Oct. 21, 2010
By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
To become the Lobos all-time leader in anything volleyball is really a big deal. This is a storied program with a history of All-Americans and NCAA travel.
But when you talk to Lobo Jade Michaelsen about scratching her name in the University of New Mexico record books she naturally ho-hums the achievement and credits other Lobos for her climb up the UNM assist charts.
"I give credit to my hitters," said Michaelsen. "They have done a lot for me."
Of course, there is truth in that statement and you could see it Thursday night in Johnson Center when Michaelsen's hitters pounded out 60 kills on the way to a 3-1 Mountain West Conference victory over Brigham Young.
Hadfield had 20 kills against a single error in her 31 attempts to send lightning in BYU's direction. Hadfield ended the match with a sizzling .613 kill percentage. "It felt like an `on' game for me, but it also felt like a good game for everyone," said Hadfield.
Michaelsen was "on" doing her thing quarterbacking the Lobos and sending her fluffy and often-perfect sets this way and that way. She ended with 49 assists, which leaves her three short of shattering the mark of 3,794 set by Janelle Torres from 1996-99.
She will break it at 2 p.m. Saturday in Johnson Center when the Utah Utes come calling. Michaelsen will use the rest of the 2010 season to totally smash the old record.
The Lobos also had a chance to totally smash the Cougars and in their minds it should have been 3-0 Thursday night and not 3-1. The Cougars, however, had different plans and their 25-23 win in game one was a credit to a young team battling adversity on the road.
BYU was down 16-11 and 17-12 and UNM looked to be in cruise mode in front of a rowdy crowd of 2,151. But the Cougars took control of the net and roared back to tie the game at 20-all. Lobo coach Jeff Nelson called time at that point, but it did no good. BYU came out of the break and rolled out two straight points to take a 22-20 lead. The teams exchanged points the rest of the way in and BYU had the 25-23 win.
"We gave that first one away," said Meeter. Said Michaelsen: "We can't keep doing that to ourselves. We lost our run and our momentum."
The Lobos didn't lose "Mo" for long. After the first game, UNM rolled out three consecutive wins of 25-20, 25-23 and 25-18. It was a big win for the Lobos, who need to extract themselves from the tight pack of MWC teams hovering beneath the Colorado State Rams.
"It's so up and down as to who can be two, three or even four," said Hadfield. "Losing that first game kind of fired us up. We knew we should have beaten them, but we let them take our run away."
At times, the Cougars showed they could play with the Lobos at the net, but UNM's all-around play was superior especially on the back row where UNM had 63 digs to 44 for BYU. UNM's Mariah Agre had 15 digs and teammate Allison Buck had 14. Ashley Rhoades added eight kills up front. BYU had three players in double-figure kills in Stephanie Snow (12), Jennifer Hamson (11) and Christie Carpenter (10).
"We had a game plan and we executed it," said Meeter.
The win pushes UNM to 12-8 on the season and 4-3 in Mountain West play. BYU falls to 8-13 and 3-4. The win by UNM snapped BYU's five-game win streak.