Nov. 27, 2009
NEW ORLEANS, La. --- After an hour delay, the University of New Mexico volleyball team put the finishing touch on the 2009 regular season with a 3-1 win over the University of New Orleans. The Lobos improved to 20-9 on the season with a 25-18, 25-27, 25-20, 25-21 win at the Human Performance Center on the UNO Lakefront Campus. The win was Lobo head coach Jeff Nelson's 300 collegiate win. With 20 wins, it is the first time since 1991 that the UNM program has posted consecutive 20-win seasons.
New Orleans took a 9-7 lead in the first set, but the Lobos went on a 5-0 run to take the lead, 12-9, that was capped by back-to-back kills by Rose Morris. UNM kept the lead and only allowed UNO to close to within two at 20-18. A Morris kill started another 5-0 run to win the set, 25-18.
In the second set, New Mexico held an 11-10 lead. The Privateers went on a 5-0 run, 15-11, to take the lead. The Lobos closed to within one several times before tying the set at 23-23 on another Morris kill. Morris' next kill gave UNM a 25-24 lead, but a Lobo service error tied the set and UNO finished it, 27-25.
The Privateers took a 12-9 lead in the third set before the Lobos could get on track. Another 5-0 Lobo run, that included two Allison Buck aces, put UNM ahead, 14-12. The Lobos gradually built up a wider lead, keeping UNO 4-5 points away until the final, 25-20.
The fourth set was tight with 12 ties and four lead changes. The Lobos jumped out to a 3-1 lead, but the Privateers battled back. Both teams attacked poorly, swapping numerous attack errors for sideout points. UNM finally got a lead late in the set and Ashley Rhoades finished the match with a kill, 25-21.
Morris finished with a team-high 17 kills, followed by Rhoades and Lisa Meeter with 10 kills each. Defensively, Buck led UNM with 22 digs and had four service aces on the night.
UNM now awaits its NCAA Tournament fate. The 2009 NCAA Selection Show is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 29 at 1 p.m. (MT) on ESPNews (Comcast Channel 102 in Albuquerque).