Nov. 26, 2010
Albuquerque, N.M. --- Things couldn't have gone much better for four New Mexico seniors as the Lobos won their 20th match of the season with a 25-17, 25-21, 25-21 victory over the San Diego State Aztecs, giving UNM a 12-4 Mountain West conference mark, their most ever MWC victories, and setting the stage for a probable NCAA Tournament berth. The team will find out on Sunday afternoon if they make it in, but with an RPI of 44, most volleyball experts have the Lobos in the tournament.
New Mexico honored four seniors after the contest in Amy Wong, who lettered for three years, and three four year starters in Lisa Meeter, Taylor Hadfield, and Jade Michaelsen, and all were emotional but happy after the victory, which avenged a conference opener three set loss to the Aztecs in nearly two months ago.
All three sets stayed tight for a while, but UNM slowly pulled away late in each set. While the seniors were the stars of the show, it was junior Ashley Rhoades who led the team with 11 kills, followed by 10 from Hadfield. Once again, as has been the hallmark of UNM's late season run, defense played a big part, with libero Allison Buck registering 16 digs and Mariah Agre added 11. UNM also picked up six blocks, including three solos.
Michaelsen picked up 37 assists and added three kills, six digs and two blocks in a well-rounded match, while Lisa Meeter missed a double-double, going for nine kills and seven digs.
The Lobos, who finished second in the Mountain West behind nationally-ranked Colorado State, will learn their fate on Sunday when they gather at 1 p.m. in the End Zone Club of the Two Diehm Complex to watch the NCAA selection show on ESPNews.
NOTES: The four seniors became the 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th players to end their careers with three consecutive 20-win seasons...Michaelsen, Hadfield and Meeter helped UNM to four straight winning seasons in their careers, and that came after a 10-year stretch where UNM did not post a single winning season...UNM outhit SDSU .179 to .055 for the match...Kelly Williamson hit .333 with seven kills and just one error on 18 attacks.