The UNM volleyball team fell for a third game in a row, losing to Colorado State Thursday night at a home game. The CSU Rams defeated the Lobos in a quick three sets, putting the Lobos at a 5-4 record in the Mountain West Conference.
The Lobos charted season-low 30 kills, 29 total assists, a .059 hitting percentage and 24 errors. Compared to the .333 hitting percentage delivered by the Rams, any Lobo effort fell short against CSU.
With the loss of Carly Beddingfield on the court due to an ankle sprain, the UNM team struggled to find momentum and to get ahead.
In the starting set, the Rams gained a five-point lead early in the game after a kill from Lobo hitter Lauren Twitty. The Lobos managed to get points in throughout the set but the Rams kept the team at a distance, having as much as a ten-point lead multiple times throughout the first. The Rams finished the first 25-16.
The second set started closer than the first. For the first 15 plays, the Lobos stayed on top of the Ram, averaging a point behind until the eighth point from the Rams. At 8-7, CSU increased their lead by six and kept the lead throughout the set.
The UNM team struggled during the second with a 0.00 kill percentage, having nine errors for their nine kills. The Lobos fell 25-16 yet again.
In the third and final set, CSU charted an impressive .500 killing percentage with 16 kills and only one error. The Rams finished the game with the same intensity that they managed throughout the match. The Lobos fell far behind as the Ram’s lead grew to 12 points ahead.
The team was swept as CSU took the Lobos 25-15 in the third set.
Leading the Lobos in hits was Twitty with eight digs, freshman setter Sabrina Bianco lead with 15 assists and libero Mercedes Pacheco led in digs, picking up 10. Other strong players included redshirt freshman Jaclyn Inclan with 11 assists and outside hitter Tai Bierria with five hits.
The big winning factor for the Rams was outside hitter Breana Runnel, delivering a total of 18 kills against the Lobos and providing 35 assists for the CSU team.
With the 24 errors made by the Lobos and the strong offense from Runnel, Jeff Nelson, head coach for UNM, expressed that the Lobos lost their chance to win, especially against a team like Colorado State.
The Lobos seem to be on a streak with this loss being the third after losing against San Diego State and Fresno State last week. The UNM team has been pushed down from first in the conference to fourth behind Wyoming, UNLV, Colorado State and, leading, Fresno.
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After Thursday’s game, Colorado is ranked second in the MW conference with a 7-2 record.
The Lobos hope to seek self-redemption in the upcoming game against Wyoming (6-3). UNM plays at home on Saturday, Oct. 20 at noon.
Alanie Rael is a freelance sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. She primarily covers volleyball, hockey and track and field, but also contributes content for football. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AllyRael.