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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The University of New Mexico volleyball team went 1-1 in its opening day at the University of Arkansas Invitational as the Lobos dropped their second match of the day, 3-2 (25-22, 25-22, 16-25, 20-25 and 6-15), to the Razorbacks on Friday.
The Lobos (1-1) play Northwestern State (0-2) at 3 p.m. MT on Saturday.
New Mexico took a 2-0 lead thanks to strong net play and solid passing, but Arkansas stepped up its play and rallied back to take the final three sets of the match.
"We passed really well in games one and two and hit our zones serving and managed to control the games really well," head coach Jeff Nelson said. "In game three, we started not passing as well and they served tougher and it took us out of our system and we never recovered.
"Arkansas had 14 ace serves in the match, compared to eight by the Lobos.
"We played some great volleyball at times, but we were a little bit immature tonight," he added.
Redshirt junior Chantale Riddle had a match-high 16 kills and added seven digs. Freshman Julia Warren had nine kills -- five of which came in the second game -- and added six digs.
Redshirt sophomore Hannah Johnson had 38 assists and 13 digs for her second double-double of the day/season.
Arkansas had three players in double-digits for kills -- Meredith Hays and Hayley Koop had 15 apiece and Danielle Harbin had 11.
"Both Cassie and Chantale had off nights but we were still in the fifth game with a really good team and I don't feel we played anywhere as close to what we're capable of," Nelson said. "We've got some work to do."
Set One -- Lobos 25, Arkansas 22
It was a tight game from the get go, with the teams trading points almost the entire way. A kill followed by an ace by Krieg at the 16-16 mark sparked a 4-0 run for the Lobos and pushed the score to 20-16. The Razorbacks were able to threaten the set, rallying off a few points and sticking close, but the Lobos got an ace from Maddie Mayfield followed by a kill from Riddle to take the set, 24-20.
The Lobos recorded more kills than Arkansas, 15-9, and were sharper hitters, .333 to .077 accuracy by the Razorbacks.
Set Two - Lobos 25, Arkansas 22
Julia Warren happened the third set. The freshman had five kills in 11 attempts and committed just one error and led the Lobos to a 7-4 lead early in the second set.
Arkansas answered with kills from all parts of their lineup, went on an 7-1 run,and claimed the lead, 11-8.
The Lobos went to work and eventually reclaimed the lead, 16-14, but the Razorbacks hung around until the 19-19 mark when a kill by Krieg and an ace by Warren moved the mark to 21-19, New Mexico. The Lobos held onto the lead the rest of the way, getting a kill from Johnson and capitalizing on a few miscues by the Razorbacks. Ross put away a quick set to the middle to give the Lobos their final point in the set, 24-22.
Set Three - Arkansas 25, Lobos 16
The Lobos cooled off significantly in the third set and Arkansa took full advantage running the score to 19-9 before making consecutive attack errors. The Lobos got an ace by Skipper after that to make the mark 19-12, but the deficit was too much and the Razorbacks were too hot at the net and took the set, 25-16.
Set Four - Arkansas 25, Lobos 20
Arkansas rattled off three quick points to open the fourth set before a botched serve put the Lobos on the board. A block by Riddle and Ross and an ace by Johnson helped New Mexico break even with the Razorbacks, 3-3.
However, the home team then went on a 6-1 run thanks to tough serving by Ashley Vazquez. An ace by Lovato put a one-point snag in the run, but then the Razorbacks continued on their tear, running the score to 17-9.
Bit-by-bit the Lobos made their way back into the set, including a 5-0 run in which Lovato was serving that brought the Lobos within two points, 20-18. But a kill by Hays and two errors by New Mexico pushed the Razorbacks to 23-18 and led to a 25-20 victory, pushing the match to a deciding set.
After four sets, Arkansas had three players in double digits for kills - Danielle Harbin with 10 and Meredith Hays and Hayley Koop with 13 each.
Set Five - Arkansas 15, Lobos 6
The Lobos couldn't quite find their rhythm in the fifth set. Arkansas claimed a 5-2 lead and never looked back en route to a 15-6 set and 3-2 match win.
NOTES: The Lobos are now 29-18 on opening day and 7-2 on opening day under Nelson.
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