Sept. 6, 2006
COMCAST LOBO INVITATIONAL: The Lobos return home to host the annual Comcast Lobo Invitational. Participating teams are UTEP, Dartmouth and Cal State Fullerton. Last year, the Lobos fell in five game to Villanova in the title game, settling for second place.
Tournament action opens on Friday, Sept. 8 with Dartmouth and Cal State Fullerton at 4:30 p.m. in the Johnson Center on UNM's main campus. New Mexico takes on UTEP in the night cap. Saturday, play begins at 9:30 a.m. with the Titans and the Miners followed by the Big Green against the Lobos at noon. UTEP and Dartmouth start the evening session at 4:30 and the tournament concludes with the Lobos and Cal State Fullerton.
CSTV's GameTracker is available for all games on the Lobos' official athletic website, www.GoLobos.com. Live video streaming is available for all New Mexico matches on the website. Both services are free.
IN THE PAST: New Mexico holds a .794 win percentage against the teams it faces in the Comcast Lobo Invitational. However, the Lobos have never faced Dartmouth and is just 1-0 in its only match (3-0 win on Nov. 21, 1989) vs. Cal State Fullerton.
Prior to 1980, UNM was 0-6 vs. UTEP. Since joining the NCAA, the Lobos are 30-2 against the Miners. Their last win was a 3-1 victory at the Johnson Center on Sept. 18, 2004. The last Lobo loss was Sept. 14, 2002 in El Paso by a 3-1 margin.
In head coach Kelley McKee's 13 years as a leader at the Division I level, she is undefeated against Cal State Fullerton (2-0) and holds a .500 win percentage against UTEP (1-1). She has never coach against Dartmouth.
Dartmouth's assistant coach, Nana Allison-Brewer, played for the Lobos from 1996-99. In 417 games over 118 matches, she recorded 1,005 digs and 195 aces.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
UTEP Miners: UTEP comes to Albuquerque with a 1-6 record. The Miners, who lost their first five matches of the season, won 3-1 over Illinois-Chicago. Keisha Hyman-Gifth leads the team, averaging 2.70 kills per game, 1.19 blocks per game and a .303 hitting percentage. Katie Smith holds a team-high 9.93 assists per game average while Elsa Reyes averages 5.30 digs per game.
Dartmouth Big Green: The Comcast Lobo Invitational marks Dartmouth's season opener. Last year, the team was 12-12 marking the Big Green's first winning season since 1999. They return 11 letterwinners from last season's team and welcome four newcomers. Leading the way should be senior Nadine Parris, who played in all 89 games, averaging 2.24 kills per game. Parris led the team in blocking with 68 total blocks and was ninth in the Ivy League in hitting percentage.
Cal State Fullerton Titans: The Titans are undefeated at 5-0 as they enter the Comcast Hilton Invitational. Cal State Fullerton has beaten Villanova, Alabama State, Binghamton, Weber State and the College of Charleston. Brittany Moore is one of the Titan's top athletes, averaging a team-high .414 hitting percentage and 1.00 blocks per game. She also averages 3.26 kills, trailing teammate Breanna Trudeau's 3.33 kills per game. Julie Geissert leads the team in assists and service aces, recording 12.21 apg and 11 aces while Vanessa Vella tops the team with 4.47 digs per game.
WELCOME TO NEW MEXICO: Sophomore transfer Jeanne Fairchild made her official first appearance as a Lobo this past weekend at the Baylor Clarion Tournament. The Albuquerque native (St. Pius X HS) who transferred in the spring from San Diego, made a major impact in the final game, a 3-2 win over Louisiana-Monroe. Fairchild led the team with a .343 attack percentage (14K-2E-35TA), 14 kills and seven aces. For the tourney, she averaged 2.25 kills per game, 0.58 blocks per game and aces per game and 1.00 digs per game.
SETTING WITH SARAH: Sophomore Sarah Kwasigroch is closer to setting program records thanks to her stellar setting. With 1,334 career assists, Kwasigroch only needs 157 to break into the top-10 in New Mexico's history. She should definitely reach that mark this season, possibly even this weekend, having already compiled 246 assists in the first seven matches of the season. Holding UNM's best career assist per game average at 10.59, she should break Janelle Torres' record of 3,794 assists next year.
HEALING HEASTY: Junior Jennifer Heasty is still healing from the shoulder injury that sidelined her almost all of last season. The team's most outspoken leader turned her game up a notch on Friday, leading the team with a .292 attack percentage (10K-3E-24TA) and 10 kills vs. Houston. Having played in every game through Friday, Heasty was able to rest on Saturday, sitting out against UALR.
KAT CRAWL(EY)ING UP THE CHARTS: Freshman Kathleen Crawley has served her way into the Mountain West Conference rankings. With a team-high 10 aces in 26 games, she averages 0.38 per game, the ninth most in the MWC. Crawley has also aided the team defensively, averaging 1.88 digs per game.
A SEASON TO REMEMBER: Senior Kelly Therkelsen is on her way to having an unforgettable senior season. She entered the year third on New Mexico's career block assists list and has posted 23 in the first seven matches, placing her second with 270. To claim the record however, she will have to have her best production ever, needing 164 to break the record set by Chelsea Sondrup last season.
Therkelsen is also on the career total blocks list, temporarily holding eighth with 279. She needs 48, which she should achieve, to claim second and 187 to set the record.
TWICE THE TRIPP: Sophomore Gayle Tripp has started the season well above the level of play she recorded last season. During her freshman campaign, she produced 268 digs (2.60 pg) in 103 games. In the 26 games (seven matches) to start this season, Tripp recorded 116 digs, averaging 4.46 per game, the fifth best average in the Mountain West Conference.
STRONG SUIT(ER): Freshman Allison Suiter was a strong asset for the Lobos in the Hilton Albuquerque Classic. She started her collegiate career seven kills and three blocks vs. Utah State. In the next game, she led the team with 12 kills on 19 attacks and made just two errors, hitting an outstanding .526. In the final game of the Hilton Albuquerque Classic, she contributed five kills and a team-high six blocks. She is currently second on the team in blocking, averaging 1.05 per game.
INVENTING INGRAM: Sophomore Joelle Ingram has reinvented herself and is one of the top players on the New Mexico volleyball team. Seeing time in only 10 games last season, she played all 11 at the Hilton Albuquerque Classic and 14 of the team's 15 at the Baylor Clarion Tournament. At the Hilton, she led the team in blocks, recording 14 for a 1.27 per game average and dropped in a team-high five aces. Ingram posted a team-high 13 blocks in Waco and now holds the team's highest blocks per game average at 1.08.