Eighth-Seeded Lobos Kick Off MWC Championship Wednesday
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  11/20/2006
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Nov. 20, 2006

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THE GAME: The Lobos (9-19, 5-11 MWC) kick off the Mountain West Conference Championship with ninth-seeded Air Force (3-24, 0-16 MWC) on Wed., Nov. 21 at 3:30 p.m. PT at Cox Pavilion on the UNLV campus. With a win, the eighth-seeded Lobos would play top-seeded and ninth-ranked Utah (25-2, 16-0 MWC) on Thursday in the quarterfinals approx. 40 minutes after the No. 4 UNLV (19-9, 10-6 MWC) - No. 5 Wyoming (13-14, 7-9 MWC) match at 4 p.m. PT.

Thursday's quarterfinal round starts with No. 3 seed Colorado State (17-9, 11-5 MWC) vs. No. 6 seed TCU (17-14, 5-11 MWC) at 11 a.m. (PT), followed by second-seeded and 20th-ranked BYU (24-4, 13-3 MWC) and seventh-seeded San Diego State (11-17, 5-11 MWC), 40 minutes after the conclusion of the CSU/TCU match. The quarterfinal winners will advance to the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 24 at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. (PT). The championship match will take place Saturday, Nov. 25 at 8 p.m. (PT).

For the seventh straight year, the Mountain West Volleyball Championship will be televised. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be televised by the mtn. - MountainWest Sports Network. All four of Thursday's quarterfinal matches and Friday's first semifinal contest will be shown live, with the second semifinal to be shown via same day tape delay at 9:30 p.m. (PT). For the third straight season, the MWC Tournament championship match will be shown live nationally on College Sports Television (CSTV). The championship contest will also be streamed live as part of CSTV's All-Access package, available on the CSTV (www.cstv.com) and MWC (www.themwc.com) Web sites.

AIR TIME (All Pacific Time):
Thursday, Nov. 24
Match #1 - #3 Colorado State vs. #6 TCU, 11 a.m. - the mtn.
Match #2 - #2 BYU vs. #7 San Diego State, 40 minutes after end of Match #1 - the mtn.
Match #3 - #4 UNLV vs. #5 Wyoming, 4 p.m. - the mtn.
Match #4 - #1 Utah vs. Winner of #8 UNM/#9 AFA, 40 minutes after end of Match #3 - the mtn.

Friday, Nov. 25
Match #5 - Winners of Match No. 1 and Match No. 2, 1:30 p.m. - the mtn.
Match #6 - Winners of Match No. 3 and Match No. 4, 4 p.m. - *the mtn.

Saturday, Nov. 26
Match #7 - Championship Match, 8 p.m. - CSTV

*Shown via same delay tape delay at 9:30 p.m. PT.

HISTORY LESSON: The Mountain West Conference Championshipa have not been very friendly to the Lobos. Since its inception in 1999, the Lobos have gone 1-7, getting their sole win over Air Force, 3-2, in 1999. Last year, New Mexico fell 30-18, 31-29, 30-13 to No. 2 seeded Colorado State in Las Vegas. Chelsea Sondrup led UNM with a match-high 14 kills, hitting .550 (14K-3E-20TA). Sondrup and Kelly Therkelsen both recorded three blocks. Kim Cox set a personal best with three kills, hitting .286 (3K-1E-7TA). Nicole Ryan added five kills and five digs while Therkelsen posted four kills. Tanna Taylor dished out a team-high 26 assists while Samie Weber topped the team in digs with six. Below is a breakdown of the Lobos records at the conference tournament:

Record: 1-7
Record in Las Vegas: 0-1
Record in Fort Collins, Colo.: 0-2
Record in San Diego: 0-1
Record in Salt Lake City: 0-1
Record in Provo, Utah: 0-2
Record in 3 games: 0-5
Record in 4 games: 0-1
Record in 5 games: 1-1
Last 5 matches: 0-5
Last UNM win: 11/25/99 (3-2 vs. AFA)
Last UNM loss: 11/24/05 (3-0 vs. CSU)
Record vs. Air Force at MWC Tourney: 1-0
Record vs. BYU at MWC Tourney: 0-1
Record vs. Colorado State at MWC Tourney: 0-3
Record vs. San Diego State at MWC Tourney: 0-2

IN THE PAST: New Mexico holds a six-match win streak over Air Force, including a season sweep of the series thanks to two shutouts. Three Lobos average over 3.00 kills per game against the Falcons in sophomore Jeanne Fairchild (3.50) and freshman Rose Morris (3.33) and Allison Suiter (3.00). Sophomore Sarah Kwasigroch has a team-high .462 attack percentage against AFA, hitting .462 (6K-0E-13TA), and has an 11.50 assists per game average. Sophomore Gayle Tripp leads the team in digs vs. Air Force this season, averaging 5.83 per game while classmate Joelle Ingram has a 1.83 blocks per game average to lead the Lobos. Below is the series breakdown:

Series Record: 16-3, New Mexico
Record in Albuquerque: 8-1, UNM
Record in Colorado Springs: 7-2, UNM
Record at neutral site: 1-0, UNM
Record in 3 games: 9-3, UNM
Record in 4 games: 4-0, UNM
Record in 5 games: 3-0, UNM
Last 5 matches: 5-0, UNM
Last 10 matches: 8-2, UNM
Last UNM win: 10/20/06 (3-0)
Last UNM loss: 10/24/03 (3-0)
Last UNM home win: 10/20/06 (3-0)
Last UNM home loss: 10/24/03 (3-0)
Last UNM road win: 9/23/06 (3-0)
Last UNM road loss: 9/26/03 (3-0)
Last UNM neutral win: 11/24/99 (3-2)
Last UNM neutral loss: n/a
Last UNM season sweep: 2006
Last UNM season swept: 2003
Last UNM shutout win: 10/20/06 (3-0)
Last UNM shutout loss: 10/24/03 (3-0)
Longest UNM win streak: 8, 11/12/99-10/25/02
Longest UNM losing streak: 2, 9/26/03-10/24/03

SCOUTING THE FALCONS: Air Force is 3-24 overall and 0-16 in the Mountain West Conference heading into the conference tournament. The Falcons have lost nine straight, all 3-0. However, two of their three wins have come on neutral courts this season. They are 0-10 at home, 1-10 on the road and 2-4 on neutral floors.

As a team, the Falcons are last in the MWC in every category except aces with a 1.54 per game average. They hit .063 while their opponents hit .272 and average 8.84 assists, 9.78 kills, 1.62 blocks and 12.06 digs per game. Their opponents have posted averages of 14.88 kills, 13.26 assists, 2.27 aces, 15.65 digs and 2.19 blocks per game. In the two games so far this season, UNM has hit .231 while AFA has hit .063. The Lobos average 15.17 kills, 13.00 assists, 2.00 aces, 18.17 digs and 2.83 blocks against Air Force while the Falcons average 11.50 kills, 10.33 assists, 1.67 aces, 15.33 digs and 1.00 blocks vs. New Mexico.

Individually, two Falcons place in the conference top-10. Rebecca Gerton is second in the MWC in aces at 0.39 per game while Kim Kallabis is ninth is assists at 6.71 per game. AFA's top hitters are Katie Batchelder and Jocelyn Booker. Batchelder has a team-high 2.62 kills per game average while Booker is hitting a team-high .177. Jaclyn Fleming leads the team in digs (3.68 per game) while Booker has a team-high 56 blocks (0.71 per game).

Thursday, August 20
6:30 PM - 
vs. Cherry vs. Silver
Friday, August 28
8:00 AM - 
at Belmont
3:00 PM - 
at Albany
Saturday, August 29
5:00 PM - 
at Ball State