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Lobos Knock Off North Dakota in Four to Open UND Classic

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Down 17-11 in Set Two after dropping the first, New Mexico Volleyball surged ahead to tie things up behind a dominant night from Uxue Guereca and didn’t look back en route to a four-set win (17-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-19) over North Dakota (1-6) Thursday night to open their stay in Grand Forks, N.D. for the UND Classic.

The Lobos (5-2) closed out strong in sets two and three to turn the tides, closing with a 5-0 run in the second and a 8-0 run in the third to take a 2-1 set advantage they wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the way. 

The Lobos managed to win each of their last three sets by at least four points despite not hitting over .200 in any and posting 11 fewer kills than the Fighting Hawks, committing 10 fewer attack errors and three fewer service errors in a game that saw both teams combine for 14 aces. UNM served up a season-best 8 service aces in the winning effort, getting them from six different Lobos.

Guereca provided 4 of UNM’s 9 kills in that pivotal second set and seven of their eight in Set Three – adding a service ace in the process – finishing with 19 in total to lead UNM while hitting at a team-high .298 clip. She added 6 total blocks and 10 digs to finish with her third double-double of the season and 26th of her career.

Kaitlynn Biassou added 9 kills to go with 5 digs, with Athina Dimitriadis adding four along with a team-high 7 blocks and an ace. 

Melissa Walden and Madeleine Miller both appeared at setter – Miller’s first collegiate appearance – and both served up a pair of aces and added seven digs each. Walden finished with 21 assists and Miller added eight.

Crosetti led UNM in digs once again with 17, providing an ace and three assists in the process.

All three of Kali Wolf’s kills and both of her block assists came in the third set, with all three kills coming in a 5-0 Lobos run early in the closeout set that gave the Lobos an upper hand. She added 9 digs.

Thursday night’s action got off to a chaotic start, with three consecutive service errors on the first three serves of the match before UND jumped out to a 4-1 start and led by as much as 11, going up 22-11 on a UNM attack error. Guereca and Biassou combined for seven of the Lobos’ 8 kills in the first frame, but they didn’t pick up a block in that span and committed four service errors to hamper a comeback.

UND kept rolling to open Set Two, scoring the first four points of the set — three of which were UNM attack errors. The Hawks extended the lead to 17-11 after a kill and two more Lobos attack errors provided a 3-0 run, but the gears of UNM’s offense finally started turning after a timeout. The Lobos ripped off a 14-4 run to close out the set, getting two kills each from Biassou, Guereca and Dimitriadis along the way as they closed on a 5-0 tear to retake momentum and tie things up at a set apiece. Guereca finished with four kills yet again, with Dimitriadis adding three of her four total kills in this set as UNM got going.

Guereca bolstered the Lobos’ offense to an even further extent in the third, providing seven of UNM’s eight kills along with a service ace as they raced out to a 9-4 start. UNM resisted two rallies from the Hawks — a 7-0 run that included four UND kills and a later 5-0 run that put them up 21-17 — and closed out in the same fashion as Set Two to finish with the same score. The Lobos ended the set with eight consecutive points — two kills from Guereca, an ace from Walden, two big block assists from Woods and Biassou’s eighth kill of the night to seal the deal.

In the closeout set, it was Wolf who took over, providing three kills during a five-point swing to open the set that put UNM up 6-2 and forced a UND timeout. The Lobos pressured the Hawks into burning the second after going up 11-6 with another push — this time a 4-0 streak that included Miller’s second ace of the night. After Guereca’s 17th kill made it 17-10 in the Lobos’ favor, UND mustered a last-gasp response with a 4-0 run that cued a UNM timeout, but couldn’t generate any more traction as the Lobos cruised to their quickest set win of the night.

The Lobos (5-2) continue their run at the UND Classic with a matchup against Montana (2-5) tomorrow at 3 p.m. MT. Follow live stats at