Lobos Secure 20th Win with Sweep of Nevada
Nov. 15, 2012
New Mexico Lobos Volleyball
Thursday, Nov. 15: Lobos def. Nevada (25-19, 25-19, 25-18)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- For the fourth time since his arrival in 2007, Lobo volleyball head coach Jeff Nelson has led UNM to a 20-win season. New Mexico secured its 20th win of 2012 on Thursday night over Mountain West foe Nevada, 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-18).
The Lobos improve to 20-10 overall and 7-6 in MW play while Nevada drops to 4-24 and 1-14 in league play.
New Mexico topped Nevada in every statistical category: kills 37-31, hitting percentage .192-.018, assists 34-28, digs 45-36 and blocks 18-6.
"We really needed this," Nelson said. "With all the injuries and everything we really needed it. We didn't expect to have Miquella tonight so to get her back in there was great. She had a great match with 17 digs and it was a relief having her back.
"We played three good games and got our 20th win, which I think for the whole team was a big relief," Nelson said. "I give the team a lot of credit. The girls have worked hard and they've really made a big effort to keep it together in spite of all the injuries. It was nice to get Miquella back tonight and to get us back together and play a solid match."
Redshirt sophomore Chantale Riddle had 19 kills on 41 swings and made just four errors at the net (.366 pct.). She added 10 digs to record her 14th double-double of the year.
"I knew I needed to work and help my team get up early in the match and fight hard," Riddle said. "It's exciting to finally get our 20th win and it makes a big difference having Miquella back. She's a leader for us in the back row."
Riddle is five kills away from reaching the Mountain West's sophomore record for single-season kills. The record is held for now by BYU's Nina Puikkonen who had 472 in 1999. The Lobos' right-side hitter has 467 kills on the season.
The Lobos host league-leading San Diego State at 11 a.m. MT on Saturday, Nov. 17 for their final home match of the season. UNM will honor senior Jordan Russell and junior Ashley Newman prior to the match.
Note: Nelson's other 20-win seasons were 2008, 2009 and 2010. It's the 11th time the UNM program has recorded a season with 20 or more victories.
First Set - Lobos 25, Nevada 19
The Lobos pulled ahead, 8-5, early in the First Set. Nevada threatened to take the lead, tying the set at 9-9, but an attack by the Wolfpack went long and Hannah Johnson smashed an over pass for the Lobos to maintain an 11-9 edge. Nevada earned the side out and put up three unanswered points to claim a one-point lead, but Chantale Riddle recorded back-to-back kills and Nevada committed consecutive errors to put the Lobos back on top, 15-12. A kill by Skye Gullatt on a quick set from Jordan Russell capped a 6-1 Lobo run and pushed the score to 18-13.
A few plays later a kill by Lexi Ross off a slide set by Johnson followed by an attack error by the Wolfpack moved the mark to 23-17. Nevada got kills from Sam Willoughby and Tessa Lea'ea, but a botched serve by the visitors gave the Lobos set point. A big block by Gullatt and Johnson gave UNM the First Game, 25-19.
New Mexico dominated on offense and defense, recording 13 kills to just eight by Nevada and tallying 20 digs to 13 by the Wolfpack.
Second Set - Lobos 25, Nevada 19
The Lobos again controlled the net in the Second Set. New Mexico hit .345, recording 15 kills on 29 swings and committing just five errors. UNM put up five blocks (Nevada had none) to hold the Wolfpack to a .129 hitting percentage (12k-8e-31ta).
Kills by Riddle and Skipper, followed by a Johnson-Ross block put UNM up 7-5. The Wolfpack hung around, however, and used a 4-1 run to claim the lead 12-11. The Lobos answered by putting up a 6-2 run featuring kills by Riddle and Ross, and reclaimed the lead 18-14.
It looked like the Lobos were going to run away with the set when the mark reached 20-16, but Nevada stayed in the set off strong net play from Taylar Rothfuss and Lea'ea.
A few rallies later, however, an attack gone long gave the Lobos set point, 24-19, and New Mexico secured the set on a kill by Riddle.
Third Set - Lobos 25, Nevada 18
The Third Set was back and forth until the 9-9 mark when a botched serve by Nevada sparked a 6-1 spree by New Mexico in which Riddle recorded a kill and Gunsaulus served back-to-back aces to give UNM a 15-10 advantage.
The Wolfpack came charging back, thanks to the net play of Lea'ea and Grace Anxo, with a five-point run to tie the set again at 15s.
Riddle snapped the run with a big kill, Nevada made an error and Riddle recorded consecutive kills to put the Lobos back in the lead, 19-15. The three points were part of 6-2 spree the Lobos used to close out the set and match, 25-18.