ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The University of New Mexico volleyball team took the first three games of its alumnae exhibition match, 25-15, 25-8, 25-20. The Lobos decided to play a fourth set just for fun and more practice on the court. The alumnae bounced back with a 25-18 win.
“It was really good,” said head coach Jeff Nelson. “I thought that the first two games we put our first group out there that we felt like from the first three weeks of training were there. They were fun to watch and they were physical. We blocked a ton of balls and also had rallies that we were blocking three or four balls in a rally.”
The Lobos came out with a lot of energy in the first match. Senior Chantale Riddle had many great moments, collecting six kills. Sophomore Julia Warren also contributed from the outside with four kills. The Lobos also had times where they had multiple blocks in rally plays, collecting four in the first set.
In the second set, the Lobos went on a big rally taking the first eight points before the alumnae scored its first point. Riddle really showed in the second set, four more kills for a total of 10 kills in two sets.
Riddle led the Lobos with 16 kills on 23 attacks, finishing with a .609 hitting percentage. Devanne Sours was right behind with 12 kills and a .458 hitting percentage. Hannah Johnson tallied 33 assists and also led the back row with nine digs. Libero Ashley Kelsey finished with eight digs.
The alumnae were really warmed up in the third set and made a close match with the Lobos. The alumnae featured many top-notch players, including All-American’s Allison Buck and Jeanne Fairchild. Jordan Russell, Lexi Ross, Marlo Pennington, Gayle Tripp, Colleen Smith, Becky Walters and Janelle Torres rounded out the alumnae, who fired up in the fourth set.
“It definitely feels different,” said former Lobo Lexi Ross. “Playing with different players that I haven’t played with in a while and playing across the net from players I used to play with.”
Buck led the former Lobos with 13 kills. Fairchild finished with eight kills on the outside while Tripp picked up 14 digs.
The Lobos will open their season next Friday with an afternoon match with Seattle U at 1 p.m. and then taking on No. 2 Texas later in the evening at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at GoLobos.com or by calling 925-LOBO. The match will be a WHITEOUT so come in a white shirt to support your Lobos.