Thursday, Oct. 3: Lobos @ Utah State, 7 p.m. MT
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Saturday, Oct. 5: Lobos @ Boise State, 7 p.m. MT
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GoLobos.com: Final Stats, Match Recaps, Season Stats
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The University of New Mexico volleyball team heads west this weekend for a pair of Mountain West road matches, stopping first at Utah State on Thursday before traveling to Boise State for Saturday contest. Both matches begin at 7 p.m. MT and will have live stats and live streaming provided by the host institution.
LOWDOWN ON THE LOBOS (11-2, 2-1 Mountain West)
Quick Lobo notes
2013 Preseason MW Poll: Fifth
Last week: UNM went 2-1 with a five-set win at NMSU on Sept. 23 and a sweep of Wyoming at home on Sept. 26 before dropping a five-set heartbreaker to last week’s No. 19-ranked Colorado State at home.
Pretty neat: The Lobos outblocked Wyoming -- the No. 1 blocking team in the nation -- 12-2 on Sept. 26. New Mexico was the first team to take nationally-ranked and undefeated Colorado State to five sets this season.
Four Lobos Rank Top-80 Nationally: Ross is No. 39 for blocks/set (1.30) & No. 49 for hitting percentage (.382); Riddle is No. 49 for points/set (4.46) & No. 77 for kills/set (3.71); Lovato is No. 51 for digs/set (4.73) & Johnson is No. 80 for assists/set (10.25)
Lobos ranked top-25 in stats categories: As a team the Lobos rank No. 25 for match w-l pct. (0.846) & No. 12 for blocks/set with 2.85
Lobos atop the Mountain West: Lobos are No. 1 in opponent hitting percentage (.110) and in blocks-per-set in conference matches (3.58); Riddle is No. 1 among MW players for points/set (4.46); Johnson leads the league in double-doubles with nine; Ross leads the league in hitting percentage in conference play (.458); Julia Warren’s .619 hitting percentage (13-0-21) against Wyoming on Sept. 26 is the highest of any MW player in a conference match this season (third in overall matches).
The Lobos went 2-1 last week with a five-set victory at New Mexico State on Sept. 23 and a sweep of Wyoming at home on Sept. 26. The Lobos dropped a five-set heartbreaker to last week's No. 19/this week's No. 17 Colorado State at home on Sept. 28 (25-27, 18-25, 27-25, 25-16, 13-15). New Mexico saw a 10-match winning streak come to an end with the loss to the Rams.
"We're looking to get three, high energy, shorter practices in early this week and keep our energy up for travel and then see if we can't go out and steal a couple of wins on the road," head coach Jeff Nelson said. "It's a long trip, but I'm actually looking forward to it. After last week's intense matches I think it will be nice to get out on the road and just have some time with the team and hopefully just keep getting better."
Redshirt junior Chantale Riddle continues to pace the Lobos with 3.71 kills. She's second in the league in that category. Riddle leads the league and the Lobos in points, averaging 4.46. The right-side hitter adds 2.12 digs-per-set and 0.96 blocks-per-set.
Freshmen outside hitters Julia Warren and Cassie House average 2.38 and 2.03 kills-per-set while senior middle blocker Lexi Ross hits at a .382 clip and averages 2.02 kills-per-set. Ross is also second in the MW in blocks-per-set with an average of 1.30.
Redshirt sophomore Hannah Johnson handles setting duties for UNM and dishes out 10.25 assist-per-set. She is the league leader in double-doubles with nine.
Senior libero Miquella Lovat is second in the MW in digs-per-set with an average of 4.73.
A LITTLE ON UTAH STATE (9-5, 3-1 Mountain West)Series Notes
All-time: Lobos lead, 11-10 (0-5 before 1980)
Under Nelson: N/A
Last meeting: Lobos lost, 3-1, to Utah State at home on Aug. 25, 2006
In Logan: Lobos are 5-2
In three sets: Lobos lead, 8-2
In four sets: Tied, 2-2
In five sets: Tied, 1-1
Last five matches: Lobos are 4-1
Last 10 matches: Lobos are 8-2
Last 20 matches: Lobos are 11-9
Last Lobo win: 3-0 in Logan, Nov. 3, 1989
"I think Utah State will be one of the toughest matches of the year," Nelson said of the Lobos' first stop.
Mountain West newcomer Utah State has won four of its last five matches and is 1-0 at home in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
It's the first time the Lobos and Aggies are facing off on the volleyball court since August 2006 when Utah State beat the Lobos, 3-1, in Albuquerque.
"They're a good team, they're really physical and they've got some great setting," Nelson added. "As far as our road matches go, it will be one of the toughest. I think they have a great home atmosphere and an arena that they're very successful in."
Utah State was picked to finish fourth in the Mountain West preseason poll, one spot ahead of New Mexico.
The Aggies are coming off a 1-1 week with a loss at Fresno State (1-3) on Sept. 26 and a 3-0 win at San José State on Sept. 28. Utah State hit a scorching .416 (47-5-101) against the Spartans.
The Aggies are fourth in the league in hitting percentage, hitting at a .222 clip and rank third in opponent hitting percentage (.191). They are also fourth in the league in blocks-per-set with an average of 2.55.
Junior outside hitter Rachel Orr leads Utah State with 3.56 kills-per-set and boasts an attack percente of .222. She also averages 2.35 digs-per-set and 0.64 blocks-per-set. Senior middle blocker Alyssa Everett paces the Aggies with a 1.28 blocks-per-set average. Junior middle blocker Kaitlyn Vanhoff adds 1.15 blocks-per-set and adds 1.89 kills-per-set. Paige Neves handlse setting duties and averages 10.06 assists-per-set and adds 2.33 digs-per-set.
THE BASICS ON BOISE STATE (7-6, 2-2 Mountain West)Series Notes
All-time: Lobos lead, 4-1
Under Nelson: Lobos lead, 4-1
Last season: Lobos won, 3-2, at home on Oct. 4 in The Pit, and lost, 3-0, in Boise on Nov. 3
In Boise: Lobos are 1-1
In three sets: Tied, 1-1
In four sets: Lobos lead, 1-0
In five sets: Lobos lead, 1-0
Last five matches: Lobos are 4-1
"Boise State is interesting," Nelson said. "They haven't had a great start, but they are well coached and they have some great players back from last season. They've been up and down as the season goes, but they had a really good road trip last week at San José State and Fresno State. They certainly turned heads as they came from behind and won in five in both matches.
We're going to focus on Utah State until Thursday and then Friday we'll get in the gym and start working on Boise State."
Junior outside hitter Alyssa Gammel paces the Broncos with 2.75 kills-per-set while senior outside Sarah Horton and junior outside Taylor Murphey add 2.46 and 2.42, respectively.
Senior Casey Rose and sophomore Sarah Baugh split setting duties with Rose averaging 5.96 assists-per-set and Baugh dishing out 5.24.
Defensively, junior middle blocker Brittany Reardon leads BSU with 0.86 blocks-per-set while Hannah Hubbard, a freshman, digs at a 3.78 per-set rate.
MORE LOBO VOLLEYBALL NOTES
A RESPECTABLE STREAK, BUT NOT THE RECORD...While 10-consecutive wins the Lobos had from Aug. 31-Sept. 26 was respectable, it is not the Lobo record. It actually ranks tied for fourth in program history for longest win streak. The most consecutive wins for the Lobos is 16, done Oct. 11-Dec. 6, 1991. Last season the Lobos won 11 straight, which ranks third in program history for win streaks and is the longest streak recorded by a UNM team coached by Nelson.
NOT A BAD SEPTEMBER...The Lobos went 8-1 in September, including a 7-1 at home, lost just five sets and swept five teams.
SIXTY-NINE PERCENT CHANCE...Redshirt sophomore Hannah Johnson has a Mountain West-best nine double-doubles in the Lobos’ first 13 matches of the season, which means there’s a 69-percent chance she’ll double-double when she steps on the court.
SHE'LL DIGGITY, NO DOUBT...Lobo Libero Miquella Lovato is averaging 4.73 digs-per-set and there’s not much the senior misses in the back court, leaving no doubt in her teammates’ minds she’s protecting the court. She recorded her 1,000th career dig early in the third set against Northern Arizona on Sept. 14, becoming the 13th Lobo to reach the milestone. Her season-high is 26, which came in UNM’s 3-2 win at New Mexico State on Sept. 23. Her career-high is 27, which she did twice last year; first in a 3-2 win over UALR on Sept. 14 and the other in a 3-1 loss at Fresno State on Sept. 27. Lovato is second in the league for digs-per-set, trailing Wyoming senior Libero Becky Stewart who averages 4.96.
RIDDLE LEADING THE LEAGUE IN POINTS...Redshirt junior Chantale Riddle leads the league in points with a set average of 4.46. The Lobos’ top offensive player led the league in both points and kills a majority of last season and finished as the league leader.
YOU GOT SWATTED...Nothing seems to pump the Lobos up more than a big block. The Lobos are second in the MW for blocks/set with 2.85 and have a commanding lead in the league in solo blocks with 51. Middle blocker Lexi Ross is second among MW players for blocks/set with an average of 1.30.
FEEL THAT FRESHMEN IMPACT...The biggest impact the newcomers have had is in the outside (L1 and L2) positions. Julia Warren is a six-rotation outside who is averaging 2.38 kills/set and 2.21 digs/set. Freshman Cassie House averages 2.03 kills/set and has led the Lobos in that category two matches, against Air Force and New Mexico State. Devanne Sours has played in 23 sets serving as an outside and at times, an opposite. Sours averages 1.43 kills/set and has a block solo and two block assists. Maddie Mayfield fills in in the back row for House or Sours and the La Cueva graduate is averaging 1.55 digs/set and leads the team in ace serves with 11.
WARREN THE TARGET...Freshman Julia Warren is often the serving target for opposing teams having received 388 times. Senior libero Miquella Lovato has the second-most reception attempts with 148. Warren has handled the pressure well with a serve-receive percentage of .956, committing 17 errors on the first pass over 13 matches.Most of her botched passes were in the first weekend at the Arkansas Invitational as Warren has committed just eight errors on serve-receive since that tournament (in the last 10 matches).