Lobo Volleyball Readies For Fiesta Bowl Classic
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  08/31/2011
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Aug. 31, 2011

Lobo Volleyball - at Fiesta Bowl Classic (hosted by Northern Arizona)
Who/When: Sept. 2 - Lobos vs. Hampton, 5 p.m. MT
                  Sept. 3 - Lobos vs. San Jose State, 11 a.m. MT
                  Sept. 3 - Lobos at Northern Arizona, 8 p.m. MT

On The Air: NAU TV, bigskytv.org
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Tournament Central

ALBUQUERQUE , N.M. - The Lobos travel to Flagstaff, Ariz., where they will compete in the Fiesta Bowl Classic. UNM will have thee matches spread out over two days. The Lobos begin the tournament with a match up against Hampton at 5 p.m. MT on Friday. On Saturday, UNM faces San Jose State at 11 a.m. MT, along with a late night matchup against host Northern Arizona at 8 p.m. MT. The Lobos enter the tournament with a 1-1 record and are looking to jump start their season with a nice showing.

NEW MEXICO AT A GLANCE: The Lobos compiled a record of 1-1 in the MCM Elegante Lobo Classic, beating South Florida 3-1 and losing to Nebraska 0-3 ... Seniors Allison Buck and Ashley Rhoades were named to the MCM Elegante All-Tournament Team for their performances ... Rhoades had 23 kills and Buck recorded 25 digs over the two matches in the tournament ... Last season, the Lobos made it to the NCAA Tournament for the second season in a row. The Lobos hadn't made it to two consecutive postseasons since they did it in the 1993, `94 seasons, which happened to be the end of a five-year postseason run that spanned from 1990-94, and was subsequently the last time the Lobos were in the NCAA Tournament. With the appearance in 2009, the Lobos broke a drought of 14 years between trips to the national post-season. With last year's postseason birth, UNM now has nine trips to the NCAA Tournament (1981, `88, `90, `91, `92, `93, `94, `09, 2010) ... UNM will face 10 teams receiving votes in the preseason poll this season ... The Lobos were picked second in the 2011 Mountain West Conference Preseason Poll, three shy of first-place Colorado State ... Seniors Buck, the defending All-MW Libero, and middle blocker Rhoades were named to the All-MW Preseason Team ... Buck, Rhoades and fellow senior Kelly Williamson are the team captains for 2010.

Against Hampton (0-0) ... This will be the first meeting between the Lobos and the Lady Pirates.

Against San Jose State (5-3) ... The Lobos lead the all-time series 5-3 over the Spartans. The Lobos are 1-1 against SJSU when playing the Spartans on a neutral court.

Against Northern Arizona (12-8) ... The Lobos lead the all-time series 12-8 over the Lumberjacks. The Lobos won the last meeting between the two, 3-1, in 2007. UNM is undefeated (5-0) at home against NAU and is 3-2 when making the trip to Flagstaff, Ariz.

DOWN THE ROAD: The Lobos will host the Comcast/Sheraton Lobo Invitational Sept. 9-10. UNM will face UC Irvine at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 9, and will match up against Portland State and Montreal on Sept. 10. The Lobos have never faced UC Irvine or Montreal and are 2-2 against Portland State.

THE LOBO Schedule
Aug. 20 - Vs. Alumni
Aug. 26-27 - Lobo tourney
Aug. 26 - Vs. S. Florida
Aug. 27 - Vs. Nebraska
Sept. 2 -3 - N. Ariz tourney
Sept. 2 - Vs. Hampton
Sept. 3 - At N. Arizona
Sept. 3 - Vs. San Jose State
Sept. 9-10 - Lobo tourney
Sept. 9 - Vs. UC Irviine
Sept. 10 - Vs. Portland St
Sept. 10 - Vs. Montreal
Sept. 16-17 - Pitts tourney
Sept. 16 - At Pittsburgh
Sept. 17 - Vs. Delaware
Sept. 17 - Vs. Temple
Sept. 23 - Vs. TCU
Sept. 26 - Vs. Texas Tech
Sept. 29 - At Air Force
Oct. 1 - At Boise State
Oct. 4 - At New Mexico St
Oct. 6 - Vs. UNLV
Oct. 9 - Vs. San Diego St
Oct. 13 - At Colorado State
Oct. 15 - At Wyoming
Oct. 21 - At TCU
Oct. 23 - At Texas Pan Am
Oct. 27 - Vs. Boise State
Oct. 29 - Vs. Air Force
Nov. 3 - At San Diego St
Nov. 5 - At UNLV
Nov. 10 - Vs. Wyoming
Nov. 12 - Vs. Colorado St
Nov. 18-20 - MWC tourney
Nov. 26 - At Long Beach St
Home Games in Bold
MWC Tournament in Johnson Center


• Seniors Allison Buck and Ashley Rhoades were named to the MCM Elegante All-Tournament Team Aug. 26-27. The Lobos compiled a record of 1-1 in their home tournament, beating South Florida 3-1 and losing to Nebraska 0-3.

• The Lobos were picked to finish second in the 2011 Mountain West Preseason Volleyball Poll. Seniors Buck and Rhoades were named to the MW Preseason Team. UNM made this year's vote a close one, finishing just a shade behind CSU for the top spot. If the preseason vote is any indication, the Lobos are continuing to close the gap on CSU's dominance of the MW.

About Hampton (2010 - 1-2, 0-0 MEAC) ... Hampton comes into the Fiesta Bowl Classic with a record of 1-2, after losing matches to Elon (0-3) and Campbell (2-3) and picking up a victory over North Carolina Central (3-2) ... The Lady Pirates return nine letterwinners and three starters from last year's team ... Outside hitter/Libero Sheileen Pagan, who was second on the team in kills and third in digs, will be relied upon to provide leadership to the young squad ... Hampton will also look to a pair of seniors, Mianna Armstrong from Lomond, Alberta and Lihi Elkayam from Misgav, Israel, to pick up the slack as well.

About San Jose State (1-2, 0-0 WAC) ... San Jose State went 1-2 in its season opening tournament, the ASU Sheraton Classic, hosted by Arizona State. SJSU dropped its first two matches to Wisconsin Milwaukee (1-3) and Denver (1-3), and were able to defeat host Arizona State 3-1 ... The Spartans return 10 letterwinners this season, all six starters and the libero ... Outside hitter Hanah Blume is back for her sophomore campaign after being named to the WAC All-Freshman team in 2010. She led the Spartans with 295 kills (2.89 per set) ... Katie Turner returns as the team's libero after leading the team with 321 digs (3.18 per set) ... Middle blocker Alex Akana led the team in blocks last season with 59.

About Northern Arizona (3-0, 0-0 Big Sky) ... Northern Arizona is coming off a big weekend in which it went 3-0 to win the Wolverine Invitational in Orem, Utah ... NAU defeated CSU Bakersfield (3-0), Illinois State (3-2) and Utah Valley (3-1) ... Junior setter Kelli Dallmann was named MVP of the tournament as well as Big Sky Volleyball Player of the Week after averaging 11.00 assists and 2.92 digs per set and recording two double-doubles in the three matches ... The Lumberjacks feature a very experienced squad, returning nine combined juniors and seniors along with four starters ... One of those returnees is Dallmann, who earned All Big-Sky second team honors last season ... Senior outside hitter Kobi Christensen and junior Lexi Sullivan will be relied upon to lead the attack for NAU in 2011, just as they were last season.

Huge Crowd on hand vs. No. 5 Nebraska ... On Aug. 27 the Lobos hosted the No. 5 team in the nation Nebraska Huskers to a huge crowd of 4,112 fans. The crowd was larger than any crowd UNM hosted last season, beating out the 3,831 that rocked Johnson Center when the Lobos hosted Stanford. It is the second largest crowd ever to watch a match in Johnson Center.

Homegrown Lobos ... Almost half of the 15 players on the UNM roster are local New Mexicans. Seven current Lobos played at high schools in the state of New Mexico. Ashley Rhoades, Chelsae McCampbell and Jayla Trombley all played at Rio Rancho HS, Chantale Riddle (Roswell HS), Jordan Russell (Moriarty HS), Ashley Newman (St. Pius X) and Miquella Lovato (Pojoaque HS).

Freshman seeing early playing time ... True freshman Cara Fisher has seen a significant amount of playing time during the early stages of this season. The Manvel, Texas, native has played in all seven of New Mexico's sets so far this season. Fisher was a late addition to the Lobos' squad, and so far, has been a very pleasant surprise. Her defensive skills are advancing quicker than anyone anticipated, meaning she will most likely continue to play in a significant amount of sets throughout this season.

Preseason Accolades ... The Lobos were picked to finish second in the 2011 Mountain West Preseason Volleyball Poll. Seniors Allison Buck and Ashley Rhoades were named to the MW Preseason Team. UNM made this year's vote a close one, finishing just a shade behind CSU for the top spot. If the preseason vote is any indication, the Lobos are continuing to close the gap on CSU's dominance of the MW.

Playing The Best To Be The Best ... Over four seasons, head coach Jeff Nelson has been a big believer in scheduling a tough, challenging schedule for his team. The team has responded to the challenge each year compiling four-straight winning seasons including three 20-win seasons and two NCAA Tournament appearances. It's not getting any easier for the Lobos in 2011. UNM faces three Top-25 programs and five 2010 NCAA Tournament participants. The Lobos' undefeated conference record (12-4 overall) at home in 2010 ranks as the best home record UNM has compiled against the MW in program history. The 12 conference wins are the most conference wins by the Lobos since the MW formed in 1999 and most in any conference since 1996. The Lobos have also recorded three of their best finishes in conference over the last three seasons, each ranking in the top-ten all time in school history.

Thursday, September 25
7:00 PM - 
at San Josť State
Saturday, September 27
3:00 PM - 
at Nevada
Thursday, October 02
6:30 PM - 
vs. Utah State
Saturday, October 04
12:00 PM - 
vs. Boise State
Thursday, October 09
7:00 PM - 
at San Diego State
Saturday, October 11
7:00 PM - 
Thursday, October 16
7:00 PM - 
vs. Colorado State
Saturday, October 18
2:00 PM - 
vs. Wyoming
Monday, October 20
7:00 PM - 
vs. New Mexico State