Volleyball: Alumni push young team in spring bout
Accolades continue to rain down upon members of the New Mexico volleyball team.
Outside hitters Cassie House and Julia Warren will be traveling to Europe after making the Mountain West All-Star team, accompanied by assistant coach JJ Glavan.
“It’s a great opportunity for them to get to experience international play,” said head coach Jeff Nelson. “With (House and Warren) both being freshmen, they are getting some really valuable experience.”
House has also been selected to join the U.S. collegiate national team along with right side hitter Chantale Riddle. House said competing beside Riddle and quickly turning around to play with Warren could not make her happier.
“Going to Minneapolis to play with Chantale is awesome, and then I’m coming back to New Mexico for a couple days, resting, packing, and then going straight back at it to play with Julia,” House said. “It’s going to make my summer extra special.”
Warren and House are two of 12 individuals selected to represent the Mountain West Conference. Colorado State, New Mexico and San Diego State are the only schools sending multiple players to play in the Global Challenge in Pula, Croatia.
Warren is not unfamiliar with receiving awards. She helped claim the All-Mountain West and was named conference rookie of the year in addition to being added to the Mountain West All-Star team.
“It’s the experience of a lifetime,” she said. “We are just so excited to go represent the Mountain West and to get UNM more on the map.”
Warren added that playing overseas will be an opportunity to play with some individuals who they would normally be facing.
“We are going to be making friends with some of our enemies,” she said.
Annual Spring Alumni Match
UNM hosted its Annual Spring Alumni Match on Wednesday night that provided a showcase of the spring team without the additions of its incoming fall freshmen.
Although the Lobos took the match 3-1, Nelson said that his team’s immaturity is a point of concern as the team looks to compete at a high level with only one senior.
“It’s good that we won, but I didn’t see the things that I needed to see tonight moving forward,” Nelson said. “We only have one senior. Some of these other kids need to be more mature.”
UNM took the first set by a wide margin of 25-13.
“We won the first match too easily and then went downhill from there.” Nelson said. “I just need to see more maturity and for them to stay focused after an easy win like that.
The second game was much closer, as the Lobos barely mustered a 25-22 win.
“We had a lot of miscommunication … a lot of mental errors,” House said. “Overall, I’m pretty happy with the turnout.”
The third match got away from UNM. Nelson sat Riddle in order to see how his squad would respond. The Alums took the match fairly easily — 25-17 — with Riddle watching from the sidelines.
“We have done that in every spring tournament this spring,” Nelson said. “We sat her out one or two games to see how the team can manage and execute without her. We are a really young team, but we are a really talented team.”
The fourth and final match of the day was another tight one for the Lobos. After pulling away from a 14-14 tie, UNM didn’t yield the lead again and took a 25-22 victory.