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Cassie House (12) and Skye Gullatt (17) leap to knock down Wyoming's overpass at Johnson Center Thursday night. The Lobos lost to Wyoming 3-2.

Cassie House (12) and Skye Gullatt (17) leap to knock down Wyoming's overpass at Johnson Center Thursday night. The Lobos lost to Wyoming 3-2.

Volleyball: Lobos crumble in five set thriller

New Mexico’s quest to rise in the Mountain West fell short in a fiveset heartbreaker against Wyoming on Thursday night in Johnson Center.

It was a roller coaster of a night for the Lobos as a whole, as the squad couldn’t find any sort of consistency on the night.

In the first set, UNM appeared to have things rolling with crisp passes and shots ripping off of the hardwood. However, the Lobos hit lull in their pursuit to overcome Wyoming (19-6, 9-4 MW) for third place in the conference.

"In the first set, our offense was terrific it gave me the opportunity to set whoever I wanted and Wyoming didn’t know where to go,” senior setter Hannah Johnson said.

While Johnson may have been able to set great balls for her big hitters in set one, the Lobos couldn’t get anything going on the offensive side of things in the next two sets. The UNM defense that held the Cowgirls’ attack to .000 in the first set couldn’t seem to contain Wyoming in the next two games.

“I give it to Wyoming. They made adjustments, they picked up their serving,” Johnson said. “They got their middle attack involved and their right sides put up a good show.”

Head coach Jeff Nelson said Johnson was the reason the Lobos were able to stay in the match for as long as they did, but the outside hitters’ collective performances led to the downfall in the match.

“She continues to be our person that is playing consistent and battling and really keeping us in it,” he said. “I thought she had a great match.”

Johnson collected five kills, 43 assists, and 20 digs on the night. However, Nelson said if her supporting cast would have played better, those statistics would have been even better.

The Lobos were able to take the fourth set of the match, forcing a game five but after slipping into a major hole to start the match, the Lobos couldn’t find a way to pull themselves out of it.

“It was a match that could go either way, but in game five our hitters didn’t show up,” Nelson said. “We passed the ball well, we had good looks. Four of the five hitters hit negative in game five.”

Nelson said part of the reason UNM couldn’t put together a win in the final set was due to the phenomenal defensive effort from Wyoming’s senior libero Allison Waldvogel.

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“In game five she had nine digs and we didn’t have anyone step up and do that,” Nelson said. “She’s a senior libero and wanted to win and she went after it.”

Johnson also applauded the efforts from Waldvogel who was able to come up with big time digs with the game on the line.

“Our outsides, Devanne and Cassie were just ripping some balls and she put her body in front of it,” Johnson said. “She really kept Wyoming in a lot of points so I give her a lot of credit.”

Nelson said he was disgruntled with the Lobo attack down the stretch. He said his players disregarded what worked well for them in set four which Nelson said aided in the loss.

“I hate to say this, but everyone was going for the glory ball instead of playing to win in set five,” Nelson said. “That’s what I’m most disappointed in.”

Liam Cary-Eaves is a sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at or on Twitter @Liam_CE.

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