Nov. 3, 2011
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of New Mexico volleyball team lost a tough match to the San Diego State Aztecs, 3-1, Thursday night.
UNM looked good at times in the match but they didn't quite have enough to defeat San Diego State. UNM fought hard and was in each one of the sets, but they just couldn't finish.
The first set has been such a crucial set for the Lobos this season. The Lobos are 10-2 on the year when taking the first set and 3-9 when losing it. So, according to the stats, the Lobos are much more comfortable when they get an early lead. The Lobos didn't get that early lead tonight, however, and it cost them.
Game One: SDSU 25, Lobos 20
The Lobos and Aztecs used the first set as a feeling-out process, as neither team was able to take a commanding lead over the other. The score was knotted at 10-10 early, before New Mexico took its second lead of the set on a kill from Ashley Rhoades. Ashley Newman added another kill to give the Lobos a 12-10 lead, forcing San Diego State head coach Deitre Collins-Parker to call a timeout. SDSU battled back to regain the lead late, pulling ahead 19-15, prompting head coach Jeff Nelson to call two timeouts during the Aztecs' run. Nelson wasn't about to let his Lobos go down, 0-1, to SDSU without letting them know the time was urgent. UNM came out of the timeout energized, as the Lobos closed SDSU's lead to 20-22, but it wasn't enough as the Aztecs eventually took the set, 25-20. UNM was led offensively by Kelly Williamson, Rhoades and Newman. All three recorded four kills in the set for the Lobos. Paije Pearson and Emily Harris each recorded four kills to lead the Aztecs. Lobo Senior Allison Buck recorded eight digs for the Lobos in the first set, putting her right at 1,500 for her career.
Game Two: Lobos 25, SDSU 22
The Lobos were able to get out in front of the Aztecs, 10-8, in the beginning of game two. Newman got the Lobos going once again, recording two kills during the run. The Aztecs also helped the Lobos out a little bit, as SDSU recording five attacking errors during that same stretch. The Lobos went up, 19-15, on a kill from Lexi Ross, but they couldn't hold the lead as they let SDSU score three straight. With the score, 19-18, in the Lobos' favor, Nelson signaled for timeout in an attempt to stop the Aztecs' rally. The timeout proved to be a smart move, as the Lobos went up, 24-22, forcing the Aztecs to respond with a timeout of their own with the set at set point. UNM scored on the very next play to take the set, 25-22, tying things up at 1-1 in the match. Rhoades led the Lobos in kills after the second set with eight total. Buck upped her digs total to 14 for the night which put her at 1,505 for her career, solidifying her as No. 2 all-time on the Lobos' career digs list. Buck surpassed Sharon Browning, who had 1,504 career digs during her career at UNM from 1989-92.
Game Three: SDSU 25, Lobos 19
Game three was played extremely close up until the Aztecs broke out for a 17-13 lead. Pearson continued to lead the attack for SDSU, having recorded 10 kills up to that point. After a pair of timeouts, New Mexico rallied to close SDSU's gap to 20-18. Just as it seemed the Lobos had gotten themselves back into the game, SDSU was at set point, 24-18. SDSU seemed to up their game to another gear as they beat the Lobos, 25-19, in the third set to give them a 2-1 advantage heading into game four. Rhoades and Williamson had climbed into the double-digits in kills for the Lobos with 12 and 10, respectively, after three sets of play.
Game Four: SDSU 25, Lobos 20
With 10 lead changes up until the Aztecs took a 13-11 lead, it was obvious the fourth game was going to go to the team that made the least mistakes. SDSU extended its lead to 16-13, forcing Nelson to call for time. Pearson had 13 kills up to this point for the Aztecs. The Lobos responded out of the timeout, narrowing SDSU's lead to 18-17. Rhoades was up to a match-high 16 kills before the timeout. Buck was doing all she could as well on the defensive end with 26 digs total. SDSU went back up, however, 22-18, causing Nelson to call yet another timeout. SDSU proved to be too much as they ended the Lobos run, winning the fourth set, 25-20, and taking the match, 3-1.
The Lobos fall to 13-11 overall and are now 5-6 in the MW after the loss. UNM continues on the road as it travels to Las Vegas, Nev., to face UNLV on Saturday at 2 p.m. MT.