June 29, 2013
LOBO FLASHBACKS: Lobo Flashbacks is a summer feature of GoLobo.com looking back on special teams, players, games or moments from the 2012-13 University of New Mexico athletic season.
Flashback No. 1: Kasey Carrier - UNM's workhorse has a special season
Flashback No. 2: Jeremy Fishbein's Lobos Open Season Ranked No. 2
Flashback No. 3: Lobo Volleyball Stuns Colorado State
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
Really, this has to go down as one of the more amazing - and unexpected - New Mexico wins of the 2012-13 season.
For three reasons:
1. Jeff Nelson's young Lobos simply weren't as good as the Colorado State Rams, the longtime bullies on the Mountain West block.
2. The Lobos were down three players to injuries when the confidence Rams stepped into Johnson Center.
3. The Lobos lost the first two games. Hey, it was over.
But somebody forgot to tell Jeff Nelson's gutsy Lobos that it was over.
UNM had to play the powerful Rams with Elsa Krieg, Ashley Kelsey and Sara Stelzer on the bench. The Rams then came out and did exactly what you need to do to win on the MW road. The Rams won the first two games 25-10 and 25-18.
"We weren't even mad in the locker room at halftime," said Nelson of the 2-0 hole his Lobos were standing in.
It was pretty much over, but UNM didn't roll over. "(Coach) told us we had nothing to lose, which is so true," said Lobo Alijah Gunsaulus. "He just said have fun, play our game and see what happens. We played our game and they fell apart."
"This is the best team in the league and the fact that we could do this is amazing," said Nelson after the game.
The fired up Lobos stormed out of their locker room to sweep the final three games from the Rams. New Mexico rocked the Rams hard in the first game 25-11 and carried that momentum into the next two wins at 25-20 and 15-9.
The Lobos had been losing most of the net battles early, but came back to finish with 44 blocks to 49 for CSU. UNM had 72 digs to 67 for the visitors from Fort Collins.
Miquella Lovato had 23 digs to pace that UNM ferocity on the back row. The Lobos got 14 kills from Alijah Gunsaulus, 11 from Chantale Riddle, 21 assists from Hannah Johnson and 18 assists from Jordan Russell. Gunsaulus added 13 digs and Lena Skipper had 13 digs and eight kills.
The Rams might have had a little more flash at the net, but the Lobos went blue collar on CSU when it came to defense and floor burns.
"We realize that defense wins games," said Skipper. "We had to prove that we were a strong team and we did it. We knew we had it in us. We knew we could do it."