Oct. 29, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The University of New Mexico volleyball team had a successful “Think Pink” night, as the Lobos dispatched of the Air Force Falcons,3-0, for the sweep in front of 2,784 fans.
Saturday was UNM volleyball’s annual breast cancer awareness night, referred to as “Think Pink.” It was a successful night all around for the Lobos. UNM took care of the task at hand by defeating the Air Force Falcons. Their other task at hand was to raise money for the “Think Pink” cause. Check and check, as the Lobos raised $4,017.15 for the UNM Hospitals.
UNM looked great for the second consecutive match. Serving was definitely the Lobos strength against the Falcons. UNM finished the match with 10 service aces, five by senior Allison Buck alone. The Lobos are hitting their stride at the right time going into the second half of conference play. All of the athletes are beaming with confidence, riding a three-match winning streak.
“We had to come in and pretty much dominate (Boise State and Air Force) now that we are in the second half of conference,” senior Ashley Rhoades said. “I thought we did that well this weekend.” Head coach Jeff Nelson was thrilled with his teams’ performance against Air Force.
“I feel pretty good about the fact that we have raised our level of play,” Nelson said. “I think the right things are happening. We just have to keep working hard.”
Game One: Lobos 25, Air Force 15
The first set was a breeze for the Lobos as they downed Air Force, 25-15. UNM jumped out to a 7-0 lead and it was just like clockwork from there on out. Rhoades was on fire, connecting for six kills on seven attempts without an error, giving her a mind-boggling .857 hitting percentage. Sophomore setter Mariah Agre was quarterbacking the offense with ease. Her 12 assists helped the Lobos achieve a .345 hitting percentage as a team in game one. Chantale Riddle also picked up right where she left off in the Boise State match, recording five digs. Buck’s defense wasn’t too shabby either. The senior picked up six digs to help the Lobos blow out Air Force in game one.
Game Two: Lobos 25, Air Force 17
The Lobos fell behind early to Air Force, 10-5, but they clawed their way back into it by reeling off 14 straight points to take a 19-10 lead. Buck and Rhoades were huge for the Lobos during that stretch. Buck recorded four service aces during the scoring spree and Rhoades picked up four blocks and three kills. Kelly Williamson remained steady in game two, recording four kills in just six attempts. Buck was also strong, upping her kills total to 14 by the end of the second set. The Lobos were riding high after another great game against the Falcons. Cami Richan was the one standout for Air Force. The sophomore had six kills after the second set.
Game Three: Lobos 25, Air Force 17
UNM continued to pour it on in the third set. Air Force was no match for the rejuvenated Lobos. The Lobos finished off the Falcons, 25-17, for the three game sweep. Rhoades ended her night with 17 kills and a .379 hitting percentage. The senior was by far the most explosive player on the court Saturday night. Buck finished her night with 22 digs and five service aces, while the Lobos third senior, Williamson, added 10 kills.
“This win was really important because it is the second half of conference play,” Buck said. “So, getting a sweep over Air Force gives us momentum going into next week for UNLV and San Diego State.”
The Lobos improve their record to 13-10 and 5-5 in the Mountain West with the victory. Up next, the Lobos will travel to San Diego, Calif., and Las Vegas to face San Diego State and UNLV on Nov. 3 and Nov. 5, respectively.