The UNM Volleyball team won game one, and then it was done.
The Lobos (7-4) fell to Texas Christian University (14-1) in three of four games: 25-18, 16-25, 21-25, 19-25, in front of 2,272 fans on ‘Jam Johnson’ and ‘Love Red, Live Green’ night Friday at Johnson Center.
Early on, the Lobos took control defensively as they held the Horned Frogs to a -.027 attack percentage in the first game.
TCU came out in game two, turned it around and never looked back.
“We lost focus a little bit,” freshman middle blocker Chantale Riddle said. “We need to play a little harder. They came out ready to play and we didn’t.”
The Horned Frogs took game two after a 12-2 start. In game three, the Lobos went up 15-6, but TCU’s blocking and ability to find gaps in the Lobos’ defense helped them finish on a 19-6 run.
TCU finished off the Lobos in game four, with the Horned Frogs’ best hitting percentage of the night at .341.
The Lobos have made it a habit of starting conference play on a bad note and now have lost nine straight conference openers.
Outside hitter Kelly Williamson, who led the team offensively with 16 kills, said the passing and defense could have been better.
“They came out and did a good job, and we didn’t necessarily have a response for them,” Williamson said.
Middle blocker Ashley Rhoades finished the match with 13 kills, but she struggled getting the ball past the TCU blockers.
“In scouting us, they knew she (Rhoades) was going to out the go-to hitter, and they did a good job with that,” Williamson said.
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Senior Allison Buck led the Lobos defensively with 26 digs and setter Mariah Agre finished with 33 assists.
The Lobos take on Texas Tech tonight at Johnson Center. The Red Raiders are 13-2 this season and, like the Lobos, are coming off a conference-opener loss against Iowa State.
Head coach Jeff Nelson coached Texas Tech from 1995-2003 and left the program as the second most successful coach in the school’s history. This will be the first time Nelson coaches against the Red Raiders since leaving.
“It’s going to be exciting for him to see how Texas Tech has been doing since he’s been gone,” Buck said.
Williamson said the team has to bounce back after the TCU loss.
“We know how to play volleyball,” Williamson said. “We’re going to go practice and we’re going to get it done. We just need to want it more.”
Volleyball vs. Texas Tech.