Open Announce

Lobos Storm Back to Stifle CSUB in Four

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico Volleyball dropped the first set of its first Lobo Invitational matchup with CSU Bakersfield (3-1) before leaning on a career night from Elizabeth Woods to storm back and take the next three for a four-set win (23-25, 25-15, 25-19, 25-10) at The Pit Thursday.

The Lobos (3-1) handed the Roadrunners their first loss of the season thanks to a dominant performance at the net – UNM unblocked CSUB 15-9 – and double-digit kills from Uxue Guereca (15), Kaitlynn Biassou (11) and Athina Dimitriadis (10).

Elizabeth Woods was efficient and productive yet again at middle, coming up one short of a career-high with eight kills along with a career-high nine blocks. She hit a team-high .571, connecting on seven of those kills over the final three sets.

Melissa Walden posted her second consecutive double-double with at least 30 assists, producing 40 assists along with 11 digs. Reigning MW Defensive Player of the Week Angela Crosetti led the Lobos in digs for the fourth consecutive game, notching 14.

UNM’s attack picked up speed in each of the final three sets, with the Lobos’ hitting percentage increasing in each (.222, .314, .611). Over the final two sets, UNM outscored CSUB 50-29, generating 27 kills on just 43 attempts in the process. 

The Roadrunners hit .333 in the first set but didn’t surpass .100 through the rest of the match, finishing set two (-.57) and set four (-.115) below 0.

CSUB’s offense peaked in set one with 17 kills on .333 hitting, managing to muster a response each time UNM threatened to build a lead. A 6-0 run that included three consecutive attack errors and kills from Biassou and Woods put UNM in the drivers’ seat early, but the Roadrunners responded with a 5-0 swing of their own – with four of those points coming from Junior outside Paige Dugan – that cued a Lobos timeout. UNM finally stopped the bleeding with Wolf’s second kill of the set for a 12-9 advantage. CSUB managed to stick around late, cutting the deficit to 20-19 after back-to-back kills from Breklyn Pulling and scoring four straight to steal the set late.

Another early Lobos run was met with yet another CSUB response in the second set, but this time the Lobos surged ahead for good to tie things up.

After back-to-back service aces from Biassou put UNM up 10-6 and forced a timeout, the Roadrunners ripped off five straight to take a one-point lead. But this time, the Lobos took control, only allowing four Roadrunners points the rest of the way while holding them to -.57 hitting. UNM closed the set on a 5-0 run, including a kill and an ace from Guereca before Woods sealed the deal with an unassisted kill.

Neither team pulled ahead by more than two until late in set three, with CSUB bouncing back with a 12-kill effort to keep things tight early. After four lead changes and seven ties, it wasn’t until a 7-0 run that put the Lobos up 18-12 that UNM found some separation, but once again CSUB kept things tight with a run of their own, putting up five straight to get back within one and force a UNM timeout. Biassou came out of the break swinging, connecting on two more kills before Wolf added one of her own to put UNM up 22-18, and the Lobos scored three of the next four after a CSUB timeout, with Biassou’s fourth ace ending the set.

UNM’s attack reached game-highs as they put away the Roadrunners in the fourth, as four different Lobos recorded multiple kills and Walden produced a game-high 10 assists. After an early 6-0 run put UNM up 9-3, the Lobos cruised the rest of the way, outsourcing CSUB 16-7 while hitting a season-high .611.

With the win, UNM leads the all-time series between the Lobos and Roadrunners 2-1. The two teams hadn’t faced each other since 2012, when they split a home-and-away series.

The Lobo Invitational continues tomorrow with a matchup with St. John’s (2-1) at 6:30 p.m.

Earlier neutral-site action includes Utah Tech vs. St. John’s (11 a.m. MT) and Utah Tech vs. Cal State Bakersfield (4 p.m. MT).