UNM Sweeps Pilots for Eighth-Straight Win
Lobo Volleyball (9-1, 0-0 MW) - Sheraton Airport/Comcast Lobo Invitational -- Johnson Center, Sept. 7-8
Friday, Sept. 7: Lobos def. Georgia Southern, 3-2 (23-25, 25-15, 32-33, 22-25,15-7)
SHERATON AIRPORT/COMCAST LOBO INVITATIONAL WEEKEND SCHEDULE
Friday, Sept. 7
Saturday, Sept. 8
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Lobo volleyball's winning streak extended to eight matches Saturday afternoon with a 3-0 win over Portland in the second day of the Sheraton Airport/Comcast Lobo Invitational.
UNM improved to 9-1 overall, making it the fourth time in program history a Lobo squad has won nine of its first 10 matches. Teams from 1983, 1989 and 2007 also began with a 9-1 mark.
Chantale Riddle led the Lobos with 12 kills (12k-4e-32ta)--half of which came in the final set -- and five blocks. Ashley Newman added nine kills, two service aces and one block. Lexi Ross had a career-high four ace serves while adding five kills and three blocks.
"I thought Ashley Newman had a really good match," head coach Jeff Nelson said. "Our setters did a good job again today of distributing the ball and moving it around. We also blocked a lot better today against a couple of really nice outside hitters. We were able to control Portland's Ariel Usher and Autumn Wedan."
The Lobos were happy to take Saturday afternoon's match in three sets after last night's marathon 3-2 win over Georgia Portland.
"We wanted to get after it today and I feel like we did a great job for the most part," Nelson said. "We lost our focus a bit at the end and almost let it get away from us--we made some errors--but it was nice that when they got to game point we stepped up and came back and won. This team has shown some good character already."
In the first set, New Mexico and Portland went point-for-point the entire game. An overpass by Miquella Lovato resulted in a miscue by the Pilots, knotting the set at 19-19 and then an attack error by Portland followed by a Riddle-Ross block gave UNM a 22-19 edge. The Pilots rallied back, however, capitalizing on a Lobo miscue and putting up a block of their own to knot the set at 21-all before taking the lead on another block, put up by Ariel Usher and Bea Loper.
Riddle and the Pilots' Monica Jordan traded kills, with the lead remaining with Portland 23-22. An off-speed shot by Riddle tied the set again before a Portland attack error gave Lobos set point, 24-23. The Pilots' setter mishandled the ball on the final play of the game and the Lobos went up 1-0.
Back-to-back kills by Riddle and Skipper and a service ace by Ashley Newman put the Lobos up 3-0 in the second set and New Mexico ran with it. Portland kept the set close early on, always within one or two points, but New Mexico owned the net, recording eight blocks to the Pilots' two. An ace by Krieg gave UNM set point, finishing an 8-2 run to a 25-18 game two final.
The Lobos quickly gained a 6-2 lead over the Pilots, leaning on the net play of Riddle and Newman. As in the second set, UNM steadily built off its early advantage and led, 18-11, before Portland called a timeout to regroup. The breather gave the Pilots a little life and they slowly chipped away at New Mexico's lead, bringing the mark to 22-17 and prompting a timeout by UNM. Out of the break, a kill from Krieg put the Lobos to within two points of set point, but the Pilots put up seven unanswered points and claimed the lead 24-23. A kill by Newman knotted the set at 24-all. An over pass by the Pilots set up a kill by Ross to push the Lobos to set point, 25-24, but a kill from the Pilots tied the set, again at 25-25. Another Newman kill made it set point and a block by Lexi Ross and Riddle gave UNM the win, 27-25
The Lobos and the Gauchos close out the Sheraton Airport/Comcast Lobo Invitational with a 7:30 p.m. match this evening. UC Santa Barbara defeated Georgia Southern earlier today, 3-2.