Nelson's Lobos Open Second Half Of MWC Race In Second Place
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  10/28/2010
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Oct. 28, 2010

Lobo Volleyball
Vs. UNLV, 7 p.m.
Sunday: Vs. Air Force, 4 p.m.
GoLobos.com: Recap, Stats.

The Lobos' technical stuff is, well, technically sound. You can tell these Lobos have the ability to go out and outplay just about any team in the Mountain West. They are fundamental. They are skilled.

Now, if Lobo Coach Jeff Nelson has really added that nasty streak . . .

"I thought (vs. Utah/BYU) was the first time all season where I saw the team pull together and battle and fight and not just rely on being technically sound or better volleyball players," said Nelson. "They really fought.

"Our focus in practice has been on competing better and less on being technical. We are trying to get them to be a little more feisty, which I saw at the match Saturday."

Nelson did not see that feisty side early on Saturday as UNM came out and got spanked 25-13 by Utah in Game One. The Lobos regrouped for a 3-1 win, which matched UNM`s 3-1 win over Brigham Young on Thursday. UNM trailed Utah 21-15 in Game Four before rallying for the win.

The Lobos enter the second half of the Mountain Conference race looking to solidify their hold on second place and slightly change their image as a road team. The Lobos probably are in the right MWC port of calls to improve on their 1-3 league road mark.

They play the two bottom feeders in the MWC: UNLV and Air Force. But that doesn't necessarily mean Friday's match at UNLV and Sunday`s battle at Air Force will be gimmes.

The UNLV Rebs have a lot of athleticism and a couple of feisty seniors in Sara Nehg and Kela Lau Hee. The Air Force Falcons have senior Caroline Kurtz of Albuquerque, who is No. 2 in the MWC with 3.62 kills per set. The Falcons are coming off the end of a 74-match MWC losing skid.

Which means the Falcons finally are on a winning streak. UNM's game with Air Force is the second half of a CBS College doubleheader that begins with TCU at UNLV.

"We are committed to really getting after it the second half," said Nelson. "Our goal is to win out. I`m seeing some life out of these kids and that`s really exciting."

Colorado State -- no surprise -- is running away with the MWC title and carries an 8-0 league mark into the second half of the league's season. The Rams have a three-game lead over 5-3 UNM and 5-3 Utah. Wyoming, San Diego State and BYU formed a 4-4 logjam at the close of the first half. TCU has a little life at 3-5 with UNLV at 2-6 and Air Force at 1-7.

The Lobos are paced by senior Lisa Meeter, who has entered the 1,000-Kill Club and the 1,000-Dig Club. UNM senior Jade Michaelsen is the school's all-time career assist leader.

Around the MWC Nets:

  • Coach Nelson will coach his 500th game at Air Force. "It just means I've coached a long time," he said.
  • Air Force's 74-match MWC losing streak ended with a 3-1 win over San Diego State.
  • The No. 14 ranked CSU Rams have been ranked in the AVCA Top 25 poll all season.
  • Wyoming started the season at 11-0 and is 8-5 over the past 13 games. Still, it's the best start in the program's history.

  • Saturday, August 22
    7:00 PM - 
    vs. Alumnae (Exhibition)
    Friday, August 28
    8:00 AM - 
    at Belmont
    3:00 PM - 
    at Albany
    Saturday, August 29
    5:00 PM - 
    at Ball State