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Volleyball Closes Out Regular Season With Two Home Matches
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  11/08/2004
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Nov. 8, 2004

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THIS WEEK IN LOBO VOLLEYBALL

New Mexico (8-15, 2-10 MWC) vs. UNLV (12-11, 6-6)

Albuquerque, N.M. - Johnson Center - Thursday, Nov. 11 - 7 p.m.

New Mexico vs. San Diego State (3-22, 3-9)

Albuquerque, N.M. - Johnson Center - Sunday, Nov. 14 - 1 p.m. - LAST HOME MATCH - SENIOR DAY

LOBOS CLOSE REGULAR SEASON WITH TWO HOME MATCHES - Fresh off a sweep of Air Force last weekend, the New Mexico volleyball team (8-15, 2-10 Mountain West) will host UNLV and San Diego State this week at the Johnson Center to close out the regular season. The Lobos are assured of at least a No. 7 seed in next week's Mountain West Tournament that runs from Nov. 18-20 in Fort Collins, Colo. With two wins this weekend and two San Diego State losses, the Lobos would move up to a No. 6 seed in the conference tournament.

The Lobos first match up against UNLV Thursday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. The Rebels (12-11, 6-6 MWC) topped UNM in three games Oct. 16 in Las Vegas, but the Rebels come to Albuquerque riding a four-match losing streak. New Mexico defeated UNLV at home last season in four games.

Freshman Samie Weber


After two days off, UNM will take on San Diego State Sunday, Nov. 14 at 1 p.m. in the last match of the regular season. The Lobos will honor seniors Monica Meihack and Adah Burke prior to the game as a part of Senior Day festivities. Although the Aztecs (3-22, 3-9 MWC) have lost five straight matches, SDSU did beat the Lobos in three games Oct. 15 in San Diego.

JOHNSON CENTER TO HOST NEW MEXICO HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS - The Lobos play San Diego State on Sunday this week due to the New Mexico High School Volleyball Championships being held at the Johnson Center Saturday, Nov. 13. The action begins with the Class 2A title at 9 a.m., followed by the Class 3A title at 11 a.m. The Class 1A match is at 2 p.m., Class 4A follows at 4 p.m. and Class 5A concludes the day at 7 p.m. For more information, please visit the New Mexico Activities website at www.nmact.org.

LOBOS TO WATCH

-- Junior Chelsea Sondrup became just the fourth player in New Mexico history to reach the 300-block plateu for her career after recording six against Air Force Nov. 5. Sondrup also moved up to fourth all-time on the UNM charts with 302 career blocks, just 24 behind Linda Archuleta's school record 326. She is already the school-record holder in block assists with 286 and is adding to her record every match.

-- Junior Nicole Ryan leads the team and is ninth in the Mountain West with 3.19 kills per game. In conference matches, she is identical - ninth in the league with 3.19 kpg.

-- 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 4.20 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 and second most in a MWC match.

-- Freshman Samie Weber leads the team with 107 blocks (1.27 per game), ranking seventh in the Mountain West. After putting down seven block assists against Air Force Nov. 5, she now has 103 for the season, which ranks fourth best in the UNM season records.

Updated\ UNM\ Career\ Records

Updated\ UNM\ Season\ Records

LOBO NEWS & NOTES

-- A season-high crowd of 1,015 attended Jam Johnson vs. No. 9 Colorado State Oct. 22. The Lobos are averaging 501 fans per match after 12 home dates.

-- The Lobos are third in the MWC with 3.02 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 most of any Mountain West team this season.

-- New Mexico has recorded 416 block assists as a team this season, which is third best for a Lobo team in school history.

GLANCE AT THE MOUNTAIN WEST RACE: The Mountain West Conference regular season title is still up for grabs heading into the final weekend of the regular season. No. 17 Utah is undefeated and in first place at 12-0, but No. 10 Colorado State is only a game behind at 11-1. The Utes host Wyoming Friday night and the Rams travel to third-place BYU. The two teams will meet, most likely for the championship, Saturday night in Salt Lake City. The Utes beat the Rams in four games earlier in the season in Fort Collins.

The Lobos are assured of at least a No. 7 seed in next week's conference tournament. If UNM wins twice this weekend and sixth-place San Diego State loses twice, the Lobos can jump the Aztecs for the No. 6 seed. Air Force, winless in the conference, will be the No. 8 seed regardless of this weekend's action.

BYU is in third place with an 8-4 record, and needs to beat either Colorado State or Wyoming to earn the No. 3 seed. If Wyoming loses at least once over the weekend, the Cougars will still be the No. 3 seed. Wyoming and UNLV are currently tied for fourth in the standings with an even 6-6 mark.

THE WEEK THAT WAS:

LOBOS GROUND AIR FORCE WITH CLEAN SWEEP: The New Mexico volleyball team swept past Air Force in three games, 30-20, 30-20, 30-27, Friday, Nov. 5 at the Johnson Center on Lobo League Appreciation Night. Chelsea Sondrup recorded six blocks for the match, giving her 302 for her career, which moved her up to fourth all-time in Lobo history. Sondrup is also only the fourth Lobo in school history to reach the 300-block plateau.

Samie Weber put down 10 kills and seven blocks while hitting a match-high .353. Weber, who leads the team with 107 blocks and 103 block assists, is now fourth in the UNM record books for block assists in a single season.

Two other Lobos hit at least .300 in the match. Jennifer Heasty hit for a .316 attack percentage (9K-3E-19TA) with two blocks and Sondrup hit .300 with six kills.

Sophomore Kelly Therkelsen


The Lobos dominated up front, registering 14 team blocks to the Falcons' six. Senior setter Monica Meihack got in on the action at the net, recording a career-high six blocks to go along with nine digs and a match-high 32 assists. Kelly Therkelsen, who also had nine kills, put down four blocks while Nicole Ryan had three.

New Mexico's defense was stellar all night, holding Air Force (4-18, 0-12 Mountain West) to a .031 attack percentage for the match. The Lobos also out-dug the Falcons 53-36, led by senior Adah Burke's match-high 13.

UNM limited Air Force to a negative attack percentage in game one (-.069) while cruising to a 30-20 victory. The Lobos gained the lead at the 6-5 mark and never looked back in building a comfortable lead the rest of the game.

It was more of the same in game two. After giving up the first point of the game, UNM tied it at 1 and then led the rest of the way, easing to another 30-20 win.

Game three was more of a challenge for the Lobos, as the Falcons came out of intermission determined not to get swept. Air Force led as late as 26-25, but after tying it at 26, the Lobos rattled off three straight blocks to take a 29-26 lead. After an Air Force timeout, Heasty closed the game with her ninth kill of the match.

CURRENT LOBOS DEFEAT ALUMNI IN FOUR GAMES: In a battle of past vs. present, the current Lobos won out, defeating the Lobo Alumni team in four games at the annual alumni match Saturday, Nov. 6 at the Johnson Center. The current Lobos dominated the first game in winning 30-16, but the former Lobos took a close second game, 34-32. UNM then went on to win game three, 30-22, before closing the match with a 30-14 game four victory. The alumni team consisted of Blaire Burns, Staci Masten, Marlo Pennington Maxson, Anna Reines, Ingrid Roosild, Karen Saavedra-Warnock and Vanessa Shields.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS

UNLV REBELS (12-11, 6-6 MWC)

Thursday, Nov. 11 -- 7 p.m. -- Albuquerque, N.M.

UNLV looks to break a four-match losing streak when it faces New Mexico on Thursday at the Johnson Center. The Rebels lost three matches at home last weekend (BYU, Utah, Nevada-Reno).

Maria Aladjova leads the team and is third in the Mountain West with 3.73 kills per game. Jada Walker is tops in the MWC with 4.38 digs per game, and the Rebels as a team are first in the league with 16.90 digs per game.

HEAD COACH: Allison Keeley. Overall record: 51-59 (Fifth year). Record at UNLV: 12-11 (First year).

SERIES NOTES:

-UNLV leads, 8-6

-Series streak: UNLV, one match

-UNM vs. UNLV in Albuquerque: 4-3

-Last UNM win: 11/6/03 in Albuquerque, 3-1

-Last meeting: 10/16/04 in Las Vegas, UNLV won, 3-0

SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS (3-22, 3-9 MWC)

Sunday, Nov. 14 -- 1 p.m. -- Albuquerque, N.M.

The Lobos are looking for their first win over San Diego State since Nov. 19, 1999. The Aztecs enter the week on a five-match losing streak after getting swept by BYU and Utah last weekend. They play at Air Force Saturday, Nov. 13 before arriving in Albuquerque.

Kara Moriarty leads the team with 3.46 kills per game; Ashley Bowker leads the team in blocks with 1.38 per game; and Kristin Castillo leads the team in assists with 10.11 per game.

HEAD COACH: Mark Warner. Overall record: 160-144 (10th year). Record at SDSU: Same.

SERIES NOTES:

-San Diego State leads, 24-9

-Series streak: SDSU has won the last 11 meetings

-UNM vs. SDSU in Albuquerque: 5-8

-Last UNM win: 11/19/99 in San Diego, 3-2

-Last UNM win in Albuquerque: 10/23/99, 3-1

-Last meeting: 10/15/04 in San Diego, SDSU won, 3-0

THE FIRST TIME AROUND:

LOBOS COME UP EMPTY IN SAN DIEGO AND VEGAS: San Diego and Las Vegas are two of the nation's top travel destinations, but unfortunately the trip wasn't sweet for the Lobos, as they were swept at San Diego State and UNLV Oct. 15-16.

UNM fell to San Diego State in three games, 32-34, 15-30, 26-30, Friday, Oct. 15 at Peterson Gym on the SDSU campus. Samie Weber matched her season high with 14 kills while hitting at a .391 clip (14K-5E-23TA) to pace the Lobos. She also put down a five blocks. Nicole Ryan put together another nice all-around match, registering 11 kills, four digs and two blocks. Jennifer Heasty collected a team-high six blocks and Chelsea Sondrup tallied five.

The Lobos lost a heartbreaker in game one, falling 34-32. The Aztecs jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead, but UNM bounced back, and went ahead 14-13 near the midway point. SDSU went back in front, however, and led by 1-2 points until the Lobos again tied the score at 28. UNM went ahead 30-29, and again at 32-31, but three straight kills from SDSU's Melissa Stapley ended the game and gave the Aztecs the slim 34-32 victory in game one.

San Diego State led the entire second game, although it was close at first. The Aztecs only held a two-point advantage at the 9-7 mark, but clinched the 30-15 game two win on a 21-8 run. The Aztecs topped the Lobos by four points, 30-26, in the third and final game of the match.

On Saturday, Oct. 16, UNLV defeated the New Mexico volleyball team in three games, 24-30, 19-30, 21-30, at Cox Arena on the UNLV campus. Kelly Therkelsen and Samie Weber led the Lobos with seven kills apiece. Chelsea Sondrup hit .455 (6K-1E-11TA) in the match, and Monica Meihack dished out 24 assists.

Chelsea Sondrup and Nicole Ryan


In game one, the Lobos took an early lead, 4-3, but the Rebels followed with an 11-5 run to go up 14-9. UNM scored four of the next five points to trim the margin to 15-14, but once again the Rebels responded, and closed the game on a 15-10 run in the 30-24 win. The Lobos only managed to hit .133 in the game compared to UNLV's .371 percentage. Therkelsen led UNM with four kills in the game.

Game two was more of the same for UNLV, who continued its hot hitting with 17 kills and a .333 attack percentage. The Lobos only held one lead at the 3-2 mark, and after the Rebels took the lead at 5-4, they went on a 7-0 run to go up 12-4 to put the game away. UNM would not get closer than six points the rest of the game as UNLV won, 30-19.

New Mexico stayed close to the Rebels in the first half of game three. The Rebels maintained a three-to-four point lead, but the Lobos cut the advantage to two points at the 16-14 at 17-15 marks. UNLV scored 13 of the next 19 points, however, to complete the sweep with the 30-21 game three victory.

PLAYER NOTES:

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 4.20 digs per game and was named the top libero at the Albquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic (Sept. 17-18). 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.

Adah Burke will be one of two seniors honored Sunday for Senior Day.


BLOCK YOU VERY MUCH: Junior Chelsea Sondrup became just the fourth Lobo in history to reach the 300-block plateau for her career after recording six against Air Force Nov. 5. She is also getting closer to becoming the all-time blocks leader in Lobo history; she currently has 302 for her career, good for fourth, and is only 24 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 286 career block assists.

This season, she is second on the team with 92 blocks (1.18 per game; ninth in the MWC). Her 55 blocks (1.31 pg) in conference action are sixth 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 107 blocks (1.27 per game), which is seventh best in the MWC. In conference matches, Weber is third in the MWC with 1.43 blocks per game. Her 103 block assists already ranks 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 2,710 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 55 assists vs. UTEP Sept. 18. For the season, she has recorded at least 50 assists on five occasions. Meihack, a Fallon, Nev., native, is sixth in the Mountain West with 10.21 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 currently leads the team with 3.19 kills per game, which ranks ninth in the Mountain West. Her numbers are identical in conference matches, as she is also ninth in the league with 3.19 kpg. She put down a season-high 22 kills at Wyoming Sept. 24.

THERKELSEN SHOWING IMPROVEMENT: Sophomore Kelly Therkelsen has shown dramatic improvement in her second season as a Lobo. She is second on the team with 2.87 kills per game (17th 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.

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. Thus far in the conference season, she has displayed her blocking ability, racking up 54 in 12 matches (1.29 pg) to rank eighth 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 67 games this season and is averaging 1.03 digs per game. Hezekiah has played in eight games.

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
Saturday, October 18
2:00 PM - 
Volleyball
vs. Wyoming
Monday, October 20
7:00 PM - 
Volleyball
vs. New Mexico State
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