Aug. 25, 2007
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The New Mexico volleyball team produced an amazing comeback to win the 2007 MCM Elegante Lobo Classic on Saturday evening with a 3-2 victory over San Jose State.
The Lobos went into intermission down two games, 25-30 and 27-30, but came out of the locker room and pounded their way back into the match and the win, 30-22, 30-25, 15-10.
Tournament Most Valuable Player Jeanne Fairchild had 20 kills for the Lobos in the win, while all-tournament selection Lisa Meeter had 18. Libero Gayle Tripp, also a member of the all-tournament team, led the Lobos with 25 digs.
"I thought we did pretty well," said Fairchild. "Obviously it was a little rocky at the beginning as we let the first two games get taken from us. We realized that this is our home court. We have to work to defend it."
San Jose State's Jennifer Senftleben and Brianna Amian were named to the all-tournament team for their efforts during the weekend. Senftleben had 21 kills against the Lobos, while Amian had 13.
The Spartans looked like they were going to cruise to the tournament championship as they started Game One with a 7-0 lead.
But the Lobos began their slow climb back, pulling to within three points at 28-25, behind a strong service hold by sophomore Kat Crawley, but fell short.
New Mexico started to get back on track in Game Two, never allowing the Spartans to build a lead larger than the final three-point differential at the end of the game.
In Game Three, Lobo setter Sarah Kwasigroch held serve to break a 9-9 tie and build a 12-9 lead that New Mexico never relinquished.
In Game Four, New Mexico saw a 14-10 lead dwindle away to a 20-20 tie. The teams exchanged points with San Jose State taking the lead twice, finally at 25-24. An attack error by the Spartans tied the game at 25 and Meeter held serve to get the Lobos even for the match.
The Lobos went on a tear, 8-1, to start Game Five behind three kills by redshirt freshman Jade Michaelsen and several costly attack errors by the Spartans. Meeter recorded the game- and match-winning kill to move New Mexico to 3-0 on the season.
"I thought we had two different teams today," said first-year Lobo head coach Jeff Nelson. "We came out a little bit off of our game, playing not to lose. After halftime, we knew we had to come out and work, and fight and compete better."
The 3-0 start to the 2007 season is the best start by the Lobo volleyball team since the 1999 season.
Earlier in the evening, Florida Atlantic beat Grambling State, 22-30, 30-21, 30-25, 30-9, to take third place in the tournament. FAU's Casey LaRocca and Grambling's Talon Morgan were also named to the all-tournament team for their efforts over the weekend.
New Mexico will host the Long Island Blackbirds on Tuesday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Johnson Center before heading to Tempe, Ariz. later in the week for the Hilton Phoenix/East Mesa Challenge hosted by Arizona State. The Lobos next three opponents, Long Island, Iowa State, and Arizona State, participated in the 2006 NCAA Tournament.
New Mexico def. San Jose State 25-30,27-30,30-22,30-25,15-10
San Jose State (2-1) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Senftleben, Jennifer 21-2-4; Clement, Niki 14-0-4; Amian, Brianna 13-1-3; Burke, Colleen 9-2-6; Anglin, Keri 8-0-7; Tsukano, Kristal 1-1-0; Burke, Emily 1-0-0; Totals 67-6-13.0. (Assists) - Burke, Emily 60. (Dig leaders) - Tsukano, Kristal 23; Senftleben, Jennifer 13; Burke, Emily 10; Amian, Brianna 9; Clement, Niki 9
New Mexico (3-0) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Fairchild, Jeanne 20-2-1; Meeter, Lisa 18-2-2; Morris, Rose 12-0-2; Michaelsen, Jade 6-0-9; Beck, Kerri 5-0-0; Suiter, Allie 3-0-3; Lehne, Anna 2-0-9; Phillips, Kelsi 0-1-0; Kwasigroch, Sarah 0-1-0; Tripp, Gayle 0-2-0; Totals 66-8-14.0. (Assists) - Kwasigroch, Sarah 37; Michaelsen, Jade 17. (Dig leaders) - Tripp, Gayle 25; Meeter, Lisa 15; Kwasigroch, Sarah 9
Florida Atlantic def. Grambling State 22-30,30-21,30-25,30-9
Grambling State (0-3) (Kills-aces-blocks) - WILLIAMS, Kayla 10-1-1; ARMSTRONG, Sonora 8-0-0; COMBS, Shawnae 5-0-0; JOHNSON, Kendra 5-1-1; WARNER, Markesha 4-1-2; DAVIS, Shawonna 3-0-1; MORGAN, Talon 3-2-2; LEWIS, Jovon 2-0-0; STENNIS, Latisha 1-0-0; COOPER, Ashley 1-0-0; LINZY, Jeanetta 0-1-0; Totals 42-6-4.0. (Assists) - MORGAN, Talon 32. (Dig leaders) - WILLIAMS, Kayla 11; COOPER, Ashley 8; MORGAN, Talon 8
Florida Atlantic (1-2) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Petry, Justine 16-0-4; Abdell, Kala 14-1-0; Castro, Krystena 9-1-4; Evanyo, Katie 7-0-2; Arvidson, Katie 4-0-3; LaRocca, Casey 3-2-1; Johns, Morgan 3-0-0; Deneen, Mallory 1-3-2; Utz, Kendall 0-2-1; Totals 57-9-10.0. (Assists) - LaRocca, Casey 45. (Dig leaders) - Evanyo, Katie 13; Utz, Kendall 10