Nov. 16, 2004
THIS WEEK IN LOBO VOLLEYBALL
Mountain West Conference Volleyball Championship
No. 7 New Mexico (9-16, 3-11 MWC) vs. No. 2 Colorado State (22-3, 13-1)
Fort Collins, Colo. - Moby Arena - Thursday, Nov. 18 - 7 p.m.
TV: The match will be televised by College Sports Televison (CSTV) on a tape-delay basis at 11:30 p.m. with Bill Doleman and Amy Gant calling the action. CSTV is available on Comcast Cable on Channel 274 in the Albuquerque metro area. On DirecTV, it will be televised nationally on Channel 610.
LIVE STATS: Gametracker will be available for all tournament matches at www.TheMWC.com.
SEVENTH-SEEDED LOBOS FACE SECOND-SEEDED COLORADO STATE IN FIRST ROUND OF MWC CHAMPIONSHIP: The seventh-seeded New Mexico volleyball team (9-16, 3-11 Mountain West), winners of two of its last three matches, will face second-seeded and eighth-ranked Colorado State in the first round of the Mountain West Volleyball Championship Thursday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. The Lobos split their two matches last weekend at home, falling to UNLV in five games Nov. 11 and sweeping San Diego State in the last match of the regular season Nov. 14.
Colorado State (22-3, 13-1 MWC) claimed a share of the Mountain West regular season title by beating BYU in five games and sweeping Utah last weekend. The Rams and Utes each owned 13-1 league records, leaving the league commissioner to draw and see which team would get the No. 1 seed, and the Utes came away with the top billing in the tournament.
The Rams swept the Lobos both times in their previous meetings this season. CSU, which holds a 30-20 all-time lead in the series between the two schools, has won the last 17 meetings. UNM last defeated Colorado State on Nov. 12, 1994 in Albuquerque.
The semifinals of the MWC Championship will be at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Friday, while the title game will be Saturday at 3 p.m. All tournament games will be televised by CSTV.
QUICK LOOK AT THE LOBOS: New Mexico is a mix of five returning letterwinners, two junior transfers and four freshmen. The young team has improved by five games over last season with a 9-16 mark and finished seventh in the Mountain West Conference standings with a 3-11 league record.
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 2 games to 1 and ahead by five points midway through the fourth game before the Utes rallied back for the win. Several of the Lobo losses have been near victories - the Lobos lost three games in which they were leading 2 games to 1 (at Wyoming, Utah, UNLV).
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 166-166 (.500) 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.
LOBOS TO WATCH
-- Junior Chelsea Sondrup is fourth in New Mexico history with 310 career blocks. She became just the fourth player in New Mexico history to reach the 300-block plateu after recording six against Air Force Nov. 5. Sondrup is just 16 blocks behind Linda Archuleta's school record 326, and is only four blocks away from passing Robyn Wentworth and moving up to third all-time at UNM. She is already the school-record holder in block assists with 291 and is adding to her record every match.
-- Junior Nicole Ryan leads the team and is fifth in the Mountain West with 3.34 kills per game. In conference matches, she is also fifth with 3.46 kpg. She put down a season-high 24 kills last Thursday against UNLV.
-- 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 4.16 digs per game. In league matches, she's second with 4.10 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.
-- Freshman Samie Weber leads the team with 109 blocks (1.25 per game), ranking seventh in the Mountain West. Her 105 blocks assists are good for fourth best in a Lobo season.
LOBO NEWS & NOTES
-- The Lobos averaged 490 fans per match this season, ranking fifth in the Mountain West. Overall, 6,853 fans arrived for 14 home matches.
-- The Lobos are third in the MWC with 3.00 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 second most in any Mountain West match this season.
-- New Mexico has recorded 454 block assists as a team this season, which is second best for a Lobo team in school history.
-- The Lobos swept San Diego State for the first time in school history in the last regular season match Nov. 14. UNM hit .478 (52K-9E-90TA) in the match, which is the third-highest attack percentage in school history and highest for any team in a league match this season.
CSTV TO TELEVISE ALL MATCHES OF 2004 MWC CHAMPIONSHIP: For the fifth straight year, the Mountain West Conference Volleyball Championship will be televised, with this season's tournament marking the first time ever that all seven championship matches will be made available to a national audience by College Sports Television (CSTV). The MWC will be the only conference to have all matches from its conference championship nationally televised. The Lobos' match vs. CSU will be televised on a tape-delay basis at 11:30 p.m.
CSTV is available on Comcast Cable on Channel 274 in the Albuquerque metro area. On DirecTV, it be televised nationally on Channel 610.
The satellite coordinates for the tournament are listed below:
Thursday: IA 6 C TR.9 Downlink: 3880 V Friday: IA 6 C TR.9 Downlink: 4040 V Saturday: IA 6 C TR.9 Downlink: 3880 V
GLANCE AT THE MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONSHIP: The Mountain West Championship will run Nov. 18-20 in Fort Collins, Colo. The winner of the eight-team, single-elimination bracket will receive the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Utah received the top seed and will play No. 8 Air Force in the tournament's opening match 11 a.m. on Thursday. No. 4 UNLV and No. 5 Wyoming meet at 1:30 p.m., while No. 3 BYU and No. 6 San Diego State meet at 4 p.m. The No. 7 Lobos and No. 2 Rams match up at 7 p.m.
The semifinals will be held on Friday at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Saturday's championship match is at 3 p.m.
LOBOS IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONSHIP:
-- All-time record: 1-5 (.200)
-- 1999 (Provo, Utah)
No. 5 New Mexico def. No. 4 Air Force, 3-2 (15-3, 15-1, 9-15, 13-15, 15-6)
No. 1 BYU def. No. 5 New Mexico, 3-0 (1-15, 0-15, 9-15)
-- 2000 (Ft. Collins, Colo.)
No. 4 San Diego State def. No. 5 New Mexico, 3-2 (15-12, 9-15, 15-12, 8-15, 9-15)
-- 2001 (Provo, Utah)
No. 2 Utah def. No. 7 New Mexico, 3-0 (15-30, 16-30, 19-30)
-- 2002 (Ft. Collins, Colo.)
No. 2 San Diego State def. No. 7 New Mexico, 3-0 (23-30, 23-30, 27-30)
-- 2003 (San Diego, Calif.)
No. 1 Colorado State def. No. 8 New Mexico, 3-0 (22-30, 24-30, 32-30, 18-30)
THE WEEK THAT WAS:
LOBOS FALL IN HEARTBREAKER TO UNLV, SWEEP SAN DIEGO STATE ON SENIOR DAY: In its last two matches of the regular season, the Lobos fell to UNLV in five games and swept San Diego State.
Several Lobos put up career numbers, but the New Mexico volleyball team still lost in a heartbreaker to UNLV last Thursday at the Johnson Center, falling in five games, 19-30, 30-27, 30-28, 26-30, 12-15.
Jennifer Heasty recorded a career-high 20 kills to go along with 14 digs in picking up her second double-double of the season. Nicole Ryan put down a season-high and match-high 24 kills, while senior Monica Meihack was one assist shy of her career best with 64 on the night. Kelly Therkelsen stuffed a career-high 10 blocks and also had 12 kills for her first double-double of the season.
UNLV blasted the Lobos in game one, hitting for a .526 attack percentage and 22 kills in the 30-19 victory. The Lobos stormed back, however, and took the next two games, 30-27 and 30-28, to go up 2-1. UNM hit .333 with 17 kills in winning the third game.
The Rebels ran away with the fourth game, building a seven-point lead at the 28-21 mark. New Mexico cut it to three points at 28-25, but UNLV held on for the 30-26 win.
UNLV led the fifth and deciding game the whole way, quickly building a four-point lead at the 7-3 mark. The Lobos then went on an 8-5 run, and trimmed the margin to one on a Ryan kill that made it 12-11. UNLV scored three of the next four points to claim the game and the match, 15-12.
The New Mexico volleyball team turned in a dominating performance in the last match of the regular season, sweeping San Diego State for the first time in school history (30-19, 30-15, 30-20) Sunday, Nov. 14 on Senior Day in the Johnson Center. The Lobos hit an impressive .478 (52K-9E-90TA) for the match, which is the third-highest attack percentage in school history.
The Lobos, winners of two of their last three matches, had one of their best matches of the season against the Aztecs. Not only did UNM hit a season-high .478, but the defense also limited SDSU to a -.010 attack percentage.
Nicole Ryan led all players with 15 kills while hitting .393 (15K-4E-28TA) for the match. Chelsea Sondrup accumulated a match-high .647 attack percentage to go along with 12 kills and three blocks. Jennifer Heasy hit .600 (9K-0E-15TA) with six digs, Kelly Therkelsen collected six kills and two blocks, and Samie Weber had five kills, three digs and two blocks.
The win over SDSU snapped UNM's 11-match losing streak to San Diego State. The last time the Lobos defeated the Aztecs was Nov. 19, 1999 in San Diego.
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 4.16 digs per game and was named the top libero at the Albquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic (Sept. 17-18). She is second in conference matches with 4.10 digs per game. 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 4.14 digs per game.
Burke has shined off the court as well. Last week, she was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District VI first-team for her 4.02 GPA in Applied Mathematics, and is now eligible for Academic All-America status. Last year, she earned second-team honors.
BLOCK YOU VERY MUCH: Junior Chelsea Sondrup is one of only four Lobos in school history to record at least 300 blocks. She is also getting closer to becoming the all-time blocks leader in Lobo history; she currently has 310 for her career, good for fourth, and is only 16 behind Linda Archuleta's school record 326.
Sondrup became the all-time UNM leader in block assists when she recorded 10 vs. Utah Oct. 2; she currently has 291 career block assists.
This season, she is second on the team with 100 blocks (1.16 per game; ninth in the MWC). Her 63 blocks (1.26 pg) in conference action are tied for sixth best 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 109 blocks (1.25 per game), which is seventh best in the MWC. In conference matches, Weber is third in the MWC with 1.38 blocks per game. Her 105 block assists rank fourth best in a UNM 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. She became the fifth player in school history to record 100 block assists in one season after putting down seven in the Air Force match Nov. 5.
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 2,816 career assists.
Meihack collected a double-double in the first match of the year against Northern Colorado, tallying 50 assists and 10 digs. She leads the team with four double-doubles this season.
Meihack dished out a season-high 64 assists vs. UNLV Nov. 11, one shy of her career best. For the season, she has recorded at least 50 assists on six occasions. Meihack, a Fallon, Nev., native, is sixth in the Mountain West with 10.48 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 leads the team with 3.34 kills per game, which ranks fifth in the Mountain West. She is also fifth in conference matches with 3.46 kpg. She put down a season-high 24 kills vs. UNLV Nov. 11.
THERKELSEN SHOWING IMPROVEMENT: Sophomore Kelly Therkelsen has shown dramatic improvement in her second season as a Lobo. She is second on the team with 2.82 kills per game (19th 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. Therkelsen put down a career-high 10 blocks in the UNLV match Nov. 11.
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. In the conference season, she displayed her blocking ability, racking up 58 in 14 matches (1.16 pg) to rank 11th best in the MWC. 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 70 games this season and is averaging 1.03 digs per game. Hezekiah has played in 14 games.
Freshman defensive specialist Kim Cox, a native of Flagstaff, Ariz., is also a fixture in the back row for the Lobos, playing in 80 games while tallying 1.76 digs per game.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
COLORADO STATE RAMS (22-3, 13-1 MWC)
Thursday, Nov. 18 -- 7 p.m. -- Fort Collins, Colo.
Eighth-ranked and second-seeded Colorado State (22-3, 13-1 MWC) claimed a share of the Mountain West regular season title last weekend after defeating BYU and Utah on the road. The Rams beat the Cougars in five games, 18-30, 30-25, 36-34, 25-30, 17-15, and swept the Utes, 30-26, 30-22, 20-20.
CSU has been ranked in the top 10 most of the season. All three of the Rams' losses have come at the hands of ranked opponents (No. 3 Nebraska, No. 5 Minnesota, No. 19 Utah). The Rams have beaten several top programs, including Georgia Tech, Washington State, Pepperdine and Utah.
Colorado State ranked No. 1 in four statistical categories during league play. The Rams led the MWC in hitting percentage (.286), assists (15.77), kills (17.38) and service aces (1.98).
Senior Katie Shirley-Cahoon led the MWC in conference matches with a .396 attack percentage. Tess Rogers was second in the league with 3.93 kills per game, and Becky Sarauer was eighth with 3.28 kpg. Senior Melissa Courtney led the MWC with 13.66 assists per game, while Bri Frech was No. 1 in service aces with 0.60 per game.
The Lobos will be looking to break a 17-match losing streak to Colorado State. UNM last beat CSU Nov. 12, 1994 in Albuquerque.
The two teams also met in the first round of the Mountain West Championship last season. The Lobos, seeded eighth, batted the top-seeded Rams and even won the third game, but the Rams prevailed in four. CSU went on to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2003.
HEAD COACH: Tom Hilbert. Overall record: 390-116 (16th year). Record at CSU: 216-44 (Eighth year).
-Colorado State leads, 30-20
-Series streak: CSU has won the last 17 meetings
-UNM vs. CSU in Fort Collins: 8-15
-UNM vs. CSU in MWC Tournament: 0-1 (UNM lost 3-1 in the 2003 tournament at San Diego on Nov. 20, 2003)
-Last UNM win: 11/12/94 in Albuquerque, 3-0
-Last UNM win in Fort Collins: 10/7/94, 3-2
-Last meeting: 10/22/04 in Albuquerque, CSU won, 3-0
-Last time UNM won a game: 11/20/03 in MWC Tournament, CSU won, 3-1
RECAPS VS. COLORADO STATE:
LOBOS SWEPT BY RAMS IN FORT COLLINS & ALBUQUERQUE: In the previous two meetings this season, Colorado State swept New Mexico.
On Saturday, Sept. 25, No. 9 Colorado State defeated UNM in three games, 15-30, 25-30, 21-30, at Moby Arena.
The Rams limited the Lobos to a .082 attack percentage for the match. Chelsea Sondrup led UNM with eight kills and five blocks, Samie Weber had six kills and two blocks and Jennifer Heasty recorded four blocks. Adah Burke led the defense with nine digs and Monica Meihack dished out 18 assists.
Three Rams tallied double-digits in kills as they hit .305 as a team for the match. Bri Frech recorded a double-double with 13 kills and 12 digs and Dre Downs and Becky Sarauer each put down 10 kills.
A season-high crowd of 1,015 attended the Johnson Center in Albuquerque 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.