Open Announce

Lobos Volleyball Welcomes Three for 2023

by Allison Weiss

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— The University of New Mexico volleyball team has added three players to the 2023 class, as announced by head coach Jon Newman-Gonchar and staff.

The newest Lobos, Samarah DaCoud, Kynzie Lilly and Madeleine Miller, hail from Iowa, California and Texas and add to the setter (Miller), outside hitter (DaCoud) and libero (Lilly) positions.

“We are thrilled to welcome this very talented group of future Lobos to the ABQ,” stated Newman-Gonchar. “We bring in a libero, a setter, and an outside hitter, each coming from very strong prep careers and even stronger club experience that had them competing against some of the best players in their age groups from across the country.”

Madeleine Miller | 6-1 | Setter | Shueyville, Iowa

Miller joins the Lobos after having a successful high school career at Mount Vernon High School, winning the state championship in 2019 and was the state runner-up in 2020. She twice earned first team all-state, all-district and first team all-conference, and was named the 2022 conference player of the year.

Statistically, she compiled 2000-plus assists and over 300 kills, 500 digs, 200 blocks and 100 aces.

Coach Newman-Gonchar on Miller: Madeleine is an exciting setter from Iowa, which is known for producing very strong players. She is going to come in right away and add tremendous value to our program.

Miller intends on majoring in business administration at UNM.

Kynzie Lilly | 5-7 | Libero/ DS | Richmond, Texas

Lilly was named to the all-district team from 202-22 and academic all-district from 2019-22 while at Fort Bend Travis, as her team made the 6A state playoffs in 2019, 2021 and 2022. She was named to the AVCA Phenom List in 2019, 2020 and 2021, to the Volleyball Prep Magazine Frosh 59 in 2019, the AVCA All-American List in 2022 and to the GHVCA All-Area Team in 2022. She was also invited to the Under Armour All-American Camp in 2022.

During her high school career, Lilly has played 378 sets, recording 1482 digs, 1876 serve receptions and 89 aces, all of which were school records.

Coach Newman-Gonchar on Lilly: Kynzie Lilly is a rising force at the libero position. She has played against some of the best players in Texas, which is going to set her up well for stepping in and adding great depth to our serve receive and defensive units.

On why UNM: I loved the coaching staff and how friendly the team was. Also, the opportunity to have new experiences away from home in a beautiful city.

Lilly intends to be a criminology major at UNM.

Samarah DaCoud | 5-10 | Outside Hitter | Long Beach, California

DaCoud comes to UNM from California and Lakewood High School, where she excelled academically and athletically. Her high school team won the Moore League in 2019, 2021 and 2022 and she was named to the Principal’s Honor Roll all four years.

She started on the varsity team as a freshman and was named a scholar-athlete in 2019 and an all-league plater. After the season was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID, she was named a team captain in 2021, earning first team all-league and again was named a scholar-athlete. In addition, she was given the Captain’s Award and the MVP High School Award, and was named to the Long Beach Press-Telegram Dream Team First Team.

She currently has tallied 937 kills, 656 digs, 105 blocks and 79 aces during her high school career.

Coach Newman-Gonchar on DaCoud: Samarah is an incredible athlete with a great 6 rotation skill set, from one of the richest volleyball hot beds in the country. Her ability to set herself apart in a very strong class of outside hitters from southern California is what fires us up most to have her bring her all-around skills and powerful arm to the 505.

On why UNM: It was volleyball that lead me to UNM, and it was witnessing firsthand an amazing group of young women that were so welcoming and a coaching staff that was extremely supportive. I knew the moment I stood at the whiteboard with Coach Jon that this is where I wanted to win championships and play. Diversity was one of the most important things for me in selecting a program that I would be proud to represent and play for, and I loved how diverse UNM’s program was. Plus, I really enjoy the desert vibe, and it wasn’t too far away from home.

DaCoud intends to major in psychology at UNM.