Open Announce

Lobos Begin MW Schedule at Boise State Thursday

by Allison Weiss

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— After going 9-1 in non-conference and starting 9-1 for the first time since 2013, The University of New Mexico volleyball team begins the Mountain West portion of the schedule on Thursday at Boise State.

First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT and streamed on the Mountain West Network (link above).

UNM is 2-1 in conference openers under head coach Jon Newman-Gonchar, but has won the last two, and has started conference on the road in two of the three years. The Lobos split the season series with the Broncos last season, with the home teams winning the match, and are 10-11 all-time against BSU.

The Lobos enter Mountain West play after two, hard-fought wins against Northern Arizona, defeating the Lumberjacks in four in Albuquerque before completing the sweep in Flagstaff in five.

Kaitlynn Biassou led the team with 44 kills on the week, averaging 4.89 kills per set, as well as with 49.5 points, an average of 5.50 per set. Kali Wolf registered two double-doubles with a balanced 12 kills and 12 digs in Wednesday’s win and 15 kills and 19 digs in Friday’s win. The duo were also efficient from the service line, leading the Lobos with four service aces on the week. Defensively, Alena Moldan led the team with 49 digs between the two matches, recording match highs in both matches with 27 and 22, respectively, and averaged 5.44 digs per set. Lea Zurlinden totaled 11.0 blocks, all assisted and for an average of 1.22 per set, while Avital Jaloba and Elizabeth Woods contributed 7.0 total blocks.

With the two wins, the Lobos’ win streak extended to six matches.

The Lobos have had multiple players record a double-double in a match six times this season.

The latest instance was Wednesday’s match against NAU, with Kaitlynn Biassou finishing with 23 kills and 11 digs and Kali Wolf having a balanced 12 digs, 12 kills performance. The Lobos actually had three double-doubles in the match with Alena Moldan’s 27 digs and 10 assists with Anilee Sher a dig away from adding another Lobo double-double.

Uxue Guereca leads with six double-doubles and Kali Wolf has four double-doubles on the season, the second most on the team.

UNM is 7-1 when a player records a double-double and 5-1 when multiple players record a double-double.

Junior outside hitter Kali Wolf enters the week with a four-match double-double streak and has five on the season. Wolf has reached double-digit kills in eight of the 10 matches and double-digit digs in six matches. The Minnesota native is second on the team in kills (122), digs (114) and points (146.5), tied for third in total blocks (21, four solo) and is fourth on the team in service aces (12).

New Mexico gets stronger as the match goes on, and is 8-0 when winning the third set, 5-1 when winning the fourth set and 4-1 in the fifth set this season. The Lobos are 2-0 in matches that go three sets, 3-0 in four sets and 4-1 in five sets.

Kaitlynn Biassou and Alena Moldan each reached career milestones in the final match of the 2021 season. Moldan surpassed the 1,000-career dig milestone while Biassou surpassed the 1,000-career point milestone. Moldan currently sits at 1,216 career digs with Biassou at 1,203 points. Biassou reached another milestone this season with 1,030 career kills, becoming the 15th Lobo all-time to reach 1,000 and Moldan is now sixth all-time in career digs in program history and 181 away from fifth.

The Lobos open up with two top teams in Boise State and Utah State, both entering the week at 8-3. The Broncos are 2-1 in three sets, 6-1 in four sets and 0-1 in five sets this season. They are led by Lauren Ohlinger and Paige Bartsch, who have 149 and 143 kills, respectively, with the main setter of Ashley Hayden, who has 384 assists. BSU has three players with double-digit aces, led by Allison Casillas’s 13, with Casillas also leading with 140 digs.Chey Day is their lead blocker with 57.0 total blocks (eight solo, 49 assisted). Boise State leads the MW in blocks per set (2.74) with 115 (23 solo, 184 assisted).

Thursday’s match is the first of two road matches on the week for the Lobos, with UNM set to face Utah State on Saturday at 11 a.m. MT.