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Volleyball Hits The Beehive State For Two Tough Road Matches
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  10/25/2004
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Oct. 25, 2004

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THIS WEEK IN LOBO VOLLEYBALL

New Mexico (7-13, 1-8 MWC) vs. No. 17 Utah (16-3, 8-0)

Salt Lake City, Utah - Crimson Court - Friday, Oct. 29 - 7 p.m.

New Mexico vs. BYU (11-9, 4-4)

Provo, Utah - Smith Fieldhouse - Saturday, Oct. 30 - 7 p.m.

LIVE STATS AVAILABLE AT WWW.BYUCOUGARS.COM

LOBOS HIT THE BEEHIVE STATE FOR TWO TOUGH ROAD MATCHES - The New Mexico volleyball team (7-13, 1-8 Mountain West) hits the road this weekend with matches at No. 17 Utah and BYU, marking the last road trip of the regular season before the Mountain West Conference Tournament Nov. 18-20 in Fort Collins. UNM will look to get back on the winning track after falling to Wyoming and No. 9 Colorado State at home last weekend.

The Lobos nearly upset Utah at the Johnson Center Oct. 2 as they were up two games to one before the Utes rallied back for the five-game victory. UNM will look for revenge in Salt Lake City as the two teams match up Friday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. The Utes (16-3, 8-0 Mountain West) lead the conference by a 1/2-game over No. 9 Colorado State after sweeping BYU last weekend. Utah did have its 12-match winning streak snapped last week, however, as it fell to Notre Dame, 3-0, in a non-conference match in Salt Lake City Oct. 19.

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Live stats for the BYU match will be available at www.BYUCougars.com.
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After playing nationally-ranked Utah, the task doesn't get any easier as the Lobos head to Provo to play BYU. The Cougars (11-9, 4-4 Mountain West) fell to Utah in three games last weekend, but swept Notre Dame at home earlier in the week. They play at Utah Valley State Tuesday, Oct. 26 before hosting the Lobos. UNM was swept by the Cougars when the two teams met Sept. 30 in the Johnson Center. Live stats of the BYU match will be available at www.BYUCougars.com in the upcoming events box on the right side of the front page.

QUICK LOOK AT THE LOBOS: New Mexico is a mix of five returning letterwinners, two junior transfers and five freshmen. The young team has already eclipsed last season's win total and is looking to move up the Mountain West Conference standings with a strong league showing. UNM picked up its first conference win of the season with a three-game sweep at Air Force Oct. 8.

The Lobos showed their promise after claiming the Albuquerque Marriott Classic Sept. 17-18 with victories over Hartford, UTEP and Weber State. UNM placed four players on the all-tournament team, including Nicole Ryan, who was named the Most Valuable Player. UNM nearly upset then-No. 22 Utah Oct. 2, leading two games to one and ahead by five points midway through the fourth game before the Utes rallied back for the win.

Head coach Kelley McKee is in her third season with the Lobos, teaming up with third-year assistant Brent Aldridge and second-year assistant Chelsea Robb. McKee has a 164-163 (.502) career record in 12 years of coaching. She amassed a 143-104 (.579) in her nine years at Northern Arizona prior to arriving at UNM.

The Lobos were picked to finish seventh in the Mountain West Conference preseason poll. Individually, Adah Burke earned preseason All-Mountain West honors as the top libero in the conference.

LOBOS TO WATCH

-- Junior Chelsea Sondrup became the all-time leader in New Mexico history in block assists after recording 10 in the Utah match Oct. 2. Sondrup currently has 274 career block assists and now is adding to her all-time record every match - she put down eight in last week's action against Wyoming and Colorado State. Sondrup's next goal is to become the all-time blocks leader in school history - she is currently seventh on the school charts with 290, 36 behind Linda Archuleta's school record 326. Sondrup is tied for fourth in MWC matches in blocks with 1.39 per game.

Chelsea Sondrup is looking to become the all-time blocks leader in UNM history.


-- Junior Nicole Ryan leads the team and is ninth in the Mountain West with 3.27 kills per game. In Mountain West matches, she is seventh with 3.39 kills per game.

-- Senior Adah Burke is living up to her billing as the top libero in the Mountain West Conference. The preseason All-MWC selection leads the team and is third in the league with 4.15 digs per game. She dug a career-high 32 in the Wyoming match Sept. 24, which is third most in a match in school history and second most in a MWC match.

-- Freshman Samie Weber leads the team with 92 blocks (1.26 per game), ranking sixth in the Mountain West. She's also third in conference play with 1.45 per game. Her 90 block assists already rank eighth best in a UNM season.

Updated\ Season\ Records

Updated\ Career\ Records

LOBO NOTES OF THE WEEK

-- After the Utah trip, the Lobos will play their final three Mountain West matches at the Johnson Center.

-- A season-high crowd of 1,015 attended Jam Johnson vs. No. 9 Colorado State last Friday, Oct. 22. The Lobos are averaging 488 fans per match after 11 home dates.

-- The Lobos are third in the MWC with 3.11 blocks per game in conference matches. They set a school record with 43 block assists in the Utah match Oct. 2. The Lobos' 22.5 team blocks vs. the Utes are the most of any Mountain West team this season.

THE WEEK THAT WAS:

LOBOS LOSE TWICE AT HOME: The Lobos returned home to the Johnson Center last weekend after playing four straight on the road, but UNM still came up short against Wyoming and No. 9 Colorado State.

UNM fell to Wyoming in three games, 28-30, 23-30, 26-30, Thursday, Oct. 21. Nicole Ryan led the Lobos with 15 kills and hit at a .355 clip to go along with five digs and three blocks. Kelly Therkelsen also reached double-digits in kills with 10.

The Lobos dominated at the net, recording 24 block assists and 12 team blocks to Wyoming's seven team blocks, but the Cowgirls tallied 16 more kills and hit .276 for match compared to UNM's .168 percentage. Chelsea Sondrup led all players with seven blocks, while Jennifer Heasty and Samie Weber recorded six and five blocks, respectively.

Monica Meihack produced her third double-double of the season with 33 assists and 10 digs. Adah Burke paced the defensive effort with a match-high 15 digs.

The Lobos led for most of game one, but could not build a lead of more than three points. After UNM led 14-11, the Cowgirls went on a 5-1 run to take their first lead of the game at 16-15. The Lobos fought back and regained the lead at 21-20 on a kill by Ryan. Wyoming scored the next three points, however, went ahead 23-21. UNM would tie it at 25, but the Cowgirls ran off five of the next eight points for the 30-28 game one victory.

Kelly Therkelsen is second on the team with 2.97 kills per game.


In the second game, New Mexico once again claimed an early lead in the first half of the game. Wyoming awoke in the second half of the game, and after UNM owned a 13-11 advantage, the Cowgirls rattled off a 19-10 run in winning 30-23.

UNM played catch-up for most of game three after falling into a seven-point deficit at the 14-7 mark. But the Lobos slowly crept back into the game, and tied it at 19 on a block by Sondrup and Heasty. The Lobos took the lead at 21-20 and led by two at 23-21. Wyoming called a timeout and quickly went on a 4-0 run to slow the Lobos' momentum, and ended up taking the game 30-26.

A season-high crowd of 1,015 attended Jam Johnson Friday, Oct. 22, but UNM still lost to No. 9 Colorado State in three games, 27-30, 21-30, 15-30.

UNM fell victim to a balanced Ram offensive attack. CSU hit .336 for the match and featured three players in double-digits in points, including Tess Rogers, who collected a match-high 17.

Kelly Therkelsen led the Lobos with 10 kills, while Nicole Ryan and Chelsea Sondrup each tallied eight. Sondrup hit an impressive .545 (8K-2E-11TA) for the match. Samie Weber again led the Lobos at the net with seven blocks, upping her team-leading total to 92 for the season.

New Mexico battled Colorado State in game one. After tying the game at 11, the Lobos went on a 6-1 run to go up five points at the 17-12 mark. The Rams cut the margin to one point at 19-18, but the Lobos remained in front until CSU finally took the lead at 22-21. UNM kept it close the rest of the game, but couldn't regain the lead as the Rams went on to win, 30-27.

The Rams jumped out in front early in game two, and quickly built a 7-2 advantage. The Lobos trimmed it to three points at 10-7, however, the Rams rattled off 19 of the next 28 points to take a 13-point lead at 29-16. UNM made things interesting by capturing five straight points at the end of the game, but it was too little too late as CSU claimed the game, 30-21.

Game three belonged to Colorado State, as the Rams pounded 19 kills for a .500 attack percentage in the 30-15 victory. The Lobos kept it close early, and only trailed by two points at the 6-4 mark. CSU's offensive machine took over after that point and cruised to the 15-point win in the third and final game.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS

No. 17 UTAH UTES (16-3, 8-0 MWC)

Friday, Oct. 29 -- 7 p.m. -- Salt Lake City, Utah

The 17th-ranked Utes head into the week in first place in the Mountain West Conference with a perfect 8-0 league mark.

Utah leads the conference with 3.33 blocks per game. Senior Lyndsey Henderson is second in the league with 1.76 bpg and Amie Toone is fourth with 1.36 bpg. Henderson is also third in the MWC in kills (3.65 pg) and fourth in hitting percentage (.352).

HEAD COACH: Beth Launiere. Overall record: 291-174 (15th year). Record at Utah: Same.

SERIES NOTES:

-Utah leads, 33-26

-Series streak: Utah has won the last 16 meetings

-UNM vs. Utah in Salt Lake City: 9-15

-Last UNM win: 11/27/96 at WAC Tournament in Las Vegas, 3-1

-Last UNM win in Salt Lake City: 11/22/96, 3-1

-Last meeting: 10/2/04 at Albuquerque, Utah won, 3-2

BYU COUGARS (11-9, 4-4 MWC)

Saturday, Oct. 30 -- 7 p.m. -- Provo, Utah

BYU is fifth in the league standings with a 4-4 record in Mountain West action. The Cougars travel to Utah Valley State Oct. 26 and host Air Force Oct. 29 before playing the Lobos on Saturday.

Sophomore Lindsy Hartsock is one of the leading candidates for MWC Player of the Year - she is first in the league in hitting percentage (.416) and blocks (1.85 pg). In the first meeting against UNM, she tallied 11 kills and 11 blocks. Junior setter Lauren Richards is third in the MWC with 12.04 assists per game.

HEAD COACH: Karen Lamb. Overall record: 139-131 (Eighth year). Record at BYU: 49-37 (Third year).

SERIES NOTES:

-BYU leads, 55-7

-Series streak: BYU has won the last 19 meetings

-UNM vs. BYU in Provo: 3-24

-Last UNM win: 10/13/95 in Provo, 3-0

-Last meeting: 9/30/04 in Albuquerque, BYU won, 3-0

THE FIRST TIME AROUND:

LOBOS SWEPT BY BYU, NEARLY UPSET UTAH: The Lobos' first meetings against the MWC schools from Utah both ended in losses, although they came in very different fashions.

The Lobos lost to BYU in three games, 17-30, 12-30, 27-30, Thursday, Sept. 30. Nicole Ryan led the Lobos with 13 kills and also registered seven digs. Adah Burke collected a team-high 16 digs in the match. Kelly Therkelsen put down eight kills while senior Monica Meihack dished out 29 assists.

Freshman Kim Cox has seen action in 61 games in the back row.


BYU dominated the match offensively, recording 44 kills for a .372 attack percentage. The Cougars' defense was also impressive, limiting the Lobos to a .037 hitting percentage while collecting 15 team blocks. BYU's Lindsy Hartsock tallied a double-double with 11 kills and 11 blocks.

The Cougars controlled the first two games, 30-17 and 30-12, but the Lobos bounced back for a competitive third game. UNM took several one-point leads early in the game, but after a 10-10 tie, the Cougars jumped out in front, leading by as many as five points at the 20-15 and 23-18 marks. Down five, UNM put together a 9-3 run to go up 27-26 late in the game. BYU called a timeout after a Lobo block gave UNM the lead, however, and responded with a 4-0 run to end the game and the match.

UNM was primed for an upset of then-No. 22 Utah Saturday, Oct. 2, up two games to one, but the Utes rallied back to win the final two games and topped the Lobos in five games, 21-30, 30-27, 30-27, 28-30, 8-15. Despite the loss, the Lobos played one of their best matches of the season against a nationally-ranked opponent, and had a block party at Utah's expense. UNM set a school record with 43 block assists in the match, crushing the old mark of 33. Chelsea Sondrup recorded 10 block assists on the night to become the all-time leader in New Mexico history.

Several other Lobos put up impressive blocking numbers. Jennifer Heasty had a career-high 11 blocks, while Samie Weber also put down a season-high 11 (one solo, 10 assists). Monica Meihack and Nicole Ryan each recorded five blocks. As a team, the Lobos had a total of 22.5 blocks (one solo, 43 assists), the most of any MWC team this season.

The Lobos fell in the first game, 30-21, but bounced back with a 30-27 win in game two. Ryan, who had a team-high 21 kills in the match, tallied seven in the second game.

UNM started to pick up the pressure at the net in the third match with eight team blocks. The Lobos led most of the game, and after Utah tied it at 20, the Lobos held off the Ute attack and remained in front the rest of the game in the 30-27 win.

Utah jumped out to a quick 7-2 advantage in the fourth game, but the Lobos stormed back and went on a 16-6 run to go up 18-13. The Lobos appeared to be in control of the match and on the path to the upset. But the five-point lead was as large of a cushion the Lobos could build, and the Utes slowly crept back and tied the game at 24. From there, the teams traded points until it was tied again at 28. Utah ended the game on kills by Lyndsey Henderson and Kelsie Kartchner to win 30-28.

In the fifth and deciding game, the potent Ute offense came to life, racking up six kills for a .333 attack percentage in the 15-8 victory. The stingy Lobo defense that blocked Utah all match was held blockless in the fifth game.

PLAYER NOTES:

CAUTION - DIGGING AHEAD: Senior Adah Burke is showing why she was named the top libero in the Mountain West Conference in the preseason. Burke is third in the conference with 4.15 digs per game and was named the top libero at the Albquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic (Sept. 17-18). She recorded a career-high 32 digs at Wyoming, which is third most all-time in a UNM match and second all-time in a Mountain West match. In conference matches, Burke is fourth in the league with 4.03 digs per game.

BLOCK YOU VERY MUCH: Junior Chelsea Sondrup is climbing the career charts at UNM in blocks in her third season. Sondrup is seventh all-time with 290 blocks (record: 326) and became the leader in block assists when she recorded 10 vs. Utah Oct. 2. Sondrup currently has 274 career block assists.

This season, she is second on the team with 80 blocks (1.19 per game; tied for eighth in MWC). Her 43 blocks (1.39 pg) in conference action is tied for fourth in the conference. She earned Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic all-tournament team honors after putting down 11 block assists vs. Weber State, which is the second most in a UNM match.

Sondrup also holds the single-season UNM mark for block assists, as she tallied 131 her freshman year. She also established UNM single-match block (14) and block assists (13) records with her performance against SMU on Sept. 20, 2002.

BLOCK YOU VERY MUCH, Pt. 2: Following in Sondrup's footsteps, freshman Samie Weber has put on an impressive display of blocking in her rookie season. Weber leads the team with 92 blocks (1.26 per game), which is sixth best in the MWC. In conference matches, Weber is third in the MWC with 1.45 blocks per game. Her 90 block assists already ranks eighth best in a UNM season.

Samie Weber's 90 block assists this season already ranks eighth best in a UNM single-season.


Weber collected 11 blocks (one solo, 10 assists) against Utah Oct. 2, tying for the second most ever in UNM match. The Fort Lupton, Colo., product earned all-tournament honors in both the Comcast Lobo Invitational and the Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic.

SET ME UP: Senior setter Monica Meihack returns as the starting setter for the third straight year. She is currently sixth all-time in Lobo volleyball history with 2,603 career assists.

Meihack collected a double-double in the first match of the year against Northern Colorado, tallying 50 assists and 10 digs. She dished out a season-high 55 assists vs. UTEP Sept. 18. For the season, she has recorded at least 50 assists on five occasions. Meihack, a Fallon, Nev., native, is sixth in the Mountain West with 10.29 assists per game.

FROM THE BEACH TO THE DESERT: Junior outside hitter Nicole Ryan transferred to UNM this season after playing for Golden West Community College in California last year. She led the Rustlers to a perfect 22-0 season in 2003 and is looking to bring some of that magic to the Lobos in 2004. Ryan displayed her winning mentality in the Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic, leading the Lobos to a perfect 3-0 record. She was named the MVP of the tournament after averaging 4.00 kills per game and 1.42 blocks per game, all while hitting at a .339 clip.

Ryan currently leads the team with 3.27 kills per game, which ranks ninth in the Mountain West. Her numbers are even better in conference matches, as she is seventh in the league with 3.37 kills per game. She put down a season-high 22 kills at Wyoming Sept. 24.

THERKELSEN SHOWING IMPROVEMENT: Sophomore Kelly Therkelsen has shown dramatic improvement in her second season as a Lobo. She is second on the team with 2.97 kills per game (17th in Mountain West), which is an improvement over last year's 1.72 kpg. Therkelsen earned Comcast Lobo Invitational all-tournament team honors the first weekend of the season, and the following week she earned all-tournament accolades at the Delaware Invitational after recording a career-high 25 kills against George Washington. In the Oct. 8 win over Air Force, Therkelsen hit for a career-high .524 (13K-2E-21TA) with a team-high 13 kills.

HEASTY BRINGS EXPERIENCE TO THE FRONT LINE: Sophomore outside/middle Jennifer Heasty is one of five starters returing to the lineup this season for UNM. Heasty led the Lobos in 2003 in hitting percentage and is very versatile around the net. Thus far in the conference season, she has displayed her blocking ability, racking up 43 in nine matches (1.39 pg) to tie for third best Mountain West. Heasty put down a career-high 11 blocks against Utah Oct. 2.

LIVE FROM BUDAPEST: Junior transfer Gabriella Veres, a native of Budapest, Hungary, made her Divison I debut against Creighton Sept. 4. She also saw action at Air Force Oct. 8. Veres has played on the Hungarian Junior National Team and was a member of the PRSC Division II junior championship team in 2003 (21-under) and the PRSC Division II championship team in 2004 (all ages).

BRINGING A LOCAL FLAVOR TO THE LOBOS: Two freshmen on the team this season, Laura Conklin and Jessica Hezekiah, hail from Albuquerque. Conklin is a defensive specialist who has seen action in 58 games this season and is averaging 1.10 digs per game. Hezekiah has played in seven games.

UNM VOLLEYBALL PROMOTIONAL DATES - The UNM Athletic Department is sponsoring several promotional dates this season for Lobo volleyball. All home matches are played at the Johnson Center on the UNM main campus. The remaining promotions are listed below: Lobo League Appreciation Night

-- Friday, Nov. 5 vs. Air Force, 7 p.m.

Wear your uniform (girl/boy scouts, team uniform, public safety uniform, military uniform, school uniform, work uniform, etc.) and get in for only $1! All other UNM Athletic Teams are also encouraged to be in attendance for this event to support the Lobo Volleyball team. Senior Day

-- Sunday, Nov. 14 vs. San Diego State, 1 p.m.

Come honor the Lobo volleyball seniors as they play their last home match of the season. First 200 fans will receive a Lobo cheering noodle.

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
Thursday, October 23
7:00 PM - 
Volleyball
vs. Nevada
Saturday, October 25
2:00 PM - 
Volleyball
vs. San Jose State
Thursday, October 30
7:00 PM - 
Volleyball
at Boise State
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