UNM Opens Three-Match Homestand with Think Pink/Rio Grande Rivalry Match
Oct. 22, 2012
New Mexico Lobos Volleyball (18-5, 5-3) -- Three-Match Homestand
Tuesday, Oct. 23: vs. New Mexico State at The Pit, 7 p.m. MT; Think Pink match (wear pink for $3 ticket)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- After going 1-1 in Mountain West matches on the road last week, the Lobo volleyball team (18-5, 5-3 MW) returns to Albuquerque for three matches. New Mexico is playing well at home in 2012, carrying nine-match home winning streak and a 10-1 overall home record. The Lobos haven't lost at home since their opening day, a 3-2 loss to Duquesne on Aug. 24.
Last week, UNM dropped a heartbreaker, 3-2, at San Diego State on Thursday, Oct. 18 before sweeping Nevada on Saturday, Oct. 20.
The Lobos host New Mexico State (14-7, 8-3 WAC) at 7 p.m. MT in The Pit on Tuesday, Oct. 23 for the annual Rio Grande Rivalry match and annual Think Pink match. Fans who wear pink to Tuesday's match may purchase their tickets for $3.
"We hold this event annually to raise money for UNMH Cancer Research," head coach Jeff Nelson said. "It's a fun event and a way for us to give back."
As Nelson said, the Lobos' Think Pink match is not just part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but also an opportunity for the team to raise funds to be donated to University of New Mexico Hospitals Cancer Research. According to Lobo volleyball director of operations Jordie Hadfield, the team raised over $4,000 at last year's Think Pink match. UNM's goal for tomorrow night is $6,000.
Hadfield has collected thousands of dollars worth of prize donations -- including an XBOX 360 and a MacBook Air -- for a raffle drawing and silent auction. Fans can purchase raffle tickets now through tomorrow night's match, and bid on silent auction items during the match. Winners will be announced at the conclusion of the match. Must be present to win. For more details, please click here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The match, too, should be a good one.
"It's against State and it's a great rivalry," Nelson said. "They're led by Meredith Hays, an outstanding outside hitter and their leader from the middle is Desiree Scott and she does a good job for them. I think the teams are comparable and it'll be a good match. You can talk records and stats, but really it's traditionally been a good rivalry and I think it will be an exciting match."
Mountain West foes UNLV (14-7, 6-2 MW) and Fresno State (13-8, 5-3 MW) are the other two matches this week for UNM. The Lobos and Rebels play at 7 p.m. MT in The Pit on Thursday, Oct. 25 while UNM will face off with the Bulldogs at 6 p.m. MT on Saturday, Oct. 27.
The Lobos and the Rebels met on Sept. 29 in Las Vegas, Nev. UNLV won the match, 3-0, defeating New Mexico for the first time since Oct. 2009. Junior outside hitter Sekola Falemaka led the Rebels and had a career match, recording 18 kills (.361 pct.), two ace serves and two blocks. Lobo right-side hitter Chantale Riddle paced UNM with 10 kills (.111 pct.), seven digs and five blocks. UNLV leads the conference in assists (12.94/set) and kills (13.78/set) and is second in hitting percentage (.236) and digs (15.05).
The Lobos and Bulldogs met in Fresno on Sept. 27 with Fresno State taking the match, 3-1. Junior right-side hitter Megan Callahan led the `Dogs in that match with 17 kills (.333 pct.), three blocks and 18.5 points. Riddle paced UNM with 18 kills (.167 pct.), five blocks and 20.5 points. Fresno State is first in the conference for digs (15.55/set) and is second and fourth in service aces (1.39/set) and kills (13.57/set), respectively.
"Thursday and Saturday are the matches we really have to focus on this week," Nelson said. "They're conference matches and winning those could possibly give us an opportunity at postseason. The last time we played those two teams, Miquella Lovato was sick. We're hoping to have better performances against UNLV and Fresno State."
New Mexico is first in the conference in service aces, having recorded 132 so far on the season (1.50/set). In conference matches, the Lobos are second in digs (15.25/set) and third in blocks (2.56/set) and opponent hitting percentage (.174).
With a 5-3 MW record, the Lobos are currently in a three-way tie for third in conference standings with San Diego State and Fresno State. Colorado State and UNLV both have a 6-2 record and are tied for first.
Last time out... The Lobos earned a 1-1 Mountain West road record last week. New Mexico dropped a tough 3-2 (18-25, 25-23, 28-26, 15-25, 15-17) match at San Diego State on Thursday, Oct. 18 before getting a sweep (25-20, 25-21, 25-18) at Nevada on Saturday, Oct. 20. UNM is the first MW team so far this season to sweep Nevada at home.
Down the road... Following this week's three-match homestand, the Lobos will hit the road for two Mountain West conference matches. stopping at Air Force on Nov. 1 before traveling to Boise State on Nov. 3. UNM swept Air Force at home on Oct. 6 and outlasted Boise State in The Pit on Oct. 4.
LOBO QUICK HITS...
Quick notes on New Mexico State
Quick Notes on UNLV
Quick Notes on Fresno State