Sept. 10, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The Lobos had a great showing in their second game of the Comcast/Sheraton Lobo Invitational after picking apart the Portland State Vikings for a 3-0 win.
This was easily the Lobos best performance of the season. The team was able to sure up all of its deficiencies and perform at a high level. Freshman Chantale Riddle has really come into her own this tournament. Her stat line against Portland State consisted of six kills, a team-best .545 hitting percentage and two total blocks.
"It was nice to see us maintain a high-level of play throughout an entire match," head coach Jeff Nelson said. "It was the first time we've done that all season."
Game One: Lobos 25, Portland State 8
UNM made easy work of Portland State in the first set. Seniors Ashley Rhoades and Kelly Williamson led the way as the Lobos took down the Vikings 25-8. Rhoades had four kills, while Williamson recorded three for a hitting efficiency of .429.
"We jumped right on them from the start," Williamson said. "We served well this game and our blocking was a lot better."
Game Two: Lobos 25, Portland State 14
The beginning of the second set was completely dominated by the Lobos. At one point the Lobos scored 14-straight points, all coming while freshman stalwart, Cara Fisher, was serving. The Vikings made a little run to pull within nine points of the Lobos, making it 20-11, but it wasn't enough as UNM cruised to victory from that point on. The Lobos took the match 25-14. Four freshmen saw playing time during the set including: Fisher, Riddle, Elsa Krieg and Jayla Trombley.
"We are going to need our freshmen as the season goes on," Nelson said. "If we can take care of Elsa and Jayla, the rest will fall into place."
Game Three: Lobos 25, Portland State 16
With the game fairly in hand, the Lobos used the third set to break in some of their young freshman. Krieg and Trombley were the main two the Lobos were trying to help gain experience. Both played a little in the second set and stuck around for a good portion of the third set. Krieg finished the match with four kills and three block assists. Even though the Lobos were playing freshman, that didn't mean they were going to take out their core of seniors in Williamson, Rhoades and Allison Buck. All three performed exceptionally well, providing the leadership coach Nelson expects out of them.
"I think this was a top-three game for us this season." Buck said. "Our defense has been phenomenal the past couple of weeks and I think it's because we have a passion for defense."
Next up for the Lobos is a 7:30 p.m. nightcap tonight vs. the University of Montreal.