The UNM volleyball team tallied its sixth win in seven matches last Friday.
The Lobos, 10-6 overall and 2-1 in Mountain West Conference action, blazed past UNLV in a three-set sweep at Johnson Center.
Head coach Jeff Nelson was all praises after the 3-0 victory.
“The win was a team effort,” he said. “Ashley (Rhoades) had another big game for us. Jade (Michaelsen) distributed the ball well, and Lisa (Meeter) and Allison (Buck) were strong in the backcourt.”
The Lobos dominated the Rebels. UNM out-hit UNLV .263 to .057, out-blocked the Rebels 12 to 3 and out-served them with five aces to the Rebels’ one.
“I think we went through a patch there where we weren’t playing the quality volleyball that I know we are capable of,” Nelson said. “It’s nice to get a few 3-0 wins under our belt to give us some confidence.”
The Lobos’s big four hitters paced the team offensively, as Rhoades notched 10 kills, Kelly Williamson and Taylor Hadfield each chipped in eight, and Meeter added six.
Meeter reached a career milestone. She served back-to-back aces to reach 100 and became the ninth Lobo in history to do so.
Defensively, Buck led the back row with nine digs, followed by Meeter with seven and Rhoades, Michaelsen and Carli Torr with five each.
“We are playing good volleyball right now,” Michaelsen said. “Everyone is excited to try new positions, and our team has a new energy and vitality that wasn’t there just a week ago.”
With the win, UNM moves into a four-way tie for second place with Wyoming, TCU and UNLV (5-11, 1-2 MWC), chasing league-leader No. 18 Colorado State by one game.
Rhoades said the win was important for conference rankings.
“Ever since we dropped our conference opener at San Diego State, we put our backs against the wall,” she said. “We know that we have to fight for every game, because in our conference there are no give-me matches.”
TCU is up next for UNM this Friday.
The Horned Frogs have narrowly won the last three matches at home, despite the Lobos holding a 7-5 advantage in the head-to-head series.
Hadfield said if history is any indication, UNM is up for the TCU challenge.
“Our goal is to stay consistent and keep a fast offense,” she said. “If we can do that, we hope to beat them in three and not let the match go to five games.”
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