Oct. 28, 2010
Friday: 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.
Around the MWC Nets: