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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Setter awarded first 2013 MWC honor for Lobos

sports@dailylobo
@Liam_CE

The New Mexico volleyball team stands out individually and as a team for being one of the better squads this season in the Mountain West Conference.

The Lobos’ redshirt setting sophomore, Hannah Johnson, received all-conference honors when she was recognized for the MWC Player of the Week for the games played between Sept. 30 and Oct. 5.

Johnson said she wasn’t sure UNM head coach Jeff Nelson had the right number when he sent out a text message notifying her of the award. This is Johnson’s first time winning the award. She is also the first Lobo to receive the award in 2013.

“My team really helped me out by allowing us to put the ball away,” Johnson said. “It is a big honor that the coaches have recognized me when so many players are deserving.”

Johnson recorded her league-leading 10th double-double of the season during a 3-1 UNM victory against Boise State (8-7).

“Hannah Johnson had a huge weekend,” Nelson said. “She did a really good job running the show for us.”

The Lobos (13-2, 4-1 MWC) are returning home for the first time since their five-set, gut-checking loss against the Colorado State Rams (13-0).

“They left a bitter taste in our mouth…We are going to keep moving forward,” Johnson said of the CSU Rams. “We are going to prove to the Mountain West that we are a top contender.”

UNM will face San Diego State (8-6), ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll, on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Johnson Center. Historically, the Lobos have not done well against the Aztecs, as SDSU’s record against UNM is 32-18.

“They’re right behind us in third place,” Nelson said. “I think it’s going to be a great match on Thursday night.”

The Lobos will host another conference match on Saturday at 7 p.m. against the UNLV Rebels (8-6). The Rebels are another team granted high preseason expectations, ranked No. 3 in the league at the start of the season.

“UNLV has one of the premier hitters in the league,” Nelson said. “It’s going to be a fun match with some big hits and a lot of good play going on.”

25th Lobo League Anniversary

The Lobo League will be celebrating its 25th anniversary during Saturday night’s game. The Lobo League has helped UNM volleyball by being one of the team’s main sponsors.

The league has 20 different divisions consisting of eight co-ed divisions, seven female divisions and five male divisions. The league plays in the fall, spring and summer with nearly 200 teams competing.

At halftime during the match between UNM and UNLV several players in the Lobo League, as well as the founders, will be honored for the 25 years that the Lobo League has been around.