Volleyball: Lobos Complete 2002 Season
Season Recap - Under the tutelage of head coach Kelley Sliva, the University of New Mexico Lobos finished the season with an 10-21 overall record and a 3-11 mark in conference play.
To highlight the season the Lobos took the Comcast Lobo Invitational title, their first tournament title in several years. Several UNM records were broken through the season with freshman Chelsea Sondrup establishing a new UNM Single Season block assist record with her 131 block assists. Sondrup moved into second place in single season blocks with her total of 137 (6 solo/131 assisted).
Senior Staci Masten also ranked in block records coming in at No. 3 in single season block assists with her 107 mark. Masten, this season, set career highs in every statistical category.
Senior Blaire Burns, a versatile athlete, switched positions from defensive specialist, libero, to outside hitter when needed. Burns managed back-to-back matches with 25 digs (vs. SDSU and UNLV at home), and scored double figure digs in 21 of UNMs 30 matches. For her efforts Burns was selected as the libero selection to the All-Tournament team for the UNM Comcast Invitational, the first honor at UNM for the senior.
Senior Vanessa Shields had a stellar career at UNM and finished listed in UNM Career Records in block assists with a career mark of 212, good for third place. Her 10 block assists scored against SDSU (11-20-99) lists in fifth place in UNM single match records.
Throughout the season junior outside hitter Anna Reines delivered when counted on. Reines led the team in kills with 421 and in hitting percentage with .257. Reines was the first Lobo since 1998 to be named All-Conference and the first New Mexico selection since the inception of the Mountain West Conference.
Reines was named the Comcast Invitational Most Valuable Player and was named all-tournament at the Borderland Invitational, and most recently, the Albuturkey Tournament.
Sophomore setter Monica Meihack quietly made a name for herself in UNM single season records scoring 1,249 assists, good for second place behind Lobo All-American Karen Saavedra-Warnock. Meihack averaged 10.86 assists per game and was listed throughout the seaon in MWC stats in assists, service aces and digs.
Sliva hits 150 - New Mexico head coach Kelley Sliva hit 150 career victories with the 3-0 decision over the Air Force Academy on Oct. 25. Sliva is in her 10th year as a head coach at the Division I level, having coached at Northern Arizona and New Mexico.
Recap Albuturkey Tournament vs. Butler - The University of New Mexico volleyball team defeated the Butler University Bulldogs in four games, 26-30, 30-27, 31-29, 30-25 in first round action at the UNM Albuturkey Tournament.
Leading the Lobo attack was junior outside hitter Anna Reines who scored 20 kills. Senior Vanessa Shields led the team in hitting percentage, .438 on nine kills, two errors in 16 attacks. Shields was one of three Lobos to score double figure digs with 10. Senior Blaire Burns scored her first career double-double with 11 kills and 13 digs. Sophomore setter Monica Meihack led the team in digs with 14.
As a team the Lobos hit .268 on 65 kills, 21 errors on 164 attempts to Butler's .176 (67k-36e-176ta). UNM outblocked BU 9.5 to 7.5.
The duo of Staci Masten, a senior from Durango, Colo. and Chelsea Sondrup, a freshman from Lindon, Utah combined for 13 of UNM's 19 block assists.
vs. Rice - The Lobos defeated the Rice Owls by the scores of 23-30, 30-19, 30-28, and 32-30 to go undefeated in Albuturkey Tournament action.
UNM had four players scoring double figure kills with junior Anna Reines (16), seniors Vanessa Shields (14), Blaire Burns (13), and Staci Masten (11) leading the Lobo attack. Three Lobos scored double-doubles including sophomore setter Monica Meihack (51 assists/12digs), Shields (14k/12d), and Burns, who scored her second straight with 13 kills and 12 digs.
Defensively five Lobos contributed double figure digs to the Lobos season high 74. UNM hit .205 on 68 kills, 28 errors in 195 attempts to Rices .156 (66k-36e-192ta). The Owls outblocked the Lobos 14.5 to 12.0 with Rice scoring a tournament high 27 block assists.
Freshman Chelsea Sondrup has set the bar in blocks at UNM in her first year in the cherry and silver. Sondrup totaled a team-high eight block assists. Her season total 126 block assists is a new UNM single season records. Sondrup totals 132 season blocks which ranks second in UNM single season records.
Junior Andrea Sanchez scored 10 digs and sophomore Adah Burke, in the role of libero, scored a career high 11 digs.
vs. UCLA - The UCLA Bruins took the tournament title at the UNM Albuturkey Tournament in Johnson Arena by way of their 3-0 victory over the host Lobos. UCLA, ranked No. 21 in the nation, took the match 30-17, 30-20, and 30-24 to sweep each of their tournament opponents. New Mexico finished second with a 2-1 record.
Leading the Lobos was junior outside hitter Anna Reines who was the lone Lobo to score in double figure kills with 11. Reines, along with senior middle Vanessa Shields, was named to the Albuturkey All-Tournament team.
As a team UNM hit .069 on 30 kills, 23 errors in 102 attacks. The Lobos scored 36 digs and defensively added 12 block assists. Freshman Chelsea Sondrup ended with a match-high five block assists.
Team Season Highs
Individual Season Highs
Head Coach Kelley Sliva - Sliva comes to UNM after spending the past nine years at Northern Arizona University. Her career record stands at 153-125 (.550). While at NAU, Sliva took the Lumberjacks to their first NCAA Volleyball Championship appearance (1999) and earned two Big Sky titles (1999 tournament and 2000 regular season). Sliva was named the 1999 Big Sky Coach of the Year. Slivas NAU teams scored five straight winning seasons, going 90-45 since the 1997 season.