Open Announce

Lobos Sweep NAU in Johnson Center Opener

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico Volleyball opened up the Johnson Center with a bang on Friday night, dispatching Northern Arizona in straight sets (25-12, 25-20, 25-17) for the second time this week thanks to a balanced performance that saw three Lobos record 11 kills each.

The Lobos (8-3) are winners of nine straight sets and 13 of their last 17, holding each of their last eight opponents below .200 hitting. They’ve won eight straight sets by at least five points. Friday’s match was the final game of their nonconference slate – they’ll hit the road next week to open Mountain West Conference play at Nevada (4-6) and Fresno State (5-5).

“Thrilled for the team to finish nonconference play with a solid win,” said UNM Head Coach Jon Newman-Gonchar, who swept his alma mater for the second time in the last three days. “We fired from all cylinders offensively and found our rhythm on the defensive side to put together a very complete match.  

“We’re ready to go on the road and get after it for week one of MWC play!” 

With 1,047 in attendance at the Johnson Center, Friday night’s matchup was the highest-attended Johnson Center Home Opener since 2015. The Lobos have seen an increase in attendance in each season since 2019 — not counting the 2020-21 season that limited attendance due to the COVID pandemic — and UNM’s average attendance of 841 per home game last season was its highest since 2016 (1,248) and highest of Newman-Gonchar’s tenure. Over UNM’s first four home games (including three games at The Pit for the Lobo Invitational), the Lobos have averaged 909 fans in attendance per game, including over 1,100 fans at UNM’s three-set win over St. John’s on Sep. 1.

UNM hit above .300 for the second straight game against the Lumberjacks, finishing at .303 thanks to a total of 44 kills. Kaitlynn Biassou, Athina Dimitriadis and Uxue Guereca all notched 11 kills each to lead a balanced Lobos attack with just nine errors between them. Guereca notched her fifth double-double of the season with a team-high 16 digs, as did Melissa Walden with a team-high 39 assists and 10 digs. Kali Wolf contributed seven kills and eight digs to round out the effort.

Four different Lobos finished with at least three total blocks to their names and three cracked double-digit digs as UNM held NAU to .056 hitting. Dimitriadis led the way with four blocks and Walden and Biassou added three each along with Elizabeth Woods, who finished with three kills. Crosetti added 11 digs and a service ace to round a stalwart defensive effort for UNM, which out-blocked the Lumberjacks 9-5 and out-dug them 53-36 while going 78.4% on sideouts.

The Lobos open MWC play with matchups at Nevada (4-6) on Thursday and Fresno State (5-5) on Saturday, with Thursday’s match set for a 7 p.m. MT start time. Both matchups will be broadcast via the Mountain West Network, with live stats available via Follow @UNMLoboVB on IG, X and Facebook for match day updates, behind-the-scenes content and more.