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UNM's Season Comes to a Close in Hard-Fought Five-Set Heartbreak

LAS VEGAS, Nev.— There was no shortage of heart shown by the Lobo volleyball team on Wednesday afternoon at the Mountain West Quarterfinal against UNLV.

However, New Mexico came up short in a five-set heartbreak that brought its season to a close.

The Lobos had four players finish in double-doubles, led by Kaitlynn Biassou’s match-high 16 kills to go with 11 digs, Uxue Guereca with 13 kills and 12 digs, Kali Wolf with 12 kills and 12 digs and Melissa Walden with a match-high 29 assists and 16 digs. Biassou had a match-high two service aces, accounting for half of UNM’s total, with Guereca recording one.

Alena Moldan recorded a match-high 22 digs in the match to go with a service ace and four assists.

At the net, UNM finished with 8.0 total blocks, with Avital Jaloba registering one solo and two assisted, Biassou and Kassie McGill with a solo and one assisted each and Elizabeth Woods with three assisted blocks.

The match was also momentous for Biassou and Moldan, as Biassou registered her 1000th-career point on a kill and Moldan recorded her 1000th-career dig in the match.

UNM started out with the early momentum, scoring five of the first six points on two Biassou kills, two kills by Guereca and a Moldan service ace. The lead expanded to six at 14-8 on a Guereca kill, before UNLV closed to within one at 16-15. Out of a Lobo timeout, UNM answered with a kill by Jaloba and used back-to-back kills by Biassou and Guereca to extend the lead to three at 20-17. Biassou closed with a kill and a service ace to get the Lobos to set point and a Guereca kill captured the first set for the Lobos at 25-20.

Guereca finished with seven kills and a .700 hitting percentage in the first set, with Biassou at five kills and a .500 hitting percentage.

The Lobos again got out to an early lead in the second set at 4-1 with kills by Biassou, Jaloba and Guereca. The Rebels used a run to tie the set at five, and after ties at six, eight and nine, the Rebels pulled ahead at 12-10. UNM closed within one four times, but was unable to find the tying point before losing the second set at 25-21.

There were three early ties in the third set before the Lobos used a 4-0 run to gain the 7-3 advantage. The Lobos continued to hold the lead, building it out to 18-8 and led 20-11 on a McGill kill. However, UNLV turned the tide and rattled off an 11-0 run to take a 22-20 lead that the Lobos couldn’t contain. A McGill kill brought the run to an end but UNLV took the third set 25-22.

Down 2-1 in the match, the Lobos rallied to force a fifth set, fighting back from down 10-7 and 20-17 and responding after UNLV took a 22-21 lead with a Biassou kill and consecutive Wolf kills to reach set point at 24-22. Biassou closed with a service ace as the Lobos won 25-22, scoring the final four points of the set.

In the fifth set, there were ties at one, two and three before UNLV took a 6-4 lead. UNM closed a 13-10 deficit late to one at 13-12 and fought off match point at 14-12 on a kill by Wolf before UNLV tallied the final point to end the match.

UNM’s season comes to an end at 20-10, 11-7 in the Mountain West and with it the Lobos say goodbye to four seniors in Chloe Clark, Hayley Torres, Kassie McGill and Mmachi Nwoke.