Sept. 28, 2007
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The University of New Mexico volleyball team made things interesting as the Lobos beat TCU, 30-25, 30-27, 32-30. New Mexico improved to 12-4 overall and 3-1 in the Mountain West Conference, while TCU dropped to 15-4 overall and 2-2 in MWC.
The Lobos took charge quickly in Game One, leading the Horned Frogs from the 5-4 point on. Freshman Lisa Meeter held serve to get the Lobos their biggest lead of the game at 21-15 and made a big kill at 27-21 to keep the six-point advantage.
In Games Two and Three, the Lobos allowed TCU to build big leads before coming back to win each game and the match.
Nirelle Hampton held serve to build a 10-4 for TCU. The Lobos chipped away at the lead, finally taking over at 17-16 on the serving of Gayle Tripp. UNM gradually pulled out to a 26-21 lead on a service ace by Meeter. Jeanne Fairchild got the Lobos to 29-24 on a big kill, but TCU went down with a fight getting the Lobos to make mistakes, 29-27. Fairchild came up with the game-winner to stop the TCU charge.
Game Three saw the Horned Frogs take a 4-0 lead, but Tripp took over serve and put the Lobos back to within one on an ace and kills by Jade Michaelsen and Meeter, 4-3. The teams went back and forth to 15-15, when UNM took the lead, stretching out to 24-20. TCU battled back again, taking the lead 26-25 on a kill by Kourtney Edwards. The teams tied three more times at 28, 29, and 30. A kill by Kerri Beck for the Lobos and a TCU attack error got the Lobos the 32-30 win.
"Coming from behind is not always a good place to be," said Lobo head coach Jeff Nelson. "But our team really seems to feel that if it is close they can win it. We've got some clutch servers in Lisa (Meeter) and Gayle (Tripp) late in the game that really scored points for us and have over and over again. They really stepped up at crunch time."
The Lobos adjusted the lineup and rotation tonight for some mid-season bumps and bruises. Fairchild, battling through a foot injury, played just the front row for the first time all season and still recorded 12 kills and two blocks.
Michaelsen played setter the whole match and recorded a career-high 41 assists to go along with career-highs in kills (7) and digs (8).
Meeter recorded her tenth double-double of the season with a team-leading 14 kills and 11 digs. Freshman Kelsi Phillips led the team in digs with 16, a new career-high.
The Lobos return to action next week when they travel to Utah to take on Utah and BYU.
New Mexico def. TCU 30-25, 30-27, 32-30
TCU (15-4, 2-2 MWC) (Kills-aces-blocks) - HESTER, Irene 13-0-1; SMITH, LeMeita 13-0-2; EDWARDS, Kourtney 11-0-1; Kirk, Devon 5-0-2; HAMPTON, Nirelle 3-1-2; OTTO, Lauren 2-1-0; BARRY, Loren 1-0-0; Totals 48-2-5.0. (Assists) - HAMPTON, Nirelle 33. (Dig leaders) - BARRY, Loren 14; CORLEY, Calli 11; HAMPTON, Nirelle 8
New Mexico (12-4, 3-1 MWC) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Meeter, Lisa 14-2-0; Fairchild, Jeanne 12-0-2; Beck, Kerri 8-0-2; Michaelsen, Jade 7-0-1; Suiter, Allie 7-0-2; Hadfield, Taylor 4-0-1; Lehne, Anna 1-0-0; Morris, Rose 1-0-0; Tripp, Gayle 0-2-0; Phillips, Kelsi 0-1-0; Totals 54-5-5.0. (Assists) - Michaelsen, Jade 41. (Dig leaders) - Phillips, Kelsi 16; Meeter, Lisa 11; Tripp, Gayle 10; Michaelsen, Jade 8