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Volleyball Looks To Get On Winning Track With Two Road Matches This Weekend
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  10/06/2003
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Oct. 6, 2003

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THIS WEEK IN LOBO VOLLEYBALL:

TEAMS: New Mexico (3-13, 0-3 MWC) at San Diego State (9-8, 1-2)

WHERE: Peterson Gym - San Diego, Calif.

WHEN: Friday, Oct. 10 - 7 p.m. PT

TEAMS: New Mexico (3-13, 0-3 MWC) at UNLV (6-8, 0-3)

WHERE: Cox Pavilion - Las Vegas, Nev.

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 11 - 7 p.m. PT

LOBOS LOOK TO GET ON WINNING TRACK WITH TWO ROAD MATCHES THIS WEEKEND - The New Mexico volleyball team (3-13, 0-3 Mountain West) will look to pick up its first conference wins of the season as it heads to San Diego State and UNLV this weekend.

The Lobos face San Diego State (9-8, 1-2 MWC) Friday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. PT. The Aztecs defeated the Lobos three times last season, including the first round of the MWC Tournament. SDSU was swept by Colorado State and Wyoming last weekend, but topped UNLV in its first conference match Sept. 26.

UNLV (6-8, 0-3 MWC) also enters the weekend without a win in conference play as it has fell to San Diego State, Wyoming and Colorado State. The Rebels and Lobos split the season series in 2002, with each team defending its home court.

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.

The Lobos stayed close in every game in their first match of the weekend, but BYU answered every UNM run as the Cougars won in three games (30-18, 30-28, 30-25). Jennifer Heasty compiled a .786 hitting percentage (11K-0E-14TA) for the match.

HEASTY HEATING UP - Jennifer Heasty continued to stay hot last weekend as she hit .786 (11K-0E-14TA) against BYU Oct. 2. The freshman leads the MWC in conference matches with a .523 attack percentage, which is 71 points higher than anyone else in the league. Overall, Heasty is sixth in the MWC with a .321 hitting percentage. 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 (36) and third in points (131).

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 recorded 52 assists in her first weekend back at setter.

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 leads the team in kills (3.29 pg) and points (205.5) through the first 16 matches. Reines is a dominant outside hitter who polished her game in the offseason by participating on the USA Select Team at the Spring Cup in Brno, Czech Republic. Reines earned all-tournament honors at the Fresno State Invitational and the Comcast Lobo Invitational. She pounded a season-high 23 kills vs. Saint Louis Sept. 13 and hit .364 (10K-2E-22A) vs. New Mexico State Sept. 22.

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 third in the conference in service aces with 1.85 pg. UNM posted a season-high 13 aces vs. Alcorn State Sept. 6. The Lobos currently have 102 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 40 blocks (three solo, 37 assists) and is second on the team in kills (121; 2.20 pg) and points (156.5).

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 eighth in the MWC in conference matches with 2.50 digs per game. Dunsmoor is third on the team in digs (74), fourth in kills (90) and fifth in points (113).

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 (103) and fourth in points (122.5). 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 22 assists, 45 digs and 27 blocks.

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 156-138 after guiding the 2002 Lobos to a 10-21 record. While at NAU, Sliva McKee 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.

LOBO SCOUTING REPORT -

SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS (9-8, 1-2 MWC)

The Aztecs enter the weekend with a 1-2 mark in conference play after getting swept by Colorado State and Wyoming last weekend. SDSU beat UNLV in the first weekend of MWC action.

San Diego State played a tough non-conference schedule, matching up against four ranked opponents. Although the Aztecs lost three of those matches (No. 20 Santa Clara, No. 21 San Diego, No. 24 Loyola Marymount), they did defeat then-No. 10 Arizona on the road in four games Sept. 4.

The Aztecs lead the league in blocks (3.30 pg), but rank sixth in hitting percentage (.233) and seventh in opponent hitting percentage (.220). Senior Megan Schauermann tops the MWC with 1.57 blocks per game.

HEAD COACH - Mark Warner (Ninth year). Record at SDSU: 147-116.

SERIES HISTORY - SDSU leads, 21-9. The Aztecs won both regular season matches last season and also defeated UNM in the first round of the MWC Tournament. SDSU has won the last eight meetings, with UNM's last win arriving Nov. 19, 1999 at San Diego.

UNLV REBELS (6-8, 0-3 MWC)

UNLV also enters the weekend winless in MWC play with an 0-3 mark. The Rebels have fallen to San Diego State, Colorado State and Wyoming in conference action and have lost four straight matches.

Senior Leiana Oswald is third in the conference in kills (4.15 pg) and fifth in points (4.66 pg). Junior setter Nicki King is fourth in assists with 11.94 per game.

HEAD COACH - Deitre Collins (Eighth year). Record at UNLV: 82-127.

SERIES HISTORY - UNLV leads, 6-5. The Lobos and Rebels split their two matches last season, as each team defended its home court. UNLV swept UNM in Las Vegas, but the Lobos topped the Rebels in five games in Albuquerque.

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.

2003 Team Season Highs

Kills - 62 vs. Youngstown State (9/5) Attempts - 157 vs. Youngstown State (9/5); vs. Saint Louis (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) Block Assists - 25 vs. Delaware (9/6) Total Blocks - 12.5, vs. Delaware (9/6)

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 - 1, Several times 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)

Friday, September 19
9:00 AM - 
Volleyball
at College of Charleston
3:00 PM - 
Volleyball
at Houston Baptist
Saturday, September 20
1:30 PM - 
Volleyball
at SMU
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
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