Lobos Win Final Match of Tiger Invite
Sept. 1, 2012
Lobo Volleyball (7-1, 0-0 MW) - Tiger Invitational Champions (hosted by Savannah State - Savannah, Ga.
Friday, Aug. 31: Lobos def. UNC Asheville, 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-14); Lobos def. Maryland-Eastern Shore, 3-1 (22-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-23)
SAVANNAH, Ga. -- The University of New Mexico volleyball team won its sixth-straight match Saturday evening, 3-0, over Savannah State in its final contest of the Tiger Invitational. The Lobos improve to 7-1 and win their second tournament of the season. Savannah State falls to 0-7.
New Mexico is off to its best start since 2009. The Lobos also began that season with a 7-1 record and went on to finish with a 20-10 overall mark and make its first NCAA appearance in 15 seasons.
Had there been an all-tournament team for the Tiger Invitational, there's no doubt Chantale Riddle would have been on it. The Lobos' right side hitter put up big numbers for a player who dwells on the outside.
Riddle began the tournament with a double-double performance in the Lobos' 3-0 win over UNC Asheville, recording 14 kills and 10 digs. She also had two blocks in Friday morning's match. On Friday evening against Maryland-Eastern Shore Riddle had another double-digit kill performance, recording 20, while adding six digs and four blocks.
In 11 sets played, Riddle recorded 49 kills on 108 attempts and committed just nine errors resulting in a hitting accuracy of .317. She averaged an impressive 4.45 kills per set. The redshirt sophomore also recorded four ace serves, including a career-high three aces in the Lobos win over Kennesaw State on Saturday. Riddle also had 28 digs and 10 blocks. She finished the weekend with 58.0 points, a set average of 5.27.
Joining Riddle on a hypothetical all-tournament team would have been middle blocker Elsa Krieg. The Lobo sophomore opened the tournament with 12 kills against UNC Asheville, adding a dig and a block. Where she was most impressive in that match, however, was from behind the serving line.
Down 14-5 in the third set against the Bulldogs, Krieg delivered 19-consecutive serves, including six aces, to fuel a 20-0 Lobo run to claim the set and match. She finished the contest with eight aces in total, which ranks her second in the category in New Mexico history. Nine is the record set by Kelly Knowles on Sept. 17, 1982 against Washington.
Krieg played in 11 sets over the weekend, finishing with 26 kills on 43 attempts and committing just three errors at the net (.535). She had 11 ace serves, six digs and 10 blocks. Krieg recorded 42.5 total points, averaging 3.86 a set.
New Mexico returns to Albuquerque for the Sheraton Airport/Comcast Lobo Invitational, Sept. 7-8. The tournament features Georgia Southern, Portland and UC Santa Barbara. UNM opens play at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept 7 against Georgia Southern and faces Portland at 1 p.m. on Saturday before closing the tournament with a match against UC Santa Barbara at 7:30 p.m.
Lobos 3, Savannah State 0
The Lobos claimed an early 5-2 and steadily built it to an 11-5 advantage prompting a timeout by the Tigers. New Mexico continued on its tear rattling off three more points before a kill from Savannah State's Bianca Brochu broke the Lobos' run. UNM's Elsa Krieg gave the Lobos a sideout with a kill of a set from Hannah Johnson, and New Mexico increased its lead, 19-6. New Mexico closed out the first set using kills from Newman and Russell and took the first game, 25-10.
The Tigers claimed a 5-3 lead in game two, capitalizing on Lobo miscues. New Mexico tied the set at 5-5 but Savannah State lingered and kept the set close until a kill from Lexi Ross made it 12-11 Lobos and sparked an 8-0 run to give the visitors a more comfortable lead. UNM led 22-14 before SSU called a timeout to talk things over. New Mexico's final three points of the second set came off a block by Hannah Johnson and Skye Gullatt, another block by Skye Gullatt and Newman and an ace from Lexi Ross.
It was a different set but the same story in game three as in game one. The Lobos quickly took an 8-3 advantage forcing the Tigers to call a breather. New Mexico's dominance continued thanks in large part to the play of Lena Skipper. The junior transfer had eight kills and an ace serve in the final set to carry the Lobos to a 25-11 third-set win.