Sept. 2, 2011
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Lobos won their first match of the Fiesta Bowl Tournament Friday evening over the University of Hampton, 3-0.
New Mexico got off to a quick start, jumping out to an early 8-3 lead before Hampton was forced to call a timeout in order to regroup. The Lady Pirates didn't have much of an answer for the Lobos throughout the rest of the first set as UNM dominated with a 25-9 win.
The storyline didn't change much in the second set as the Lobos jumped out to an early 10-2 lead. Senior Ashley Rhoades was her usual high-flying self, recording multiple kills for the Lobos. Mariah Agre and Allison Buck also lived up to their billing, serving as a fantastic dig-to-assist lethal combination. UNM would take the second set by a score of 25-11.
Hampton kept things close in the third set by sticking with the Lobos early, tying the game 8-8 at one point. Service errors were an issue for the Lady Pirates, however, as the Lobos were able to take advantage. With the score at 9-9, Rhoades stepped up to serve. With Rhoades at the helm, the Lobos took control and never looked back. UNM reeled off 10 straight points with Rhoades serving to take a commanding lead, 19-9 lead. From there the Lobos cruised and swept the match, 3-0.
Although, satisfied with his team's performance, Nelson always sees room for improvement.
"We have to turn it up tomorrow and get some more kids to step up when we face San Jose State and Northern Arizona," Nelson said.
The Lobos next match in the Fiesta Bowl Tournament will be against San Jose State at 11 a.m. MT tomorrow. UNM faces tournament host Northern Arizona at 8 p.m. MT tomorrow as well.