Riddle Leads Lobos Past SMU, 3-0
Sept. 15, 2012
Lobo Volleyball (12-1, 0-0 MW) - at the Oklahoma Invitational, Sept. 14-15 (Norman, Okla. - McCasland Field House)
Friday, Sept. 14: Lobos def. Arkansas-Little Rock, 3-2 (18-25, 25-20, 24-26, 25-18, 15-12)
NORMAN, Okla. -- The Lobo volleyball team extended its winning streak to 11 uninterrupted matches Saturday morning with a sweep (25-14, 25-21, 25-22) over SMU in the second day of the Oklahoma Invitational. New Mexico improves to 12-1 overall while SMU falls to 2-9. The Lobos close out the weekend at 6 p.m. MT tonight with a match against host Oklahoma.
New Mexico had 18 blocks to just nine by the Mustangs, which proved to be an important factor in the match. The Lobos held SMU to .091 hitting percentage, as the Mustangs had just 35 kills on 121 swings. UNM hit .269 on the match, recording 40 kills on 104 attempts.
"This was a good match for us," head coach Jeff Nelson said. "At about point 15 in game one we picked our blocking up and finished game one and started game two with some big blocks which really changed the momentum. We had them out of system quite a bit and it kept them from getting the ball to their middles which made a big difference. Hannah, Chantale, Megan and Lexi all had really good blocking numbers."
"I think that was the key to the match," he said. "It boiled down to those basics. SMU is a really good team, they're just struggling to find themselves right now. When they do, they will surprise some people."
Chantale Riddle recorded her sixth double-double of the season and led all players with 14 kills and 10 digs while adding three blocks. Skipper added eight kills and 12 digs while libero Miquella Lovato had 17 digs.
Lobos 3, SMU 0
The Lobos got off to a slow start in the first set before New Mexico pulled away from the Mustangs when the score was knotted at 11s. The Lobos topped SMU in kills 14-10 and had more blocks than the Mustangs, 11-10. A big kill by Megan Short off a slide set from Russell at 11-all gave the Lobos a one-point lead. Back-to-back kills by Skipper and Johnson added two more points and New Mexico had its biggest lead yet of the set, 14-11, and the Mustangs called for a breather. The Lobos kept on rolling with back-to-back double blocks by Lena Skipper and Megan Short, fueling a 7-0 run that gave UNM an 18-11 lead. A few plays later New Mexico's advantage had grown to 22-13, before a big solo block by Johnson put the mark to 23-13. A hitting error by SMU made it set point and a kill from Newman ended the game, 25-14.
The Mustangs managed to slowly build a 9-6 lead off steady serving and a couple of Lobo miscues. A long rally at the 10-7 mark ended with a Newman kill and the Lobos moved to within two points of SMU, but it wasn't until a few plays later off a back-row kill from Newman that UNM managed to tie things up at 11-all. A kill from Riddle gave UNM a one-point advantage, but the Mustangs wouldn't go away. The game continued to go point-for-point before a service error by SMU and an offspeed shot by Newman gave the Lobos an 18-16 edge. An attack error by the Mustangs pushed the mark to 20-17 in favor of the Lobos. A kill from Riddle a few rallies later gave UNM a 23-20 edge and forced SMU to call its second timeout of the game. A Ross-Riddle block moved the mark to 24-20 and two plays later a kill from Skipper gave the Lobos set two, 25-21.
An ace serve by Lexi Ross early in set three gave UNM a 5-1 lead A kill from Short extended New Mexico's advantage to 8-3 and prompted a timeout by the Mustangs. The Lobos rolled from there, leading by as much as ten at one point. The Mustangs threatened UNM's lead with a run to come within two points, 20-18. SMU hung around, until a kill from Riddle made it 25-22, set and match.
New Mexico closes the weekend at 6 p.m. MT tonight against host Oklahoma.