Sept. 16, 2009
Wednesday: TCU 3, Lobos 1 (25-18, 16-25, 25-22, 25-22)
By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
Lobo Lisa Meeter might have put this shocker into perspective about as well as any Lobo: "You get what you get."
What the Lobos got Wednesday night in Johnson Center was a major setback in the Mountain West Conference race in a 3-1 loss to the TCU Horned Frogs, a team picked to finished fifth in the league's preseason poll.
Meeter said the Lobos got what they got because "good competitors come out fighting and our team wasn't fighting."
Lobo coach Jeff Nelson agreed. "I didn't see any fight in us," he said. "I didn't see anything that I liked. We put ourselves in peril right away in the conference.
"We should be coming out excited and playing for it. I got to figure out as a coach how to get through to a couple of these people. We need more intensity on the court. The other thing that's concerning is the way we came out in Game One. It's an interesting thing to have all that support out there and not come out ready to play."
The loss dropped UNM to 7-2 on the year and 0-1 in the Mountain West. TCU is 9-3 and 1-0 in league play.
The tone UNM set in dropping the first game 25-18 was allowing the Horned Frogs to believe they could pull the upset on the Lobos' home court. UNM cracked into that belief in the second game by coming back strong and hammering the Frogs 25-16. But then the Lobos let the visitors from Fort Worth believe again.
The Lobos had their chances in Game Three and Game Four, but it was the Frogs who executed and came up with the big points down the stretch in back-to-back 25-22 wins. . "This was not a loss we wanted," said Lobo senior Anna Lehne. "It was frustrating. We had some really good points, but we are working on a different rotation. I think there is great hope for us and we are going to bounce back. We are hungry for a win."
The Lobos obviously missed senior captain Rose Morris, who is out for a couple of weeks with an injured pinkie finger. They missed her power at the net. They missed her on-the-court leadership.
"I was not happy with our leadership," said Nelson. "We made too many bad choices. We had more than 40 errors and still had a chance to win. That's scary."
The Lobos fell behind 18-12 in Game Three before charging to a 22-21 deficit by winning four straight points. Senior Jade Michaelsen then served into the net and UNM's Taylor Hadfield went wide on a shot that pushed TCU up 24-21. The Frogs closed out the 25-22 win.
In Game Four, TCU rolled to a quick 8-4 lead, but UNM rallied to take a 15-14 lead and a 20-18 lead. The 20th point was a beauty, but it sent Lehne into the locker room with a bloody nose.
TCU then rolled out four straight points to take a 22-20 lead. The Lobos knotted the score at 22-all, but the Frogs finished the scoring to take their second 25-22 win.
"Taylor (Hadfield) passed the ball up and it hit me in the nose," said Lehne. "It was good we got the ball over and it was good we got the point, but it was the worse timing (to leave the game at that point).
"It was taking too much time to get me back. I kept thinking, 'my nose is fine, my nose is fine.' I just wanted to get back in there."
Said Nelson: "That did hurt. We were kind of on a roll."
Lehne did return, but TCU had recaptured the all-important momentum.
The Lobos attack percentage was solid (.265) for the one game they won. They fired .118 percent, .114 percent and .083 in the three games they lost. TCU shot .054 in the game they dropped and went .406, .200 and .154 in its three wins. UNM hit .139 for the match to .196 for TCU.
Meeter led UNM in kills with 13-of-44. Hadfield went 12-of-29 and Lehne went 10-of-21. Michaelsen had 40 assists and 14 digs. Allison Buck had 20 digs and Amy Wong had 10 digs. Lehne slipped into the UNM career Top 10 list for solo blocks with her two against TCU.
"After a loss like this we have to come out firing and we have to come out hungry," said Meeter. "A loss like this can hurt our postseason if we don't come back strong. One of our goals is to win at home and this is a really hard loss. We have to push through it and work that much harder and not be satisfied with anything."
The Lobos next play Saturday (Sept 19) vs. UTEP at 2 p.m. (MT) at the Arizona Invitational. They also play No. 21 Arizona on Saturday at 8 p.m. The Lobos' chance for redemption isn't too far away.