Nelson Earns 100th Lobo Victory
Lobo Volleyball (8-1, 0-0 MW) - Sheraton Airport/Comcast Lobo Invitational -- Johnson Center, Sept. 7-8
Friday, Sept. 7: Lobos def. Georgia Southern, 3-2 (23-25, 25-15, 32-33, 22-25,15-7)
Saturday, Sept. 8: Lobos vs. Portland, 1 p.m. MT.; Lobos vs. UC Santa Barbara, 7:30 p.m. MT
Live streaming: All matches will be streamed live via www.ProViewNetworks.com
GoLobos.com: GameTracker, box scores, recaps and highlights by LoboTV
SHERATON AIRPORT/COMCAST LOBO INVITATIONAL WEEKEND SCHEDULE
Friday, Sept. 7
5 p.m. - Portland def. UC Santa Barbara, 3-2
7:30 p.m. - Lobos def. Georgia Southern, 3-2
Saturday, Sept. 8
10:30 a.m. - UC Santa Barbara vs. Georgia Southern
1 p.m - Lobos vs. Portland
5 p.m. - Georgia Southern vs. Portland
7:30 p.m. - Lobos vs. UC Santa Barbara
Jeff Nelson recorded his 100th Lobo victory, with a 3-2 (23-25, 25-15, 32-30, 22-25, 15-7) win over Georgia Southern in the opening night of the Sheraton Airport/Comcast Lobo Invitational on Friday.
Nelson becomes just the second coach in Lobo volleyball history to reach the 100-win mark, reaching the milestone in just over five seasons. His record at UNM is 100-56, and his overall record as a collegiate head coach is 343-202 (18 seasons).
Laurel Brassey Iverson is New Mexico volleyball's winningest coach with a record of 290-210, built over 17 seasons (1983-86, 1988-2000).
Three Lobos recorded double-doubles in Friday night's match.
Senior Jordan Russell recorded a career-high 30 set assists and added 12 digs.
As indicated by the game scores, the match was one of extremes and a hard-fought battle for the Lobos.
"We made a lot of mistakes again tonight," Nelson said. "But, in game two we played like we should. We served well and we didn't make as many mistakes. In games three and four we made a lot of mistakes, and then in game five, we went out there and got after it. We didn't make the mistakes. We nailed every serve and hit every zone in that set and when we did that throughout the match, we ran points."
UNM topped the Eagles in every category--kills, attack percentage, assists, service aces, digs, blocks and points-- while remaining error free on serve receive. Two Lobos had double digits in kills (Riddle and Gunsaulus) and five players had double digits in digs (Gunsaulus, Riddle, Skipper, Russell and Miquella Lovato).
New Mexico also topped Georgia Southern in another category -- service errors -- 17-11.
"We were really unfocused at times," Nelson said. "In our team meeting we just talked about roles and what each player needs to do and knowing when they need to step up."
Nelson thought his setters were consistent throughout the match, providing the Lobos some stability.
"I thought Hannah Johnson had some key blocks for us in the match," he said. "What I thought Hannah and Jordan both did really well tonight was just set the ball. We got a lot of swings and a lot of opportunities to attack the ball. I was really proud of the way both of them did. They kept us in every point."
The 32 points scored by the Lobos in the third set is the most points a UNM volleyball squad had scored in the 25-point era since Nov. 12, 2009 when UNM topped UNLV, 29-17, in the second set of a 3-2 victory; it's also the first time New Mexico volleyball has scored over 30 points since Nov. 22, 2007.
This was New Mexico's second five-set match of the season. The Lobos only loss is a 2-3 decision to Duquesne on Aug. 24.
"I"m thrilled that we won a five-gamer because we're learning we can come from behind and finish," Nelson said. "I think we need to understand our roles better and grasp on to that."
The Lobos face Portland at 1 p.m. on Saturday and close out the tournament with a match against UC Santa Barbara at 7:30 p.m.
Portland defeated UC Santa Barbara, 3-2 in the 5 p.m. match on Friday.