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New Mexico Volleyball Hosts TCU Friday
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  11/03/2010
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Nov. 3, 2010

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By Chelsea Einerwold, Writer/GoLobos.com

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The University of New Mexico volleyball team hosts Mountain West Conference foe Texas Christian University at 7 p.m. on Friday in the Johnson Center. The Lobos (15-8 overall, 7-3 MWC) will look to claim revenge on the Horned Frogs (13-11 overall, 4-6 MWC) after losing 3-0 in Fort Worth on Oct. 8.

New Mexico is coming off a solid weekend in which they earned two conference wins on the road. The Lobos topped UNLV 3-1 (22-25, 25-17, 25-9, 25-19) last Friday, and took care of Air Force 3-1 (25-13, 25-16, 22-25, 25-6) on Sunday. New Mexico ranks second in the MWC.

Lobo junior Ashley Rhoades had a stellar weekend, hitting .600 and tallying 25 kills.

Head coach Jeff Nelsen was also pleased with the performance of seniors Taylor Hadfield, Lisa Meeter and Jade Michaelsen.

"Our seniors have really stepped up the last few weeks," he said. "They have really engaged themselves and are playing well."

All three of the Lobo veterans are among the top-ten in the MWC in at least one statistical category.

Hadfield is seventh in the conference in hitting percentage with .300 accuracy. The middle hitter is eighth for kills, with 256.

Michaelsen has 836 set assists, sitting her third in the MWC. She averages 10.32 assists per set.

Meeter is fourth in the conference for kills with 270, and is ninth for service aces with 22. The all-around player also has 253 digs, placing her tenth in the MWC. Joining the seniors in cracking the conference top ten categories is junior Allison Buck. The Lobo libero has 321 digs, ranking her third.

With six games to go in regular season play, Nelsen wants the Lobos to focus on each match one at a time. He adds he likes the technically sound and quick system this year's team has embraced and is confident they can finish at least second in the conference.

"What is important right now is positioning ourselves for postseason and I think finishing second in the conference will take care of that," he said. "I want to see them play hard every night. We just need to be focused on competing and get better at it every week."

The Johnson Center has proved to be a lively volleyball environment. New Mexico ranks 15th in the country for volleyball attendance at 2,061 fans per contest. All the support has helped the Lobos to remain undefeated in conference play at home this season, having taken care of Air Force, UNLV, BYU and Utah.

TCU enters Friday's match sitting sixth in the MWC and coming off a 1-1 road trip weekend in which they defeated Air Force, 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-21), and fell to UNLV, 3-2 (20-25, 25-22, 25-14, 20-25, 11-15).

The Frogs were supposed to play Prairie View A&M on Tuesday, Nov. 2, but the game was postponed due to a stomach virus that was circulating through the TCU team. Statistically, the Frogs stand out in the conference ranking first for assists (1116), kills (1190) and digs (1482). TCU is second for hitting percentage (.243) and service aces (137).

Senior Irene Hester leads the Frogs at the net. The outside hitter is first in the conference with 300 kills. She also has 30 service aces, ranking her second in the MWC.

The Frogs' setter Meghan Horio is sixth in the conference for assists, with 790, and freshman libero Kay Lin Connoly is fifth for digs, with 284.

Looking ahead, New Mexico will host No. 14 Colorado State at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 11, and Wyoming at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13. The Lobos fell to Colorado 0-3 on Oct. 16 and defeated Wyoming 3-0 on Oct. 14.

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