ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Last Saturday the Lobo volleyball program put together a special banquet to celebrate all of their outstanding work during the 2013 season.
The 2013 Lobo volleyball season was one of the best in the head coach Jeff Nelson era. The Lobos finished the season 24-7 which is the most wins by the program since 1988. The Lobos matched their highest finish in the Mountain West, finishing second to Colorado State, a team that rolled out a program-record 28-2 mark (19-1 in MW). UNM’s 14 league wins is the most in Lobo history and Nelson’s Lobos won .774 percent of their game – the highest Nelson win percentage in 18 season as a head coach.
The night began with a few speakers, including head football coach Bob Davie. The banquet also featured a picture slide show and a highlight film that captured many of the season’s greatest moments. The careers of the three seniors, Lexi Ross, Lena Skipper and Miquella Lovato, were also celebrated and acknowledged.
Many of Nelson’s players put together impressive performances in the fall, earning them many national and conference accolades. Chantale Riddle was a huge factor in the Lobos’ success this season, as she was voted for the Captain’s Award by the captains on the team. But that wasn’t the only accolade of the night. She was presented her All-Pacific West Region award and All-American award.
Riddle was also recognized with the Cherry Silver Award, which is the team’s Most Valuable Player award. Riddle wasn’t the only player to receive the award, as Riddle and her teammates also voted for Lovato, a senior who dominated on the defensive side of the game.
“It was a really special night for everyone involved with Lobo volleyball,” Nelson said. “Many players and supporters were honored, but the evening culminated in the awarding of our Cherry Silver award to two great and very deserving players, Chantale and Miquella.”
The Lobos’ top newcomer award went to Julia Warren, who was selected as MWC Freshman of the Year. The Most Improved award went to Devanne Sours. Senior Lena Skipper put together a GPA that was hard to match by any other volleyball in the nation, earning her the Scholastic Award for the top GPA on the team. Senior Lexi Ross earned the Coaches Award.
The program has put together two scholarships to recognize their athletes. The Jeanne Fairchild scholarship went to Lise’ Rugland and the Lobo League scholarship went to Cassie House.
Warren, Riddle, Lovato and Hannah Johnson were all presented their All-MWC awards. Nine players were named to the Academic All-MWC team and five Lobos were selected as MWC Scholar Athletes.
“I want to thank everyone who helped out and a big thanks to Allison Buck for all of her work on the banquet.”
The Lobos are looking forward to their spring schedule, which will start at the beginning of March. Dates and times will be announced later this week.