The Mountain West women's volleyball conference tournament begins on Sept. 26 starting with a match up between San José State University and San Diego State University and concludes on Nov. 23 with San José facing off against the University of Wyoming.
This tournament is comprised of eleven teams in the Mountain West conference. Each of the eleven teams will play a series of games to ultimately determine who will be the Mountain West Champion based on their conference play.
The University of New Mexico women's volleyball team will officially begin their Mountain West tournament games against Colorado State University (CSU) this coming Thursday, Sept. 26. The matchup will prove to be a tough task for the Lobo team: Colorado State is the top ranked team in the Mountain West with an overall record of 9-1 and has been on an eight game winning streak, only losing a combined total of five sets in their first ten games.
The Lady Lobos enter this tournament with a 3-7 record. Based off of stats, the team has been inconsistent in their ability to win so far, finding it difficult to create traction when it comes to building a winning streak.
A key game and matchup to look out for is when the top two teams in the tournament — Colorado State University (9-1) and the University of Nevada (7-2) — duel it out on Oct. 26. The matchup could determine the energy of the tournament and who will end up on top of the conference.
Both Nevada and CSU have a former Mountain West player of the week heading into the tournament — Nevada’s junior outside hitter Kayla Afoa and CSU’s junior outside hitter Breana Runnels.
The Lady Lobos will play eighteen games against the other ten Mountain West teams, facing eight of those teams twice. UNM will look to build on last year’s tournament that lead them to a 9-9 conference play record and an overall record of 15-15.
Based on stats alone, senior and hard-hitter Lauren Twitty could be the key to UNM's success going into the Mountain West tournament. Twitty has put down a total of 143 kills since the season began and has averaged a total of 181.0 points for the Lady Lobos. It could be expected that Twitty makes MVP for the Mountain West if she continues to play at the rate she’s been achieving.
The UNM vs. CSU matchup is scheduled for Sept. 26 and will take place in Fort Collins, Colorado. The game kicks off at 7 p.m. Mountain Time.
Reyes Gallegos is a sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @dailylobo