The University of New Mexico’s volleyball team traveled south over the weekend to compete in New Mexico State’s Borderland Tournament. Along with UNM, the tournament also invited Texas A&M - Corpus Christi and the University of the Pacific.
UNM lost their first game in the Borderland Invitational against A&M in three sets (25-18, 25-18, 25-19). Senior outside hitter Lauren Twitty contributed with 13 kills and 10 digs which was her second straight double-double of the season.
In their second match versus U of P, the lady Lobos won in three sets (25-21, 25-20, 26-16) providing UNM their first win against Pacific in program history, after previously going 0-7. UNM outnumbered Pacific in assisted blocks 24-10.
The Lady Lobos lost their third and final match against rivals New Mexico State Aggies in three sets (25-15, 25-17, 25-14) where UNM was outnumbered in assists, 41-18 and kills, 45-18.
Corpus-Christi showed their firepower in this game as they had two players who had double-digit kills with Chloe Simoncontributing with 13 and Rachel Youngwith 11.
A&M lead in every category except aces and blocks. The Lobos tied with blocks and lead 4-2 in aces. Despite the defeat, Friday night’s match against Corpus Christi was a great individual night for the Twitty, UNM’s star hitter, racking in an astounding .306 in hits. Graduate Maddie Freiwald for the Lobo’s tallied 22 of the teams 28 assists.
The stats aren't always a predicament of what happened in the game. This game was closer than the box score shows as the Lobos had multiple runs to cut the game to single digits but were unable to sustain that run resulting in Corpus Christi, who went on runs of their own, sealing the win against the Lobos.
The UNM Women's Volleyball team won their first match in seven tries against the Pacific Tigers marking it the programs first-ever win over the Tigers.
The Lobos had a complete 360 from the night before, winning in three sets and showing their firepower on the net as sophomore Rachel Murphy tied her career-high in blocks with 7 as UNMout blocked the Tigers by six with contributions from Twitty and Tie Bierria each having a solo block with Twitty assisting on five.
Junior outside hitter Danica Rowen and freshmen outside hitter Kaitlyn Biassou each posted three assisted blocks and libero Alena Molden led the Lobos in digs with 10. This is the fourth time this season Molden has had double figures in digs.
The first match was evenly matched until the Lobos got into a rhythm, sparked from the Tigers errors and blocks. The final five points in the first set were from the Lobos which propelled them into winning the next set two sets assuredly.
Both teams lacked in hitting percentage as the Lobos hit .086 while Pacific hit .009. This game was won by the Lobos tenacity on the net, their aces per set, and the minimal errors they made.
The Lady Lobos concluded the Borderland Invitational with a loss in three straight sets to NMSU. The Lobos were outnumbered in points, blocks (12-3), kills (45-18), assists (41-18), digs (40-31) and errors (19-14). The Lobos had a hitting percentage of( -.011) compared to the Aggies (.313).
In the first two sets, it was more competitive than the stats show as the Lobos gave up the lead, letting the Aggies go on a run only to cut the deficit within single digits until NMSU would later go on a run of their own to win the set. The third set was the most competitive of the match and more competitive than the stats show with seven ties and three lead changes.
UNM’s first lead of the match came in the third set with an attack error by NMSU which was a set that went back and forth for the first 12 points until the Aggies went on a run that ended the match,25-14.
Head Coach Jon Newman-Gonchar, new to the program this season, was quoted saying that “this weekend was a big learning experience for us (UNM).”
“We have to play good teams in order to flex that muscle and this was one of those weekends that we will look back on and be able to use the lessons we learned”
The Lady Lobos look to grow from this experience as the hit the road to play in Gonzaga in their first matchup in the Seattle Redhawk Tournament on Friday, Sep. 13th at 12 p.m.
Reyes Gallegos is a sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.