Oct. 20, 2006
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The Lobo volleyball team put away Air Force with a thunderous game three, completing the shutout to snap their five-match losing streak. Winning 30-25, 30-24, 30-17, New Mexico improved to 7-14 overall and 3-6 in the Mountain West Conference.
UNM's hitters were rusty early in game one, digging themselves a seven-point (8-15) deficit with a negative hitting percentage. Head coach Kelley McKee called a time out to settle the team, which worked, sending the team on a 9-4 run thanks to four kills from freshman Allison Suiter. The Lobo run rattled the Falcons, who followed with seven errors, handing UNM a two-point lead (27-25). Sophomore Gayle Tripp dropped in an ace and classmate Sarah Kwasigroch came up with a block and a kill to clinch the match.
Game two was tight through two-thirds of the match, resulting in 10 ties and six lead changes. The last tie (18-18) was broken with a forceful kill from sophomore Jeanne Fairchild, which brought the 602 fans to their feet. Fairchild slammed down three more kills in the match, leading the Lobos on an 11-6 run for the win.
New Mexico raced out to a 15-5 lead in game three thanks to three kills from freshman Rose Morris and six Air Force errors. The Lobos high-octane offense combined with their superb defense shut down the Falcons. UNM needed only seven kills, including three from Fairchild, to score the 15 remaining points for the double-digit win.
"We needed this win," McKee said. "We applied everything from practice this week and it paid off. We need to carry the momentum into tomorrow's match and keep it rolling in the right direction."
Fairchild and Morris led the team with 11 kills apiece. Morris notched her third career double-double, adding 15 digs. Kwasigroch hit a team-high .600 (6K-0E-10TA), handed out 36 assists and posted seven digs, two aces and two blocks. Tripp led the team in digs with 18 and sophomore Joelle Ingram recorded a team-high seven blocks. Air Force's Katie Batchelder had a match-high 13 kills while teammate Ellen Bina had a match-leading 21 digs.
The Lobos return to the court tomorrow at 7 p.m., taking on Colorado State.