UNM Hosts Nevada and San Diego State for Final Home Matches of 2012

Nov. 13, 2012

New Mexico Lobos Volleyball - home vs. Nevada and San Diego State

Thursday, Nov. 15: Lobos vs. Nevada, 7 p.m. MT -
Saturday, Nov. 17: Lobos vs. San Diego State, 11 a.m. MT
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Fans should note that Saturday's match was originally scheduled for 1 p.m. MT, but was changed to 11 a.m. MT

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Howl for Hunger 2012 Get Acrobat Reader

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The Lobos host two Mountain West opponents this week in what will be their final home matches of 2012. New Mexico plays Nevada at 7 p.m. MT on Thursday, Nov. 15 and San Diego State at 11 a.m. MT on Saturday, Nov. 17.

Thursday night's match features a special promotion in "Howl for Hunger" UNM's 2012 Canned Food Drive. Fans who bring two or more canned food items will receive a $3 general admission ticket.

Saturday is Senior Day for UNM volleyball and the Lobos will honor senior captain Jordan Russell and junior Ashley Newman.

Russell is a four-year letterwinner who began as a walk-on and earned a scholarship for her final season. The two-time team captain has played in every match this season, serving primarily as a setter and stepping in as a libero last week.

Newman, a nuclear medicine major, will not return for a fourth season as she focuses on finishing her undergraduate degree and preparing for medical school. The junior was a key contributor this season, especially from behind the service line, before tearing her ACL on Oct. 23.

"Jordan is our team captain and has done a really good job for us this year," Nelson said. "We will be honoring her on Saturday as well as Ashley Newman. Ashley is heading to med school and we talked last summer about this potentially being her last year because of the commitment she needs to make to getting in to med school. She's an outstanding student and has been a great part of our team."

Nevada (4-23, 1-13) enters Thursday's contest on a 13-match losing streak, not having won a match since their very first Mountain West contest, a 3-2 decision over now-first place San Diego State on Sept. 22. Most recently Nevada dropped matches at home against Boise State (0-3) and Air Force (1-3).

The Lobos swept Nevada in Reno on Oct. 20. Chantale Riddle had a match-high 16 kills and 16 digs in that match. UNM put up 18 blocks and held the Wolfpack to a .096 hitting percentage.

Sophomore Tessa Lea'ea leads Nevada (3.13 kills, .260 pct., 1.34 blocks). Senior Janelle Batista (2.53 kills, .205 pct.) and freshman setter Taylar Rothfuss (8.14 assists, 1.34 digs) are also significant contributors.

San Diego State is the current leader in the Mountain West standings and is on a nine-match winning streak having swept both Air Force and Boise State last week at home. Senior middle blocker Andrea Hannasch led all players in the Aztec-Bronco match with 16 kills while hitting .467. Michelle Waber and Raegan Shelton had 12 and 10 kills, respectively while setter Johnna Fouch had 37 assists and 13 digs.

The Lobos and Aztecs met in San Diego on Oct. 18 with SDSU taking a five-set decision from UNM. It was a tough match that saw 39 ties and 11 lead changes, including 19 ties and four lead changes in the third set. San Diego State took set five and the match with a 17-15 score.

Senior Andrea Hannasch is the Aztecs' standout, averaging 2.85 kills, .292 pct., 1.30 digs and 1.06 blocks. Sophomore Michelle Waber (2.64 kills, .235 pct., 1.11 digs), junior Raegan Shelton (3.05 kills, .224 pct.) and junior setter Johnna Fouch (8.91 assists, 2.03 digs) also make significant contributions.

New Mexico will look to secure win No. 20 of the 2012 campaign against Nevada. A win will be the fourth 20-win campaign for head coach Jeff Nelson in the six years he has been at New Mexico (since 2007), and the 11th time the Lobo volleyball program has recorded a season with 20 or more wins. The most wins recorded by a UNM volleyball team was 28 (11 losses) under the direction of Laurel Brassey in 1983.

As of Tuesday afternoon, junior libero Miquella Lovato still had not been cleared for participation and it is likely the Lobos will again work with eight players, at least against the Wolfpack.

"We're hoping to have her back by Saturday's game," Nelson said. "It's day-to-day right now."