Sept. 17, 2010
TAMPA, Fla. --- After a slow start out of the gate, the University of New Mexico volleyball team bounced back from a 1-0 deficit to beat South Florida, 3-1, tonight in Tampa in the first round of the Hilton Garden Inn Invitational. The Lobos improve to 6-5 on the season. UNM will play two matches on Saturday - against Jacksonville at 9 a.m. (MT) and against Florida Atlantic at 3 p.m. (MT).
The host Bulls came out firing in the first set, out-hitting the Lobos .400 to .129 to take the 1-0 lead with a 25-19 win.
New Mexico settled down and went back to playing Lobo volleyball in the remaining sets. The Lobos took a 7-2 lead to start the second set. USF closed the Lobo lead to 10-8 due to several key Bulls kills and Lobo attack errors. UNM got back on track with kills by senior Lisa Meeter at 13-9 and 15-9. The lead continued to build with two kills by Ashley Rhoades, one by Rachel Barber, one by Kelly Williamson and a service ace by Jade Michaelsen, putting the Lobos up 23-12. Winning the set got a bit tough as USF's Kimika Rozier put down a kill and a service ace at set point for the Lobos. But a Rozier service error sealed the 25-15 win for UNM.
It looked like the Lobos' hosts were going to bounce back in the third set with a 4-1 start, but UNM battled to an 8-8 tie. The Lobos took their first lead of the third on a service ace by freshman Mariah Agre, 9-8. A swap of service errors kept the Lobos ahead 10-9 and pushing to a 20-14 lead. In the home stretch to the 25-16 win, senior Taylor Hadfield recorded two kills and two blocks.
An early 3-3 tie in the fourth set quickly turned into an 11-3 lead for the Lobos. Michaelsen held serve for the 8-0 run, while Meeter and Williamson supplied a few kills along the way. USF could never close the gap as the Lobos won the set, 25-13 for the match win.
Williamson led all Lobo attackers with 14 kills, followed by Hadfield with nine kills and four blocks on the night.