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Lobos Sweep Air Force at Home

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.– New Mexico Volleyball got back on the winning track against Air Force at the Johnson Center as part of the Mountain West’s Tuesday Night Block Party, downing the Falcons (12-8, 4-5 MW) in straight sets (25-22, 25-23, 25-21) while hitting .350 on the match.

Two days after they had a Mountain West-best four-match win streak snapped by Colorado State, the Lobos (14-6, 6-3 MW) are now winners of five of their last six in conference play, all six of which being Top-150 RPI opponents. They move into sole possession of third place in the league standings for the time being. At the halfway point of conference play, UNM is off to its best nine-game start against MW op[ponents since 2013.

Kaitlynn Biassou led the Lobos in kills for the third-straight game, finishing with 17 on team-high .452 hitting while adding six digs and an assist. Uxue Guereca added nine more to go with seven digs, with Athina Dimitriadis adding seven more while leading the team with seven total blocks.

Kali Wolf and Elizabeth Woods both connected on five kills each, with Wolf finishing with four blocks and Woods adding two more to round out four Lobos with multiple blocks.

Melissa Walden picked up two blocks of her own while leading UNM in assists with 26 while picking up eight digs. Giselle Groe added five more assists with seven digs.

The Lobos put up a match-high 15 kills – with nine combined between Biassou and Dimitriadis – and seven blocks in set one to overcome match-low .200 hitting, rallying from an early four-point deficit to take a one-set advantage.
Biassou heated up early with a pair of kills to get UNM within two, and Dimitriadis powered the Lobos’ big 7-0 run to take control in the first set after they fell behind 5-1 to start. She provided a pair of blocks and three kills in that span to help UNM go ahead four, and finished the set with five kills and four blocks as the Lobos didn’t trail the rest of the way.

UNM hit a match-high .516 in the second set but couldn’t find the momentum it needed until an 8-2 run capped off by a kill from Woods, giving the Lobos their biggest lead of the set at 14-9 and forcing an Air Force timeout. They scored three of the next five – with a pair of kills from Wolf in that span – to force another, but the Falcons responded with a 5-0 run that included three service aces to get within two late and burn UNM’s first timeout. With the Lobos needing seven more points to seal a 2-0 advantage, the Falcons got within one twice but couldn’t get any closer, with Biassou and Guereca scoring UNM’s next four points with kills before an AFA service error closed things out.

UNM stayed within three the whole way but needed a late push to take the lead in the closeout set, down 16-19 coming out of a timeout. The Lobos scored nine of the next 11 – with Woods and Biassou adding two kills each in that span – to keep it to three and seal the big sweep at home.

With the win, the Lobos avenge last season’s loss to AFA and improve to 43-6 in the all-time series. The Falcons have picked up four of those wins since 2017 and the two teams split the season series last year after the Lobos swept the season series in 2021. UNM has won 4 of the last 5 against the Falcons and are 21-2 at home against them – the Lobos haven’t lost to AFA at home since 2019, and are 6-3 against them under Coach Newman-Gonchar and 3-1 at home.

The Lobos continue MW play on the road with their only matchup of the season against San Jose State on Thursday in San Jose, Calif. The match will be broadcast via the MW Network, with live stats available via — follow @UNMLoboVB on socials for scores, highlights, gameday content and more.