New Mexico Lobos Volleyball
Thursday: Lobos host Boise State, 7 p.m. MT
Follow Along: Live stats | Live stream (ProView Networks)
Saturday: Lobos host Utah State, 12 p.m. MT
Follow Along: Live stats | Live stream (ProView Networks)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The University of New Mexico volleyball team returns to the Johnson Center for a pair of Mountain West conference matches this weekend. The Lobos start with Boise State at 7 p.m. MT on Thursday before taking the court against Utah State at 12 p.m. MT on Saturday. Live stats and live streaming will be provided for both matches. See the Lobo volleyball schedule on GoLobos.com, for links.
LOWDOWN ON THE LOBOS
The Lobos are coming off a 1-1 week on the Mountain West road, first defeating UNLV, 3-1, on Oct. 31 before being swept for the first time this season at San Diego State on Nov. 2. UNM is in a three-way tie for the No. 3 spot in MW standings and has an 18-5 overall and 8-4 MW mark.
"We knew we had to get at least one win on this road trip -- it was a tough road trip," head coach Jeff Nelson said. "Thursday night at UNLV we avenged our earlier-this-season loss to them and really played one of our best matches of the season. The games we won, we won decisively and really, had a complete match out of everyone on the team. I thought it was definitely our best road performance.
'We played at San Diego State on Saturday at noon and we couldn't find a rhythm. Sometimes that happens after you play really well, you fail to get refocused. It would've been nice to have gone 2-0, but we feel like we're still in a good place and we'll have to take care of business and finish out the season strong."
New Mexico leads the conference in opponent hitting percentage in overall matches, holding foes to .141 accuracy. The Lobos are No. 3 in the conference in blocks-per-set for overall matches, with an average of 2.80. They’re No. 15 in the nation in that category.
Redshirt junior Chantale Riddle continues to pace the Lobos and the MW in overall and conference-only matches with 4.00 kills-per-set and 4.73 points-per-set. In MW-only matches, she averages 4.02 kills-per-set and 4.68 points-per-set. She is No. 30 in the nation in points-per-set and No. 42 for kills-per-set. Riddle is also UNM’s leader in aces with 14 on the season.
Outside hitters Julia Warren and Cassie House add 2.47 and 2.44 kills-per-set while senior middle blocker Lexi Ross hits at a team-best .336 clip and averages 1.93 kills-per-set and 1.12 blocks-per-set. Warren contributes in digs at a per-set rate of 2.58.
Redshirt sophomore Hannah Johnson handles setting duties for UNM and dishes out 10.76 assists-per-set. She is tied as the league leader in double-doubles in overall and MW matches with 14 and six, respectively. Senior libero Miquella Lovato is second in the league in digs-per-set with an average of 4.72.
Sophomore middle blocker Skye Gullatt is the highest ranked underclassmen in the MW top-10 for blocks at fourth with 1.27 stuffs-per-set.
ABOUT THE BOISE STATE BRONCOS
The Broncos enter the week No. 5 in the Mountain West standings with an 11-12 overall and 5-8 MW mark. Boise State is coming off a 1-1 week at home, being swept by No. 9 Colorado State on Oct. 31 before sweeping Wyoming on Nov. 2.
The Lobos defeated the Broncos, 3-1, in Boise on Oct. 5 (25-22, 20-25, 25-20, 25-22). Last season UNM split with BSU, winning in five at home (The Pit) on Oct. 4 before being swept by the Broncos in Boise on Nov. 3.
Junior outside hitter Alyssa Gammel leads BSU with 2.81 kills-per-set while senior outside hitter Sarah Horton adds 2.64. Redshirt middle blocker Brittany Reardon has the highest hitting percentage at .377 and adds 0.81 blocks-per-set.
Senior Casey Rose has 24 ace serves for a 0.29 per-set average. Rose and sophomore Sarah Baugh handle setting duties and average 5.57 and 5.52 per-set.
Freshman libero Hannah Hubbard digs at a 3.86 per-set rate.
"Boise State is a good team," Nelson said. "They throw a lot of different things at you. They're really fast -- the fastest team we've played all year in terms of an offense. They do a lot of different things. We'll do a lot today and tomorrow to get ready for that.
"They haven't been consistent, but they've won a couple of big matches and had some surprises."
ABOUT THE AGGIES
Mountain West newcomer Utah State enters the week in a three-way tie for third in the Mountain West standings with a 15-8 overall and 8-4 MW record. The Aggies are coming off a 1-1 week, defeating Wyoming, 3-1, at home before falling to No. 9 Utah State in five, also at home. Utah State won the first two sets against the Rams before dropping the next three, giving CSU a scare and threatening the MW leader’s untarnished record.
The Lobos swept Utah State in Logan on Oct. 2 by set scores of 25-20, 25-15, 25-17.
Junior outside hitter Rachel Orr leads all Aggies with a 3.31 kills-per-set average. Sophomore right-side hitter Elle Brainard and senior outside Tumua Etimani add 2.95 and 2.69, respectively.
USU outblocks its opponents, 2.68 to 2.41 with junior middle blocker Kaitlyn Vanhoff and senior middle Alyssa Everett leading in stuffs-per-set with 1.31 and 1.23, respectively.
Junior Paige Neves handles setting duties, dishing out 10.46 per-set and adding 2.42 digs-per-set. Junior libero Ashlan Rogers-Court carries a 4.22 digs-per-set average while Orr and Etimani add 2.56 and 2.89 apiece.
"Utah State is playing well right now," Nelson said. "They're tied with us for third place right now in the league. They're a good team, they're a solid team. We won in three when we played them up there, but we feel like we didn't see their best. We jumped on them early and took care of things, but I think we'll see a battle with them on Saturday."