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Lobos Host First Conference Matches Of The Season This Weekend At Johnson Arena
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  09/30/2003
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Sept. 30, 2003

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THIS WEEK IN LOBO VOLLEYBALL:

TEAMS: New Mexico (3-11, 0-1 MWC) vs. BYU (10-4, 1-1)

WHERE: Johnson Arena - Albuquerque, N.M.

WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 2 - 7 p.m.

JAM JOHNSON! - ALL TICKETS ONLY $1!

TEAMS: New Mexico (3-11, 0-1 MWC) vs. Utah (7-6, 1-1)

WHERE: Johnson Arena - Albuquerque, N.M.

WHEN: Friday, Oct. 3 - 7 p.m.

LOBOS HOST FIRST MWC MATCHES OF 2003 THIS WEEKEND - After opening on the road at Air Force to begin MWC play last weekend, the Lobos (3-11, 0-1 MWC) will host their first conference matches of the season this week as BYU and Utah head to the Duke City.

UNM tangles with BYU (10-4, 1-1 MWC) Thursday, Oct. 2 in Johnson Arena at 7 p.m. The Cougars split their first two MWC matches, falling to Colorado State in three games but sweeping Wyoming the next night.

"Jam Johnson!" will take place Friday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. when New Mexico and Utah meet at 7 p.m. Several promotions are in line for Jam Johnson, including free t-shirts, autographed volleyballs/posters/media guides, mini volleyballs, and much more. All tickets are only $1 for the event.

Utah enters the weekend with a 7-6 record (1-1 MWC). The Utes swept Wyoming in their first MWC match but fell to Colorado State in four games Sept. 27.

New Mexico lost to Utah twice in 2002, but won a game in both of the matches against the nationally-ranked Utes. Utah has a slight 30-26 edge in the overall series, however, the Utes have won the last 12 matches against Lobos.

FALCONS TOP LOBOS IN MWC OPENER - For just the second time in series history, the Air Force Falcons defeated the New Mexico volleyball team in the Mountain West Conference opener for both teams Friday night (Sept. 26) at Cadet East Gym. The Falcons swept the match, 3-0 (32-30, 30-22, 30-28). Prior to Friday night, the Lobos had defeated Air Force 10 of 11 times.

New Mexico collected more digs (38-37), assists (44-39) and kills (50-45) than the Falcons, but Air Force hit an impressive .371 compared to the Lobos' .192 attack percentage. Jennifer Heasty led the Lobo offense with 13 kills and hit .550, while Lauren Dunsmoor collected a double-double with 12 kills and 12 digs. Lindsay Smith chipped in 39 assists with 12 digs and Monica Meihack had 12 digs.

Air Force edged the Lobos 32-30 in game one but controlled game two, 30-22. The Falcons put the Lobos away with a 30-28 win in game three.

LOBOS TOP MWC IN KILLS - New Mexico pounded 50 kills in just three games against Air Force - good for a 16.7 kpg average - which tops the MWC for conference games. The Lobos are third in MWC games in assists (14.67 pg) and aces (1.67 pg).

HEASTY STARTING TO HEAT UP - Freshman Jennifer Heasty is eighth in the MWC in attack percentage (.297) after hitting an impressive .563 (20K-2E-32TA) in her last two matches. 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 (32) and third in points (119).

LINEUP SHUFFLE A PLUS - Head coach Kelley Sliva McKee mixed up her starting lineup at the Washington State Cougar Invitational (Sept. 12-13) and has seen positive results since the change.

Sliva McKee installed junior Monica Meihack at libero to stabilize the Lobo defense and passing game. Meihack is UNM's top passer and was rewarded for her efforts when she named the top libero at the Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Tournament. Meihack was last year's setter and recorded 1,249 assists in 2002, the second most in a Lobo season. UNM's dig total has risen from 7.86 to 12.44 per game since Meihack has started at libero.

Freshman Lindsay Smith, a talented recruit who has the ability to set up a very up-tempo offense, is now the starting setter. Smith has 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 (3.45 pg) and points (190.5) through the first 14 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 second in the conference in service aces with 1.96 pg. UNM posted a season-high 13 aces vs. Alcorn State Sept. 6. The Lobos currently have 96 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 37 blocks (three solo, 34 assists) and is second on the team in kills (109; 2.22 pg) and points (142).

Sondrup also set two UNM single-game block records against SMU Sept. 20, 2002: blocks (14) and block assists (13).

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 156-136 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.

LOBO SCOUTING REPORT:

BYU COUGARS (10-4, 1-1 MWC)

BYU split its first two MWC matches last weekend (defeated Wyoming; lost to Colorado State). The Cougars posted an impressive win over then-No. 8 Penn State in five games Sept. 13 and have won six of their last seven matches.

BYU is second in the MWC in kills (15.45 pg), blocks (2.93 pg) and digs (14.31 pg). Freshman Lindsay Hartsock is second in the league in hitting percentage (.371) and aces (0.49 pg). Senior Uila Crabbe leads the conference in digs (3.51).

HEAD COACH - Karen Lamb (Second year). Record at BYU: 24-23.

SERIES HISTORY - BYU leads 52-7. The Cougars have dominated the series against the Lobos, winning the last 16 matches. UNM has not defeated BYU since Oct. 13, 1995 and has not won at home against the Cougars since Oct. 26, 1991.

UTAH UTES (7-6, 1-1 MWC)

Utah is just over .500 at 7-6, but played a tough non-conference schedule before defeating Wyoming and losing to Colorado State in MWC action last weekend. The Utes have played two Top-25 opponents, sweeping No. 18 Missouri but falling at No. 15 Notre Dame in five games.

The Utes are struggling to hit well as a team, compiling only a .211 attack percentage to date (seventh in MWC). Senior Kim Turner leads the offense with 3.78 kpg (seventh in MWC) and 4.82 ppg (fourth in MWC).

HEAD COACH - Beth Launiere (14th year). Record at Utah: 260-169.

SERIES HISTORY - Utah leads 30-26. The Utes have won 12 straight over UNM, with the Lobos' last win coming Nov. 22, 1996.

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 % - .550 (13K-2E-20A), Jennifer Heasty vs. Air Force (9/26) 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
Thursday, October 16
7:00 PM - 
Volleyball
vs. Colorado State
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