Six games into the 2021-22 season, UNM volleyball hasn’t lost a single set, placing them at 6-0. The Lobos dominated the Wildcat Classic last week, beating the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and Abilene Christian University on Friday and then destroying Texas Southern University on Saturday.
Green Bay came out of the weekend as the second-best team, losing only to UNM and winning both other matches 3-0. Even against a fairly strong team, the Lobos dominated across the board, besting the Phoenix in kills, assists and digs. UNM outside hitter Kaitlynn Biassou was everywhere, collecting 9 kills, 2 aces, 3 blocks and 9 digs. The main difference between the two teams came out in the defense, with UNM doubling Green Bay in blocks and netting 18 more digs over the three sets.
Abilene Christian went a solid 7-8 last season and was able to make the last set against UNM a close 25-21, but their inability to defend the service was just too much to overcome. Setter Melissa Walden was good in all the matches but she dominated against Abilene Christian, getting a double-double 28 assists and 11 digs. Outside hitter Uxue Guereca was efficient and effective, getting 10 kills on a hitting percentage of 0.381.
Texas Southern was always supposed to be a win for the Lobos, going a dreadful 2-10 last season. Even so, the domination displayed by UNM volleyball served not only as an exclamation on a victorious weekend but also as a testiment to the focus of this team. A lesser squad would have been forgiven a slip after five sweeps in a row, showing some chink in the armor that betrayed their staid confidence, but there was none for the Lobos. Outside hitter Kali Wolf feasted on the defenseless Tigers, firing off 15 kills. It was all Texas Southern could do to score 17 points and hit -0.12.
This Lobos volleyball team is on a run, and with no winning teams coming up on the schedule until conference play, they may stay undefeated for quite a while longer. They’re playing against themselves, probably by the design of head coach Jon Newman-Gonchar. If they keep going undefeated, they may play better teams in the future thinking they can win every game. It would be an amazing strategy if it works.
Matthew Salcido is the sports editor at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @baggyeyedguy