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Lobos Hold Off Spartans in Four in San Jose

SAN JOSE, Calif – New Mexico Volleyball overcame a bumpy start to set one and withstood multiple pushes from San Jose State en route to a four-set win (25-23, 24-26, 26-24, 25-20) Thursday night, putting the finishing touches on another undefeated week in conference play with the Lobos’ first win over the Spartans in San Jose since 2015.

Facing an SJSU squad looking for momentum after dropping 12 straight sets heading into Thursday’s match, UNM had its hands full in the first three sets before ripping off its biggest run of the night in set four to keep things from going to five, leaning on another big night from Kaitlynn Biassou (16 kills, six digs) and clutch offense late in each set from Athina Dimitriadis (9 kills, .316 hitting, 5 TB).

The Lobos (15-6) improve to 7-3 in conference play – their best 10-game start to conference play since 2013 – while snapping a four-match losing streak to the Spartans. They are winners of six of their last seven matches in Mountain West play and move into sole possession of second place in the league standings for the time being.

The win also elevates the Lobos to 7-1 in true road games — their .875 win percentage this season on the road ranks among the Top 15 in the nation.

Kaitlynn Biassou led the Lobos in kills for the fifth time in a row and cracked double-digits for the sixth in a row, finishing with 16 kills and six digs. Uxue Guereca served up three aces and contributed eight kills and 10 digs – her third multi-ace match of the season and 14th with double-digit digs.

The Lobos’ middles were highly efficient in the win – Athina Dimitriadis added nine more kills on .316 hitting and Elizabeth Woods finished with seven on .438 hitting, with the duo both picking up five total blocks each. Dimitriadis served up a pair of aces.

After an efficient night on Tuesday off the bench, Lauryn Payne was effective again with more sample size, finishing with six kills and five digs to go with two blocks. Kali Wolf added three more kills and served up an ace while adding eight digs.

Melissa Walden and Madeleine Miller both recorded double-doubles at setter – Walden finished with 20 assists and 13 digs and Miller recorded 15 assists and 10 digs.

The Lobos were held to .158 hitting on the match but held the Spartans to .155 hitting in turn, holding them below .150 in each of the final two sets as they closed things out.

After a 5-0 start from the Spartans, the Lobos couldn’t get going as the lead grew to 3-11 – with two of UNM’s points at the time being SJSU service errors. But the Lobos outscored the Spartans 22-12 the rest of the way, including a 9-0 run that saw Biassou and Wolf both pick up a pair of kills each. Guereca and Dimitriadis provided four of UNM’s final five points of the set as they put away the Spartans for good – Guereca connected on two kills and Dimitriadis added one of her own before sealing the deal with a service ace at set point.

Both teams exchanged runs in set two after UNM’s quick 6-2 start, with the Spartans ripping off a late 10-5 run to go ahead 24-21 and threaten to tie things up. The Lobos fought them off at set point three times to tie things up at 24-all, but dropped the next two to tie things up at a set apiece and snap the Spartans’ 13-set losing streak.

SJSU kept rolling to start the third, setting the tone with multiple runs with UNM responding in kind to reel things back in both times. This time around, UNM scored six of the final eight points of the set to retake momentum – with Guereca’s third ace to put UNM up 23-22 followed by back-to-back kills from Dimitriadis to close things out – after the Spartans took a 22-20 lead.

Set four looked to be just as tightly contested until UNM put together its biggest run of the night, scoring eight unanswered – with three different Lobos picking up a kill and Dimitriadis serving up her second ace of the night – to take a 13-7 lead. They didn’t relinquish it the rest of the way despite not scoring two in a row again until Woods and Payne connected on back-to-back kills coming out of timeout to put UNM up 20-16. Guereca followed with a solo block to extend the lead to five, and the Spartans didn’t get any closer the rest of the way as Biassou added her 15th and 16th kills of the night and Dimitriadis once again shut the door with a solo block at set point.

With the win, the Lobos are 17-9 against the Spartans all-time, snapping a four-match losing streak that spanned the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Coach Newman-Gonchar improves to 3-6 against SJSU in his tenure at UNM, with the Lobos’ first road win over the Spartans since 2015.

The Lobos get a weeklong break before returning to Mountain West action at home against San Diego State on Oct. 26. Live stats and streaming will be available via and the Mountain West Network.

Next Thursday is Pink Night at the Johnson Center – UNM is partnering with Dig Pink and the Side-Out Foundation to raise funds for breast cancer research. Read more at