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Lobos Open MW Play with Five-Set Win in Reno

RENO, Nev. – New Mexico Volleyball came away with a hard-fought five-set road win (25-18, 19-25, 26-24, 20-25, 15-7) in its Mountain West opener against Nevada on Thursday evening, getting double-doubles from four different Lobos and closing with a blistering fifth frame to close out in dominant fashion after the Wolfpack (4-8, 0-1 MW) tied it up in set four to make things interesting.

With the win, the Lobos (9-3, 1-0 MW) are now winners of four straight and 1-0 in Mountain West play for the third time under Head Coach Jon Newman-Gonchar. They have won 12 of their last 14 sets while holding each of their last nine opponents under .200 hitting.

Nevada snapped UNM’s streak of 10 consecutive set wins by tying things up in the second set and reached set point in the third before the Lobos surged ahead late to take a 2-1 lead, but it wasn’t until UNR forced a decisive fifth that UNM finally took control. The Lobos held the Wolfpack to -.136 hitting in the final set while hitting .320 themselves in the same span, connecting on nine kills and closing on a 4-0 run.

UNM now heads to Fresno, Calif. for the second leg of its conference-opening road trip, set for a matchup with the Bulldogs (6-6, 0-1 MW) on Saturday at 2 p.m. MT.

UNM recorded season-highs in total kills (68) and total digs (96) in the win, with 13 total blocks standing as the second-most in a match this season.
Four different Lobos notched double-doubles – the most in a single match this season – with Uxue Guereca (23 kills, 20 digs) leading the Lobos in both categories ahead of Kali Wolf (15 kills, 12 digs), Kaitlynn Biassou (11 kills, 18 digs) and Melissa Walden (52 assists, 17 digs). Guereca, Walden and Biassou all recorded career-highs in one category or another.
Guereca’s 23 kills match a career-high – the second match this season in which she’s recorded at least 20 kills and 20 digs and her sixth double-double of the season. In her team-leading eight double-double of the season, Walden’s 52 assists were also a career-high, 10 more than her previous best of 42 set in 2021 against Boise State.
Biassou cracked double-digit kills for the third match in a row and eighth this season en route to her fourth double-double of the season with a career-high 20 digs. Wolf’s double-double was her third of the season.
Libero Angela Crosetti was the fifth Lobo to record double-digit digs with 20 — her fifth match with at least 20 to her name this season. Crosetti ranks No. 27 in the NCAA in digs per set (4.88).
Mattison Matthews – who made her first appearance since Sep. 8 – was a crucial difference-maker off the bench for UNM. The grad senior middle finished with five kills – all five of which came in the final two sets – on just eight attempts, assisting on four blocks. She connected on back-to-back kills immediately after entering the game in the third set that ignited a Lobos rally and finished off set five with her fifth and final swing. Athina Dimitriadis (eight kills, 3.5 TB) and Elizabeth Woods (one kill, 2 TB) both rounded out UNM’s effort at the net.
The Lobos held the Wolfpack to .184 hitting – the ninth consecutive opponent they’ve held below the .200 mark – while generating 28 attack errors. They rank No. 10 in the nation in opponent hitting percentage (.136).

With the win, UNM improves to 18-3 all-time against the Wolfpack and are winners of nine of the last 10 meetings between the two teams. They are now 11-2 against Nevada on the road.
The Lobos have a chance to complete the season sweep when the two teams meet again on Nov. 11 in the Johnson Center, where they haven’t lost to the Wolfpack since 2017.

Thursday’s match was Sparks, Nev. native and Reno HS graduate Kaitlynn Biassou’s final trip to her hometown. Tonight’s stat line (11 kills, 20 digs, 2.5 TB) in her sixth and final match against Nevada in Reno means she will complete her career with double-digit kills in every match she’s played in front of the hometown crowd.
In six matches against the Wolfpack in Reno in her career, Biassou has averaged 4.81 kills per set and 19.2 kills a match, with double-digit kills in all six, 20+ kills in two and three double-doubles. UNM is 5-1 in those road matchups.
Last season, Biassou matched a career-high with 26 kills against the Wolfpack in Reno on .258 hitting, tallying 16 digs for a double-double. She had cracked 20 kills in both of her last two matchups against UNR prior to tonight.

On the first full night of Mountain West conference play, two other matches went a full five sets. Preseason MW favorite Utah State (8-4, 1-0 MW) knocked Wyoming (11-1, 0-1)from the ranks of the undefeated (25-18, 23-25, 25-15, 26-28 and 15-6) in Logan and Boise State and Colorado State also went to five in Boise, with the Broncos (5-6, 1-0) coming away with their third straight win (25-17, 21-25, 25-15, 20-25, 15-12) and the Rams dropping to 6-6 (0-1). UNM’s Saturday opponent Fresno State (6-6, 0-1) fell in four (14-25, 29-27, 25-20, 25-22) to Air Force (9-3, 1-0) as the Falcons start conference play 1-0 for just the fifth time in history. San Jose State (9-5,0-1) was the only victim of a sweep, falling (25-27, 23-25, 25-27) to UNLV (10-4,2-0) in Vegas.

The Lobos aim to complete a second consecutive undefeated week in their Saturday matchup with Fresno State (6-6, 0-1 MW), set for a 2 p.m. MT start time. Saturday’s match 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.