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Lobos Fall to San Francisco in Four Sets

IRVINE, Calif. — Despite a resurgent set three that gave the Lobos momentum heading into the back stretch, New Mexico Volleyball fell to San Francisco in four sets (20-25, 15-25, 25-18, 19-25) on day two at the adidas/UCI Invitational Saturday afternoon.

The Lobos (2-1) return to Albuquerque to play host to St. John’s, Utah Tech and Cal State Bakersfield at the Lobo Invitational at The Pit Aug. 31-Sep. 2.

For the second game in a row, Uxue Guereca (22 kills, 19 digs) registered a double-double with team-high kills to lead the Lobos, with Kaitlynn Biassou (12 kills, 10 digs, 1 ace) recording a double-double of her own and Athina Dimitriadis adding 10 kills along with three service aces. Guereca’s .408 hitting average was a team-high in her 31st career double-double. 

In her first appearance in a Lobo uniform, grad transfer middle Mattison Matthews connected on three kills without an error (.250%) while coming up with a team-high six block assists.

Melissa Walden (44 assists) generated at least 30 assists for the third game in a row, adding 12 digs to become the third Lobo to record a double-double. Angela Crosetti corralled a team-high 29 digs while adding three more assists.

Despite a 2-0 start that included a kill from Woods on the first rally followed by an ace from Guereca, the Lobos couldn’t find much separation in the first set despite holding onto a narrow lead. They hit .179 in that span with a game-high 17 kills while finally pulling away for a 23-20 lead after an ace from Biassou. But with UNM within two points of an early one-set advantage, the Dons responded with a late 5-0 run to surge ahead late.

USF recorded game-high .341 hitting with 19 kills en route to another set win in round two, jumping out to an early 15-10 lead and going ahead by as much as seven at set point before stifling a four-point swing from the Lobos with a kill.

Needing a set win to stay alive, UNM set the tone immediately with a 7-0 run that included three consecutive service aces from Dimitriadis. That lead extended to 11-1 after Guereca’s 12th kill of the day followed by a pair of blocks from Biassou and Matthews, and the Lobos didn’t look back. The Dons couldn’t cut the deficit any closer than five as UNM held them to a match-low .089 hitting, with kills from Guereca and Lauryn Payne finishing off the set to give the Lobos some life heading into a do-or-die fourth.

Looking to keep UNM’s rally from advancing any further, USF started off the fourth set with a 3-0 run before the Lobos responded with four straight of their own – all kills, with two from Guereca and one apiece from Dimitriadis and Walden. Neither team led by more than three until the Dons ripped off a 6-2 run to close out that handed UNM its first loss of the season.

UNM returns home next weekend, playing host to Cal State Bakersfield, St. John’s and Utah Tech as part of the Lobo Invitational Aug. 31-Sep. 2. All matches – including neutral site matchups – will be streamed, with live stats available via Follow @UNMLoboVB on socials for scores, highlights, gameday content and more.