team. Look for a new blog each Monday morning throughout the season.
September 15 - Amy Wong, redshirt-freshman setter, Litchfield Park, Ariz.
Hello Lobo Fans!
This weekend marked the halfway point of our challenging September schedule! Only two more away weekends before you can finally see us in action in Johnson Gym!
Last Monday we arrived home from our Washington D.C. trip about noon and had an hour or so before we needed to be in the weight room ready to lift. It was definitely a challenge after the four-hour flight, but our team got in there and worked hard knowing we had our toughest weekend yet ahead of us. Tuesday and Wednesday we had normal school and practice and it was a relief to actually be able to attend class!
On Thursday afternoon the team departed for Nebraska in two groups, one went through Denver and the other through Minneapolis. When we arrived in Omaha we discovered it was pouring rain outside and it rained almost the whole drive to Lincoln, where we would be playing. I was super excited to get to Lincoln because my friend Tara Mueller is an outside hitter on Nebraska's team and I hadn't seen her in five months!
We woke up the next morning and headed out the door to practice in the Devaney Center. The arena seemed pretty big during practice, but when it was full of people that night it was the most exciting thing I've ever seen! We were scheduled to take on St. John's at 3:30 in the afternoon so we arrived at the Devaney center about 1:45 to make sure we had enough time to get settled and ready.
The match was a very tough one, but we prevailed with our eighth straight sweep, 25-23, 35-33, 25-23. No, that's not a typo! The second set really went to 35-33! It was a nail-biter at the end, but we managed to defend multiple set points before St. John's sent a ball long giving us the win.
After our match ended we grabbed our box lunches and got our seats for the Nebraska-LSU match so we could scout our opponent for the next day. The pre-match activities started with the Nebraska drum line performing, and they were amazing! They even called out the LSU team just like in Drum Line! They had an NCAA record crowd of 13,412 in the Devaney Center that night!
Nebraska had a slow start in set one, but quickly caught up and took care of LSU in three sets. After watching the match we knew we had a huge task ahead of us the next day.
On Saturday we had pretty much the same schedule, the only difference was this time we were playing in the NU Coliseum, Nebraska's home court! The team had a lot of nerves going in to it, but we were confident we could compete at this level and made it a goal to be consistent throughout the whole match.
The Coliseum crowd is unlike any other I have ever experienced! It was a sea of solid red shirts, and not a single seat was empty, that's 4,153 seats by the way, giving Nebraska 107 consecutive sold out matches! The audience all had coordinated cheers and were the most polite I have ever seen. They never booed or jeered and always applauded a good rally, regardless of who won it.
We started the first set a little shaky and never could quite recover the lead we gave them. At 14-24 Sarah had a five-point run of serves that put us within striking distance at 19-24, but Nebraska rebounded with a kill to end the set. The second set we again started poorly letting them get up 1-5, but we evened the score and hung tough with them until they finished the set at 25-18. Jeanne was phenomenal in the front row that set with eight kills on ten attempts. The third set we ended up losing 25-17 but the rallies were much closer than the score shows. Our defense really kept us in the match, with Gayle anchoring the effort. There was one bright spot on the day -- Jeanne and Jade were named to the all tournament team for the 3rd consecutive tournament!
After the match we discussed our thoughts and we all agreed that our team played nowhere near its full potential. We didn't however have time to mope about the loss because this coming Wednesday we start conference with an away match at TCU!
On Saturday night we discovered that the group who flew through Minnesota on the way here no longer had a flight home! We were scheduled to have a layover in Houston, but because of Hurricane Ike, all flights going in to Houston were cancelled!
Our coaches tried all night but had no success finding another flight, and our little group of six were told just to show up at the airport in the morning to try to get on a different airline. Our group left the hotel at 5:30 for the airport and after waiting in line we discovered that we were being put on the same flight as the rest of our group! We had a really quick layover in Denver then one hour later we were back home in Albuquerque!
Thanks for keeping up with us! Go Lobos!