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Lobo Volleyblog: A Summer Visit From Coach Nelson
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  06/16/2010
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

June 16, 2010

This spring went by so fast it was ridiculous. The Lobos did well in every aspect of sport and academics. It was another great semester for everyone. We had 13 student-athletes above 3.0 and a team GPA around 3.5. We are on track to win another AVCA National Academic Award this summer. Congrats to all of our great student-athletes.

Spring practices went very well and we had great efforts and some huge improvements made in a short time. I chose to move Taylor Hadfield back to the middle, so we really needed someone to step up on the right side. Rachel Barber did a great job! She improved her blocking and really did well, offensively.

While everyone really played well...another bright spot was Kelly Williamson. She increased her vertical and is touching 10'3 now and really is putting some heat on the ball.

Another place I thought we really improved was at libero. Allison Buck seemed so much more in control and on top of her game. Her passing and defense were great! I really saw some big time play out of Ashley Rhoades in the middle, as well. She was flying high and exciting to watch.

The seniors, who will all three be four-year starters, have really stepped up and provided the leadership and drive this team needs to make it deeper into the tournament. I am so proud of the job Taylor, Lisa Meeter and Jade Michaelsen have done and how motivated they are for their last season. What an amazing group of kids...each with their own challenges, but making this program better every day!

Tournament weekends were a lot of fun. Everyone got to play and contributed to a very successful spring. The Lobos went 11-1-1. The tie was because we did not play third sets at the Arizona tournament. Our lone loss was a close one at Arizona. We split with Texas that day, as well. We won all of the rest of our matches, winning tournaments at home and at New Mexico State.

The team did a great job in the weight room, as well. Many of our players had career-highs in their lifts. It was good to see a couple of them finally buy into the importance of a great weight-lifting program. Thanks to our strength coach, Joaquin Chavez!

Turning to summer...

All of our players will be around for camps, conditioning, and second summer session. During the month of June, Lisa, Kelly, and Taylor will all be playing overseas. They are going through the same overseas program that Ashley Rhoades and Allison Buck did last year, but in Brazil. Hopefully they will return healthy and had some great experiences.

Camps are filling fast and should be full in the next couple of weeks. It has been exciting to see them grow and also to see the level of play increase. We look forward to hosting all of our campers and having a great time with you!

August will come quickly! I am so eager to start with this team in early August. There is an amazing group of recruits to go along with the most experienced team New Mexico has had in years.

I also want to congratulate Anna Lehne and Rose Morris on their weddings in June. The entire staff is very happy for you. We wish you all the best and hope each of your wedding days are everything you want them to be!

Everyone mark the date...

August 27, 28 and 29 is our annual MCM Elegante' Tournament. This year's field is so impressive. We open Friday evening with Pepperdine, host Tulane on Saturday and finish with Stanford on Sunday afternoon. We need all of our fans to come out and make some noise! Bring some new fans along for that exciting weekend!

On a personal note ... Marc Swindle, our volunteer assistant coach for the past two seasons, left the program this spring. He is the new Assistant at Air Force. I am very happy for him and also want to thank him for all the time he spent helping the Lobos Program. I wish him success all but two nights a year!

I also want to take moment to thank all of the amazing people who help us out here at UNM. Lobo Volleyball is so lucky to have so much great support and help. There are so many people who help us out...so huge thanks to all of you and also the VB Staff who are ready to crank it up for another season!

Finally, thanks to my family. They hardly ever get to have a full weekend with me. This spring it was even crazier, as I was coaching club after Marc's departure. Thanks, guys!

Have a great summer!

Jeff

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