Lobo Volleyball - On the Mountain West Road
Thursday: Lobos @ Fresno State, 8 p.m. MT/7 p.m. PT
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Saturday: Lobos @ San José State, 2 p.m. MT/1 p.m. PT
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The University of New Mexico volleyball team travels to California this weekend for a pair of Mountain West matches. The Lobos (14-3, 5-2 MW) stop at Fresno State for a 7 p.m. MT contest with the Bulldogs (10-8, 4-2 MW) before heading to San José State for a 2 p.m. MT match against the Spartans (4-13, 1-4 MW).
LOWDOWN ON THE LOBOS...New Mexico went 1-1 in Mountain West home matches last week, taking San Diego State in five sets on Oct. 10 and dropping a 1-3 decision to UNLV on Oct. 12. The Lobos vs. Rebels match yielded the largest crowd (2,157) for UNM volleyball since Nov. 10, 2011 (2,394). The Lobos enter this week No. 3 in the MW rankings.
Redshirt junior Chantale Riddle continues to pace the Lobos and the MW with 4.02 kills-per-set and 4.71 points-per-set.
Outside hitters Julia Warren and Cassie House add 2.41 and 2.21 kills-per-set while senior middle blocker Lexi Ross hits at a .352 clip and averages 2.00 kills-per-set.
Redshirt sophomore Hannah Johnson handles setting duties for UNM and dishes out 10.66 assists-per-set. She is the league leader in double-doubles with 11. Senior libero Miquella Lovato is second in the league in digs-per-set with an average of 4.83.
A BIT ABOUT THE BULLDOGS...The Bulldogs enter the week ranked No. 5 in the Mountain West standings and are coming off a pair of sweeps at home, defeating San José State on Oct. 11 before taking care of Nevada on Oct. 12. Fresno State is currenlty riding a streak of nine-consecutive set wins as they defeated UNLV in straight sets in Las Vegas on Oct. 5.
Preseason All-MW senior Korrin Wild paces the Bulldogs with 3.72 kills-per-set. The outside hitter adds 2.56 digs-per-set.
Right-side hitter Holly Franks and middle blocker Maci Murdock have played in all 70 of Fresno State’s sets this season. Franks averages 2.83 kills-per-set and 2.09 digs-per-set while Murdock contributes 1.99 kills per-set and 1.52 digs-per-set.
Setting duties are handled junior Christina Lee who averages 6.94 assists-per-set.
HEAD COACH JEFF NELSON ON THE BULLDOGS...
"Fresno State is another team that is clumped with us at the top of the conference and a team that is senior dominant. They've been up and down with their play, but when they're good, they've been beating people 3-0 and then they turn around and lose some matches that baffle all of us.
"Maci Murdock, one of their middles, was Mountain West Player of the Week this week. They're a very offensive-minded team. We've got to get the ball past their block, make them play defense and serve better than we did last week to have success there.
"They have two really good outside hitters. They're a tough team to play against, they're very experience and it'll be a battle. It's one we really need to shoot for on the road."
SOME SAN JOSE STATE INFO...The Spartans -- new to the Mountain West this season -- enter the week No. 10 in MW standings with a 4-13 overall record and 1-5 mark in in league play. SJSU is coming off a 1-3 week, starting with a 3-2 win over Nevada at home on Oct. 10 before being swept at Fresno State on Oct. 11, and dropping a four-set decision at non-conference CSU Bakersfield on Oct. 13.
Senior outside hitter Hannah Blume leads San Jose State with 3.74 kills-per-set and is second on the team in digs-per-set with 3.38. Junior middle blocker Mary Alice O’Reilly and freshman outside hitter Lauren Jacobsen add 2.81 and 2.65 kills-per-set, respectively.
Sophomore Michaela Leonard handles setting duties and averages 11.28 assists-per-set while junior libero Kiely Pieper averages 3.44 digs-per-set.
MORE LOBO VOLLEYBALL NOTES
RIDDLE CLOSING IN ON A MILESTONE ...Redshirt junior Chantale Riddle is closing in on a career milestone. The Roswell, N.M., native needs 29 kills to become the 11th Lobo in program history to record 1,000 kills in her career. Riddle leads the league in overall matches with 4.02 kills-per-set and 4.71 points-per-set and in MW only matches with 4.14 kills-per-set and 4.71 points-per-set.
The most kills recorded in a career by a Lobo volleyball player is 1, 579, done by Tania Gooley (1991-94). Nao Ikeda is No. 10 in the category with 1,040 (2986-89).
Riddle already surpassed the 1K mark in career points as she has 1,139.5.
"JAM JOHNSON" YIELDS LARGE CROWD...New Mexico’s Oct. 12 match with UNLV was “Jam Johnson” night and Lobo faithful came out in a big way -- 2,157 went through the turnstiles to watch the Lobos vs. Rebels match. It was the largest crowd for Lobo volleyball since Nov. 10, 2011 when the Lobos lost to Wyoming in five-sets in front of 2,394 aficionados.
OCTOBER NOMADS...After playing eight matches at home in September (and posting an 7-1 record in those matches) the Lobos play just three matches in the Johnson Center during the month of October. Two of the home matches were last week, Oct. 10 and Oct. 12, and the third is Oct. 26 -- the Lobos’ “Dig Pink” match against Nevada.
The rest of UNM’s matches are on the road in the month of October.
WE CAN DIG IT...The Lobos moved in to the No. 1 spot in Mountain West statistics standings for digs-per-set in overall matches, with an average of 15.28.
New Mexico posted a season-high 90 digs in its 1-3 loss to UNLV at home on Oct. 12, which ranks fourth-most among all matches played by MW teams this season and third-most for four-set matches played by league institutions this season.
It was also the most digs tallied in a match by the Lobos since Nov. 10, 2011 when the Lobos recorded 96 in a 2-3 loss to Wyoming at home.
FOUR LOBOS RANK TOP-56 NATIONALLY (MATCHES THROUGH OCT. 12)...Gullatt is No. 56 for blocks/set (1.23); Johnson is No. 54 for assists/set (10.66); Lovato is No. 44 for digs/set (4.83); and Riddle is No. 41 for kills/set (4.02) & No. 28 for points/set (4.71).
NEARLY TWO-THIRDS OF THE TIME...Redshirt sophomore Hannah Johnson has a Mountain West-best 11 double-doubles in 17 matches, which means there’s nearly a 2/3 chance she’ll double-double when she steps on the court.
SHE'LL DIGGITY, NO DOUBT...Lobo Libero Miquella Lovato is averaging 4.83 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 5.08.
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 2.41 kills-per-set and 2.35 digs-per-set. Freshman Cassie House averages 2.21 kills-per-set and has led the Lobos in that category two matches, against Air Force (Sept. 19) and New Mexico State (Sept. 23). Devanne Sours has played in 26 sets serving as an outside and at times, an opposite. Sours averages 1.35 kills/set and has a block solo and two block assists.
Maddie Mayfield occassionally fills in in the back row for House or Sours and the La Cueva graduate is averaging 1.47 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 522 times. Senior libero Miquella Lovato has the second-most reception attempts with 271. Warren has handled the pressure with a serve-receive percentage of .960, committing 21 errors on the first pass over 63 sets played.