Lobo Volleyball Adds Three Talented Transfers
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— Jon Newman-Gonchar and staff have added a trio of high caliber transfers to the 2021 roster in the likes of a pair of Power 5 student-athletes and one all-Mountain West selection.
Joining the current roster are Mmachi Nwoke (from North Carolina State, but also played at Kansas and Arizona State), Melissa Walden (from Texas A&M) and Kassie McGill (Nevada).
Mmachi Nwoke – 6’1 – Middle Blocker – North Carolina State
Mmachi Nwoke brings veteran experience from three Power 5 programs, playing in the ACC, Big 12 and Pac 12 conferences throughout her collegiate career.
Get to know Mmachi: Born and raised in Grand Prairie, Texas, Mmachi has full Nigerian heritage. Stand out career at Grand Prairie High School named the Offensive Player of the Year, as well as First Team All- Conference. A physical outlier who jump-tested 10-4. Intending to pursue her Masters of Business Administration at UNM, she has a younger sister that plays basketball at Duke.
Coach Newman-Gonchar on Mmachi: “Mmachi was a grand slam fit for us! She is a driven student, with incredible professional aspirations, and as an athlete, brings incredible athleticism to the Lobo volleyball program. Mmachi is a brilliant blocker and a standout attacker and a threat at the net in a variety of ways.”
Why Mmachi chose UNM: “The coaching staff is amazing, and I am grateful for this opportunity!”
Melissa Walden – 6’0 – Setter – Texas A&M
Get to know Melissa: Born and Raised in Aurora, Ill., Walden was a three-time AAU All-American and a top-150 recruit coming out of high school as a four-year high school letterman. The new Lobo is transferring from Texas A&M with a year of collegiate experience and is intending to major in English at UNM.
Coach Newman-Gonchar on Melissa: “Melissa brings precisely what we were looking for in adding another setter to our roster. She has a tremendous background from high school to club to her previous university, and brings with her an amazing hunger for being the best she can be. It was a no-brainer decision for us as we immediately recognized her commitment on our first call with her that she was the one! She has an incredible volleyball IQ and an unwavering spirit to bring out the best in the people around her.”
Why Melissa chose UNM: “This is such a special team with so much potential, and I wanted to be a part of this amazing group of girls.”
Kassie McGill – 6’1 – Opposite – University of Nevada
Get to know Kassie: Earned All-MW honors in 2021 after finishing the season with over 100 kills and 50 total blocks and was named Academic All-Mountain West three times. She comes from a family of college athletes as her father played football at Arizona State, uncle played football at University of Washington, grandpa played football at Michigan State and aunt, Kim GeBott Hunter, played volleyball at Nevada. At UNM, McGill intends to major in marketing.
Coach Newman-Gonchar on Kassie: “Having played against Kassie in 2019 and 2021, I knew the type of player she is and how lethal she can be. We are thrilled to have her on our side of the net! Kassie is a worker and will continue to raise the level of play in the Lobo volleyball program!”
Why Kassie chose UNM: “I really fell in love with the family atmosphere present in the UNM program, not only with the teammates but with the coaching staff as well. I am thrilled for the opportunity to pursue my master’s degree in the highly ranked program at UNM and for the opportunity to continue to compete in the Mountain West Conference.”