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Lobos Go 2-0 On Day One at UCI Invite

IRVINE, Calif. — New Mexico battled through back-and-forth battles in all five sets of its matchup with host UC Irvine at the adidas/UCI Invitational Friday evening, equalizing with emphatic wins in the second and fourth sets after narrow losses in the first and third before taking control late in a decisive fifth (24-26, 25-20, 23-25, 25-20,15-12).

With the win, the Lobos are 2-0 on the day after sweeping Seton Hall earlier in the day and are set to face San Francisco tomorrow at 2 p.m. in their Irvine finale. They remain undefeated all-time (8-0) against the 2023 adidas/UCI Invitational field.


Guereca’s 20-kill, 20-dig performance matched a career-high in digs and is her 30th career double-double. She poured in 15 of those kills in sets three through five before adding three more in the decisive final set, hitting a team-best .390 in the process. 

Kaitlynn Biassou (13 kills, 7 digs) and Kali Wolf (12 kills, 11 digs) both cracked double-digit kills as well, with Wolf also finishing with a double-double — her 12th in her career at UNM.

Melissa Walden continued to power the Lobos’ offense with 41 assists, matching a career-high with five kills, while Angela Crosetti picked up 26 digs and produced nine assists. Athina Dimitriadis and Elizabeth Woods remained efficient in their second starts, each adding five kills and six kills respectively with a total of eight block assists between them. Dimitriadis recorded three of her kills over the final four points of set five to close things out after 

In total, the score was tied 40 times over the five sets, with 19 lead changes between the two teams.

SET 1 – Lobos 24, ‘Eaters 26

Despite only hitting .091 to start, the Lobos produced 12 kills – including five from Wolf – and came within a point of a set win after going up 24-22 late. But Irvine came away with four straight out of a timeout to surge ahead late.

SET 2- Lobos 25, ‘Eaters 20

Guereca heated up with six kills as the Lobos responded with .323 hitting in set two, holding Irvine to .150 hitting in the process. UNM didn’t lead by more than three until a kill from Wof was followed by back-to-back UCI attack errors to put the Lobos up 24-19. Guereca finished off the set with a crafty swing that tied things up at a set apiece.

SET 3 – Lobos 23, ‘Eaters 25

Once again, an early lead from the Lobos wasn’t enough to keep UCI at bay in set three, with UNM unable to pull away by more than two and the ‘Eaters hitting a game-high .250 with 17 kills. The Lobos scored three straight – capped off by Biassou’s first ace of the match – to go up 18-16, but the ‘Eaters responded with three consecutive kills to get back in control at 20-18. A swing from Guereca that was originally ruled as out of bounds but was overturned upon a challenge from Newman-Gonchar stopped the bleeding, and she followed up with another emphatic strike down the same left side to keep the set within reach at 20-all.

Nonetheless, UCI found a response once more, responding with two more kills before a tough serve that generated another Lobos attack error. After UNM fell behind 24-21, two huge kills from Biassou and Woods gave the Lobos some life late, but a serve from Guereca sailed wide to end the set before they could get another chance to attack.

SET 4 – Lobos 25, ‘Eaters 20

Another start with seemingly little separation ballooned into the largest run of the night for the Lobos, who connected on a match-high 14 kills to tie things up yet again and force a fifth set. After UNM went up 11-7 thanks to kills from Guereca and Woods to force a UCI timeout, the Lobos kept attacking with four more unanswered – including two more kills from Guereca – to go up 15-7. This time, UNM held on to its lead, with Wolf heating up for three more kills as the Lobos held off a late push for a 25-20 win.

SET 5 – Lobos 15, ‘Eaters 12

An early 6-2 lead – a product of Guereca’s 19th kill and three consecutive UCI errors – forced an Irvine timeout, with Biassou extending the advantage to 7-2 with her 11th kill of the night. The Anteaters returned the favor with a 7-0 run that included four kills from Scarlett, but Biassou led a response from the Lobos with back-to-back kills and a service ace to put UNM up 11-10. Neither team went ahead by more than one until Guereca and Dimitriadis combined for four consecutive kills to close out the match over three hours after it had begun.


Tomorrow’s neutral-site matchup with San Francisco is set for a 2 p.m. start, with live stats available via Follow @UNMLoboVB on socials for scores, highlights, gameday content and more.



The Lobos (1-0) held the Pirates to .083 hitting and didn’t allow a single ace while serving up six of their own, getting nine kills from Athina Dimitriadis in her first game in a Lobo uniform on .444% hitting. The 6-5 grad transfer by way of FIU also added seven digs and didn’t record an attack error until the third set, serving up a clutch ace to keep the Lobos in contention in set two.

Kaitlynn Biassou (16 digs)  and Uxue Guereca (12 digs) both added eight kills each and double-digit digs, and Kali Wolf served up three of UNM’s six aces while adding five kills and eight digs. Setter Melissa Walden connected on 31 assists and four kills and came up with 12 digs as well as an ace of her own to round things out, and Elizabeth Woods added four kills along with a game-high four block assists.

As a team, the Lobos hit for a .192 average, but they accelerated in the third set, connecting on 14 kills with only two errors for a .333 clip to close things out.

Friday’s matchup was the first all-time between the Pirates and the Lobos, who remain undefeated all-time (7-0) against the 2023 adidas/UCI Invitational field.

SET 1 – Lobos 25, Pirates 15

As the Lobos held the Pirates to a match-low .020 hitting to open things up, the veterans stepped up on the attack – Biassou (3 kills) and Guereca (4 kills) led the way as UNM capitalized on 11 attack errors to build an early lead, with Wolf and Dimitriadis both serving timely aces to keep building momentum. Four consecutive SHU errors in a row gave the Lobos a 11-6 advantage, and UNM continued to build the lead before back-to-back kills from Guereca sealed the set.

SET 2 – Lobos 27, Pirates 25

UNM threatened to pull away for another quick set in the second after a ball handling error gave the Lobos a 14-9 lead, but the Pirates stayed within striking distance thanks to an improved offensive showing (.100%) and five kills from Senna Roberts-Navarro. Set Two saw the most ties (10) and lead changes (5) of the match, with Seton Hall committing only five attacking errors after recording nine in Set One.

After a kill from Woods put UNM up 22-18, the Pirates showed some resistance late, scoring six of the next seven with three kills from Roberts-Navarro and four Lobo attack errors to take a 24-23 lead and force a UNM timeout. But Dimitriadis came through yet again with her seventh kill of the day to tie things up at 24-all and keep the Lobos alive, and Wolf followed up an SHU service error with her second ace of the day to cement a 2-0 set advantage.

SET 3 – Lobos 25, Pirates 13

The Lobos’ attack found its rhythm in the closeout set, hitting .333 with a game-high 14 kills on two errors with six players recording multiple kills and five recording multiple digs in the process. Guereca and Wolf connected on two more service aces and the Lobos went a match-high 71% on sideouts, scoring seven of the last 10 points of the game to close out on an emphatic note.