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Volleyball Hosts No. 20 Colorado State, Wyoming This Weekend At Johnson Arena
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  10/13/2003
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Oct. 13, 2003

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THIS WEEK IN LOBO VOLLEYBALL:

TEAMS: New Mexico (3-15, 0-5 MWC) vs. No. 20 Colorado State (14-4, 5-0)

WHERE: Johnson Arena, UNM Main Campus

WHEN: Friday, Oct. 17 - 7 p.m.

TEAMS: New Mexico (3-15, 0-5 MWC) vs. Wyoming (13-7, 2-3)

WHERE: Johnson Arena

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 18 - 7 p.m.

No. 20 COLORADO STATE, WYOMING HEAD TO THE DUKE CITY THIS WEEKEND - The New Mexico volleyball team will host No. 20 Colorado State and Wyoming this weekend at Johnson Arena. The Lobos (3-15, 0-5 MWC) are looking for their first conference win after falling at San Diego State and UNLV last weekend.

UNM tangles with the league-leading Rams (14-4, 5-0 MWC) Friday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. CSU has won eight straight matches and its only four losses have come at the hands of ranked opponents. Katie Jo Shirley leads the conference with a .416 attack percentage while putting down 3.52 kills per game; Tess Rogers was named the MWC Player of the Week Oct. 13.

The Rams lead the MWC in hitting percentage (.258), opponent hitting percentage (.139), assists (15.03) and kills (16.29). In conference matches, CSU has been even more dominant, leading the MWC in every category except hitting percentage (second to Utah).

Wyoming (13-7, 2-3 MWC) and UNM meet Saturday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. The Cowgirls won both matches last season, but the Lobos took a game in each match. Wyoming got swept by CSU last weekend but has won three of its last four matches.

The Cowgirls lead the MWC in digs (14.05 pg) and are second in assists (13.86). Michele Rauter is third in the MWC in kills (4.10), fourth in points (4.71), fourth in digs (3.04) and sixth in aces (0.38).

ROAD TRIP UNSUCCESSFUL FOR LOBOS - UNM traveled to San Diego and Las Vegas last weekend, but came away empty with two losses. SDSU topped UNM 30-21, 30-25, 30-18, while the Rebels won 30-27, 30-20, 30-23.

Freshman Georgia Whitson had the best match of her young career against the Aztecs, tallying 12 points on nine kills, three aces and five digs. Adah Burke registered a career-high 16 digs and Monica Meihack collected 27 assists.

The Lobos got out-hit .424 to .195 in the game one loss, but in game two, UNM took control early, running out to a 7-4 lead. SDSU fought back to knot the score at 15, then rattled off six straight points. Although UNM came back to get within two points at 25-23, the Aztecs pulled away for the five-point win. The third game was close in the early stages as the teams fought back and forth to an 11-11 tie. SDSU then scored five consecutive points and never looked back in the 30-18 win.

Against UNLV the Lobos collected a season-high 13 team blocks, but the Rebels still out-hit UNM and put down 20 more kills. UNM tied a season-high with three block solos and Whitson had a season-high five blocks. Chelsea Sondrup and Jennifer Heasty each produced six blocks while Kelly Therkelsen had four.

The Lobos made it close with a 30-27 loss in game one, however, UNLV came out on fire in game two, hitting .351 to UNM's .108 for the 10-point win. The Rebels completed the sweep with a 30-23 game three win. The Lobos continued to struggle offensively, hitting only .114 as a team.

MEIHACK BACK AT SETTER - After playing libero for eight matches from Sept. 12-26, junior Monica Meihack is once again the starting setter for the Lobos. Meihack responded well to her position change as she earned top libero honors at the Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Tournament and improved UNM's digs per game from 7.86 to 12.44. But after tallying the second most assists in a Lobo season in 2002 with 1,249, head coach Kelley Sliva McKee decided it was time to put Meihack back into her normal position. Meihack is ninth in MWC play with 6.80 assists per game.

Freshman Lindsay Smith, a talented recruit who has the ability to set up a very up-tempo offense, filled in nicely when Meihack was at libero. Smith stepped up to the challenge, collecting over 30 assists in six of her eight starts, including a career-high 49 vs. Ohio.

AMAZIN' ANNA - Senior Anna Reines is the offensive team leader, pacing the team in kills (3.31 pg) and points (228). Reines, a dominant outside hitter, polished her game in the offseason by participating on the USA Select Team at the Spring Cup in Brno, Czech Republic. The hard work has paid off, as she earned all-tournament honors at the Fresno State Invitational and the Comcast Lobo Invitational. Some of her top performances this season include a season-high 23 kills vs. Saint Louis Sept. 13 and a .364 attack percentage (10K-2E-22A) vs. New Mexico State Sept. 22. Reines collected her 900th career kill vs. Utah Oct. 3.

The Big Lake, Minn., native transferred from the University of Minnesota after one season and has been a presence on the court ever since for the Lobos. Reines led the team in attack percentage (.257) and kills (3.86 pg) last season. For her efforts, Reines became the first Lobo since 1998 to earn first-team all-conference honors.

ACES WILD - New Mexico is first in the conference in service aces with 1.89 per game. UNM posted a season-high 13 aces vs. Alcorn State Sept. 6 and had 13 last weekend. The Lobos currently have 115 aces for the season; the school record stands at 292 (1981).

BLOCK YOU VERY MUCH - Sophomore Chelsea Sondrup, who set the Lobo single-season mark for block assists (131) in her freshman campaign, is once again leading UNM in blocks this season. Sondrup has 49 blocks (three solo, 46 assists) and is second on the team in kills (133; 2.18 pg) and points (175.5). She is tied for 10th in conference matches with 1.00 blocks per game.

Sondrup also set two UNM single-game block records against SMU Sept. 20, 2002: blocks (14) and block assists (13).

DOUBLE DUNSMOOR - Freshman Lauren Dunsmoor is the only Lobo this season to record a double-double in a match. Dunsmoor collected 14 digs and 10 kills vs. Sacramento State Sept. 20 and tallied 12 digs and 12 kills in her first career MWC match Sept. 26 at Air Force. A native of Pueblo West, Colo., Dunsmoor is seventh in the MWC in conference matches with 2.50 digs per game. Dunsmoor is third on the team in digs (74), fifth in kills (90) and fifth in points (113). She did not play at San Diego State and UNLV.

THERKELSEN MAKING PRESENCE KNOWN - Freshman Kelly Therkelsen has had a solid start to her Lobo career this fall, ranking third on the team in kills (113) and fourth in points (136.5). Therkelsen was named to the Albuquerque Marriott All-Tournament Team after posting 29 kills and 17 digs in the the tournament, including a career-high 13 kills vs. Ohio. The Eagan, Minn., native is a very versatile player, as she also has 24 assists, 49 digs and 33 blocks.

HEASTY LEADS LOBOS AT THE NET - Jennifer Heasty leads the Lobos with a .262 attack percentage. She hit a career-high .786 (11K-0E-14TA) against BYU Oct. 2 and also hit .583 vs. rival New Mexico State. The Westminster, Colo., native collected a season-high 13 kills and 15.5 points at Air Force Sept. 26 in her first career MWC match. Heasty is second on the team in blocks (38) and third in points (144). In the Comcast Lobo Invitational tournament-title game, Heasty racked up a career-high eight block assists to secure the win over Delaware.

HEAD COACH Kelley Sliva McKee - Kelley Sliva McKee begins her second season at the helm of the Lobo volleyball program. Sliva McKee came to UNM after spending nine years at Northern Arizona University. Her career record stands at 156-140 after guiding the 2002 Lobos to a 10-21 record. In her nine years at NAU, Sliva McKee posted a record of 143-104 (.579) and a 79-57 mark in the Big Sky. The last five seasons at NAU she was 90-45 (.667) and she became the first coach in program history to lead the school to five straight winning seasons. She took the Lumberjacks to their first NCAA Tournament appearance (1999) and earned two Big Sky titles (1999 tournament and 2000 regular season). She was named the 1999 Big Sky Coach of the Year.

YOUNG GUNS - This year's Lobo squad features nine freshmen to go along with one senior (Anna Reines), two juniors (Monica Meihack, Adah Burke) and one sophomore (Chelsea Sondrup). Reines, Meihack and Sondrup all started last season for UNM. Seven of the nine freshmen have seen action thus far in the season.

The Lobos are the youngest team in the Mountain West Conference with nine freshman, three of whom start. BYU has seven freshman on its roster, while San Diego State and UNLV each have six.

UNM JAMS JOHNSON - Lobo fans came out in force as a season-high 1,339 fans showed up for this year's Jam Johnson Oct. 3, but it wasn't enough to propel UNM as it fell to Utah in three games (30-19, 30-21, 30-12). The Utes hit an impressive .512 for the match and collected 52 kills on only eight errors. Freshman Georgia Whitson led the Lobos with a career-high 11 kills.

ARCHRIVAL NEW MEXICO STATE TAKES ROUND ONE - In the first of two matchups this season, New Mexico State swept the Lobos (30-27, 30-27, 30-21) Sept. 22 at Johnson Arena. UNM hit for a season-high .346 attack percentage, but the Aggies pounded 60 kills and hit .397 in the win. The two rivals will meet again Tuesday, Oct. 21 in Las Cruces.

LOBO SCOUTING REPORT

No. 20 COLORADO STATE RAMS (14-4, 5-0 MWC)

No. 20 Colorado State is riding an eight-match winning streak heading into Albuquerque and leads the MWC with a perfect 5-0 record in conference play. The Rams' only four losses have all come at the hands of ranked opponents (then-No. 4 Stanford, then-No. 22 California, then-No. 12 Kansas State and then-No. 22 Minnesota). CSU has only lost one game in MWC action (Utah).

The Rams lead the MWC in hitting percentage (.258), opponent hitting percentage (.139), assists (15.03) and kills (16.29). In conference matches, CSU has been even more dominant, leading the MWC in every category except hitting percentage (second to Utah). Junior Katie Jo Shirley leads the league with a .416 attack percentage while junior Melissa Courtney is first in asssists with 13.05 per game.

HEAD COACH - Tom Hilbert (Seventh year). Record at CSU: 178-40.

SERIES HISTORY - CSU leads, 25-20. The Rams have won the last 12 meetings over the Lobos, with UNM's last win coming Nov. 12, 1994 in Albuquerque.

WYOMING COWGIRLS (13-7, 2-3 MWC)

The Cowgirls got swept by Colorado State last weekend to fall to 2-3 in MWC play. Wyoming is 5-1 at home, but only 4-4 away from Laramie.

Wyoming leads the conference in digs (14.05 pg) and is second in assists (13.86). Senior Michele Rauter is third in the MWC in kills (4.10), fourth in points (4.71), fourth in digs (3.04) and sixth in aces (0.38).

HEAD COACH - Jim Barnes (Second year). Record at Wyoming: 33-18.

SERIES HISTORY - Wyoming leads, 25-23. The Cowgirls swept the season series last year, but the Lobos took a game in each match. UNM last defeated Wyoming Nov. 9, 2001 in Laramie.

2003 Team Season Highs

Kills - 62 vs. Youngstown State (9/5) Attempts - 157 vs. Youngstown State (9/5); vs. SLU (9/13) Hitting % - .346 (45K-8E-107A) vs. New Mexico State (9/22) Assists - 55 vs. Ohio (9/20) Service Aces - 13 vs. Alcorn State (9/6) Digs - 56 vs. Sacramento State (9/20) Block Solo - 3 vs. Cal Poly (8/30); at UNLV (10/11) Block Assists - 25 vs. Delaware (9/6) Total Blocks - 13 at UNLV (10/11)

2003 Individual Season Highs

Kills - 23, Anna Reines vs. Saint Louis (9/13) Attempts - 50, Anna Reines vs. Saint Louis (9/13) Hitting % - .786 (11K-0E-14A), Jennifer Heasty vs. BYU (10/2) Assists - 49, Lindsay Smith vs. Ohio (9/20) Service Aces - 4 (Four times) Digs - 19, Monica Meihack vs. Sacramento State (9/20) Block Solo - 2, Jennifer Heasty at UNLV (10/11) Block Assists - 8, Jennifer Heasty vs. Delaware (9/6) Total Blocks - 8, Jennifer Heasty vs. Delaware (9/6) Points - 23.5, Anna Reines vs. Saint Louis (9/13)

TOURNAMENT RECAPS:

FRESNO STATE INVITATIONAL RECAP (Aug. 29-30) - A young UNM team faced a tough challenge in its first weekend of the season at the competitive Fresno State Invitational. The Lobos opened against host FSU in a hostile environment, falling in three games in the first match. Fresno State, who won the tournament championship, participated in the 2002 NCAA Tournament.

After the late match on Friday, the Lobos had to play in the early match Saturday against Cal Poly, another team that played in last year's NCAA Tournament. UNM came out on fire, hitting .375 in the first game, but still fell to the Mustangs 30-21. Cal Poly edged UNM 31-29 in game two before claiming game three to sweep the match.

The Lobos captured their first game of the season in the opening frame vs. Idaho State, 30-26. UNM couldn't maintain the advantage, however, and lost the next three games to the Bengals. Anna Reines pounded 17 kills for the match to go along with eight digs and two service aces. Reines earned all-tournament honors.

SHOWING SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT (Sept. 5-6) - The young Lobos showed their potential in just the second weekend of the season by winning all three matches in their own Comcast Lobo Invitatational Sept. 5-6 at Johnson Arena, claiming the tournament title for the second straight year.

The Lobos swept Delaware (32-30, 30-23, 30-19) for the championship in the tournament finale. With both teams entering the match at 2-0, UNM dominated the Blue Hens, showing no doubts who the best team was in the invitational. The Lobos produced a season-high 12.5 team blocks against UD, shutting down its offense the entire match. Freshman Jennifer Heasty led the way, stuffing the Blue Hens for eight block assists.

UNM outlasted Youngstown State in the tournament opener, beating the Penguins in five games. After leading two games to none, the Lobos lost games three and four before taking the fifth and decisive game, 15-13. UNM easily defeated Alcorn State in four games in the second match of the tournament.

The Lobos placed four players on the Comcast Lobo Invitational All-Tournament Team, including Chelsea Sondrup, who was named the Tournament MVP. Anna Reines, Jennifer Heasty and libero Adah Burke joined Sondrup in earning tournament honors.

LOBOS FACE STIFF COMPETITION AT COUGAR MANIA INVITATIONAL (Sept. 12-13) - New Mexico came away winless against three top-notch opponents at the Washington State Cougar Mania Invitational (Sept. 12-13).

On Sept. 12, UNM gave No. 22 Loyola Marymount all it could handle in the first game, but the Lobos fell just short 31-29. The Lions regrouped to take game two 30-20 and game three 30-24 for the sweep.

The weekend didn't get any easier as the Lobos had to take on host Washington State - an Elite Eight team in 2002 - on its home court Sept. 13. The Cougars came away with the victory in three games (30-25, 30-21, 30-22). In the tournament finale, the Lobos won their first game of the weekend against Saint Louis, but it wasn't enough as the Billikens prevailed in four games (27-30, 21-30, 30-24, 28-30).

UNM MAKES STRIDES IN SECOND HOME TOURNAMENT (Sept. 19-20) - Although UNM came away winless from the Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Tournament, New Mexico stayed competitive in every match against three quality volleyball teams: Ohio (receiving votes in USA Today/AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll); Kentucky; and Sacramento State (2002 NCAA Tournament participant). The Lobos won game three in both matches against Ohio and Sacramento State. Kelly Therkelsen and Monica Meihack earned All-Tournament honors for UNM.

Thursday, September 25
7:00 PM - 
Volleyball
at San Josť State
Saturday, September 27
3:00 PM - 
Volleyball
at Nevada
Thursday, October 02
6:30 PM - 
Volleyball
vs. Utah State
Saturday, October 04
12:00 PM - 
Volleyball
vs. Boise State
Thursday, October 09
7:00 PM - 
Volleyball
at San Diego State
Saturday, October 11
7:00 PM - 
Volleyball
at UNLV
Thursday, October 16
7:00 PM - 
Volleyball
vs. Colorado State
Saturday, October 18
2:00 PM - 
Volleyball
vs. Wyoming
Monday, October 20
7:00 PM - 
Volleyball
vs. New Mexico State
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