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Lobos Face No. 3 Hawai'i In First Round Of NCAA Tournament
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  12/01/2009

Dec. 1, 2009

  • Game Notes -vs. Hawai'i (NCAA Tournament First Round)

    Up Next In Lobo Volleyball
    2009 NCAA Tournament - First & Second Rounds
    vs. No. 3 Hawai'i • Dec. 4 • 6 p.m. (MT)
    Second Round (USC/Oklahoma) • Dec. 5 • 8 p.m. (MT)
    Galen Center • Los Angeles, Calif.

    This Week ... The Lobos (20-9, 10-6 MWC) earned an at-large bid to the 2009 NCAA Tournament. UNM will face No. 12 seed Hawai'i (28-2) in the first round on Friday night, Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. at the Galen Center. Host No. 15 Southern California (21-9) and Oklahoma (18-11) will play the late match at 8 p.m.

    Ticket Prices ... All-session tickets will be available for purchase up until late Friday - $15 for adults; $12 for children/students/seniors. Single session tickets are also available - $10 for adults; $6 for children/students/seniors. Fans can contact the USC ticket office at (213) 740-4672.

    If You Can't Make It To LA ... Fans can follow along on the internet at GoLobos.com with Gametracker and video streaming. Assistant media relations director Judy Willson will be allowed limited twittering during the match at www.twitter.com/jwillson10.

    How This Works ... The 64-team team bracket is broken into four regionals. The four regional sites are pre-determined - Gainesville, Fla.; Stanford, Calif.; Minneapolis, Minn.; and Omaha, Neb. New Mexico is in a Stanford sub-regional.

    LOBOS IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT QUICK HITS & OTHER TIDBITS

    • It is the eighth time the Lobos have made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament - 1981, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 2009.

    • UNM is 5-7 in the NCAA Tournament, having advanced to the Second Round five times.

    • This is the third collegiate program that Lobo head coach Jeff Nelson has taken to the NCAA Tournament - Texas Tech (1995, `96, `98, 2000, `01), San Francisco (2003) and New Mexico (2009).

    • Lobo head coach Jeff Nelson earned his 300th collegiate coaching victory on Nov. 27 when UNM defeated New Orleans, 3-1. Nelson is 300-176 in 15 seasons as a college head coach.

    • The win against New Orleans also put the Lobos at 20 wins for the second consecutive season. It is the first time since 1991 that UNM has recorded consecutive 20-win seasons. UNM had four consecutive 20-win seasons from 1988-91.

    About New Mexico (20-9, 10-6 MWC) ... The Lobos are making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1994, a drought of 14 years between trips to the national post-season. This is UNM's eighth trip to the NCAA Tournament (1981, `88, `90, `91, `92, `93, `94 and 2009) ... Three Lobos showed up on the 2009 All-Mountain West Conference team. Junior setter Jade Michaelsen made a repeat appearance on the team, while senior outside hitter Rose Morris and junior outside hitter Taylor Hadfield earned their first post-season conference accolades ... UNM went 5-0 on breast cancer awareness nights during the 2009 season, 4-0 when wearing the new pink Nike jerseys. UNM hosted Utah on Nov. 5 for the Lobos' Think Pink Night in conjunction with UNM Hospital and the UNM Cancer Center. The Lobos won three big road matches wearing their new pink Nike jerseys on opponents' breast cancer awareness matches - at Utah, at New Mexico State and at Air Force - and one without the jerseys at UNLV ... Another losing streak came to an end on Oct. 13 as the Lobos beat New Mexico State, 3-0 in Las Cruces, 10-match overall and 8-match road losing streaks ... The Lobos beat Utah, 3-1, on Saturday, Oct. 10, the first win for UNM on Crimson Court since 1996 and with the home win on Nov. 5, swept the home-and-home series for the first time since 1996 ... UNM picked up its first MWC win of the season at Wyoming on Sept. 26 (3-1) and won three straight after an 0-2 start ... Senior Rose Morris made her return to the court after a finger injury on Oct. 3 against Air Force with 11 kills over two sets. Morris missed seven matches, during which the Lobos were 3-4 ... Junior Taylor Hadfield leads the team with 2.65 kills per set, one of five players with 2.13 or more kps on the season ... Junior Jade Michaelsen leads UNM in assists with 10.34 per set ... Junior Lisa Meeter has the most service aces this season with 29 ... On defense, sophomore Allison Buck leads the Lobos with a 4.06 digs per set average, while senior Anna Lehne and sophomore Ashley Rhoades lead UNM in blocking with 1.08 per set, each ... UNM placed third at the Arizona Invitational. Jade Michaelsen was named to the all-tournament team ... UNM finishes second at the 2009 Comcast Lobo Challenge to Baylor. Michaelsen and Morris were named to the all-tournament team ... UNM won the 2009 Nike Portland Invitational with wins over American and Portland. Michaelsen was named MVP of the tournament, while Meeter and Buck were named to the all-tournament team ... UNM won the 2009 MCM Elegante Lobo Classic to begin the season. It is the third season in a row the Lobos have started the season 3-0 and won the MCM Elegante Lobo Classic. Lehne was named the tournament MVP, and joined by Michaelsen and Buck on the all-tournament team ... The Lobos were picked third in the 2009 Mountain West Conference Preseason Poll, the same place they finished the 2008 season. The big difference this season is UNM earned three first-place votes from the voting panel of coaches and media ... Junior setter Jade Michaelsen was named MWC Preseason Co-Player of the Year by the same voting group ... Michaelsen and Morris are the team captains for 2009.

    Lobo Volleyball History in the NCAA Tournament (5-7; 7 previous appearances)

    1981
    First Round (Albuquerque, N.M.) - UNM d. Miami (Ohio), 3-1
    Regional Semifinal (San Diego, Calif.) - San Diego State d. UNM, 3-0

    1988
    First Round (Lexington, Ky.) - Kentucky d. UNM, 3-2

    1990
    First Round (Albuquerque, N.M.) - UNM d. Pepperdine, 3-0
    Regional Semifinal (Los Angeles, Calif. ) - UCLA d. UNM, 3-1

    1991
    First Round (Albuquerque, N.M.) - UNM d. Washington State, 3-1
    Regional Semifinal (Palo Alto, Calif.) - UCLA d. UNM, 3-0

    1992
    First Round (Albuquerque, N.M.) - Arizona State d. UNM, 3-2

    1993
    First Round (Albuquerque, N.M.) - UNM d. Santa Clara, 3-1
    Second Round (Los Angeles, Calif.) - UCLA d. UNM, 3-0

    1994
    First Round (Albuquerque, N.M.) - UNM d. Washington State, 3-2
    Second Round (Los Angeles, Calif.) - USC d. UNM, 3-0

    About Hawai'i (28-2, 16-0 Western Athletic Conference; Hawaii leads the series, 6-0) ... The No. 3 ranked Rainbow Wahine are the No. 12 national seed in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. Hawai'i won the Western Athletic Conference's regular season and tournament championships to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. It is Hawai'i's 17th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament and 28th overall. Head coach Dave Shoji is in his 34th season at UH and earned his 1,000th career victory during the season. Hawai'i is led offensively by sophomore outside hitter Kanani Danielson with 4.12 kills per set and a .335 hitting percentage. Junior setter Dani Mafua averages 11.67 assists per set. Defensively, junior libero Elizabeth Ka'aihue leads the back row with 3.64 digs per set, while freshman middle blocker Brittany Hewitt averages 1.33 blocks per set on the front row. The Rainbow Wahine have won 24 straight matches coming into the tournament. Hawai'i and New Mexico have not met on the volleyball court since Oct. 31, 1998.

    Possible Second Round opponents:

    About Southern California (21-9, 10-8 Pac 10 Conference; USC leads the series, 3-1) ... The No. 15 ranked Women of Troy are making their 19th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament, 26th overall, earning an at-large bid in 2009. USC finished fifth in the Pacific 10 Conference. Head coach Mick Haley is in his ninth season at USC. Sophomore outside hitter Alex Jupiter leads USC offensively with 4.57 kills per set and a .245 attack percentage. Kendall Bateman, a sophomore setter, averages 12.51 assists per set. Senior libero Alli Hillgren averages 4.51 digs per set, while junior middle blocker Audrey Eichler leads the front row defense with 1.03 blocks per set. The last time USC and New Mexico faced each other on the volleyball court was the Lobos last NCAA Tournament match in Los Angeles on Dec. 3, 1994.

    About Oklahoma (18-11, 11-9 Big XII Conference; Oklahoma leads the series, 2-1) ... Oklahoma is receiving votes in the most recent Top 25 polls and earned an at-large bid to the 2009 NCAA Tournament. It is the Sooners sixth appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Santiago Restrepo is in his sixth season with the Sooners. OU is led by sophomore right-side hitter Suzy Boulavsky with 3.07 kills per set and a .227 hitting percentage. Sophomore setter Brianne Barker averages 9.90 assists per set. Freshman defensive specialist Maria Fernanda averages 4.42 digs per set. In the front row, junior middle blocker Sarah Freudenrich averages 1.03 blocks per set. The last time the Lobos and Sooners faced each other on the volleyball court was Sept. 16, 1989.

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