New Mexico Wins Sheraton Airport Lobo Classic
10:30 a.m. - Idaho State def. Georgia Tech, 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-20)
1:00 p.m. - Lobos def. UC Riverside, 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-11)
5:00 p.m. - Georgia Tech def. UC Riverside, 4-1 (25-17, 25-20, 20-25, 25-20)
7:30 p.m. - Lobos vs. Idaho State, 3-0 (25-22, 25-11, 25-18)
11:30 a.m. - Idaho State def. UC Riverside, 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-19)
2:00 p.m. - Lobos def. Georgia Tech, 3-1 (25-17, 16-25, 27-25, 25-23)
Sheraton Airport Lobo Classic All-Tournament Team
|Chantale Riddle (MVP)
ALBQUERQUE, N.M. -- The University of New Mexico volleyball team won the Sheraton Airport Lobo Classic with a 3-1 (25-17, 16-25, 27-25, 25-23) victory over Georgia Tech on Saturday afternoon in the Johnson Center.
The Lobos have won their last four matches and are now 5-1 overall. Georgia Tech dropped to 3-3.
Head coach Jeff Nelson was pleased his Lobos were able to earn the win Saturday despite a rollercoaster performance.
"With our young players we're riding some highs and lows," Nelson said. "We did what we needed to at the end of the game; we've been good when it gets down to game point, but what we haven't managed well is winning easy. We've got to do better with not letting a team back in. Hopefully we're going to mature as we go, but right now my stomach is riding the fate of some highs and lows.
"But, we played a school from the ACC, didn't play our best and still ended up winning. I think that's a great sign."
Redshirt junior Chantale Riddle led all players with 15 kills and 15 digs en route to being named the tournament MVP, The right-side hitter had 45 kills over UNM's three matches this weekend and hit .340 (45k-10e-103ta). She added 26 digs and seven blocks while recording 48.5 points on the weekend.
"Chantale is Chantale," Nelson said. "She put up double-digit kills in every match and just gets it done for us. She's getting it done when teams are double teaming her and committing to her. She comes up with ways to produce big numbers for us."
Redshirt sophomore Hannah Johnson and senior Miquella Lovato were also named to the All-Tournament team.
Johnson had 110 set assists on the weekend, including 41 against the Yellow Jackets.
"It got tough for Hannah today when we were't passing as well, but overall she had a great weekend," Nelson said. "She made good choices down the stretch and got the ball to the right people."
Libero Lovato had 48 digs on the weekend (a set average of 4.80), including 18 against Georgia Tech.
"She had a great tournament and put up big numbers in every match for us," Nelson said. "She keeps the team in it in the back row she keeps them moving and makes the big plays for us that keep us going."
Freshman Julia Warren had a career high 12 kills on Saturday and added nine digs while freshman Cassie House added seven kills.
New Mexico is home again next weekend as they host the Lobo Invitational which draws Towson, Abilene Christian and Northern Arizona. UNM faces Towson at 7:00 p.m., on Friday, and will play Abilene Christian at 1:00 p.m., on Saturday before closing the weekend with Northern Arizona at 7:30 p.m.
Set One - Lobos 25, Georgia Tech 17
Georgia Tech got off to a quick start leading 4-2 but it didn't take more than a few rallies for the Lobos to find their groove and secure a 9-5 lead thanks to tough serving by Riddle and consecutive miscues by the Yellow Jackets.
A kill by Johnson at the 12-9 mark sparked a 6-0 run featuring kills from Riddle, Sours and Gullatt. From there, New Mexico comfortably closed out the set, 25-17.
Set Two - Georgia Tech 25, Lobos 16
The Lobos were plagued by errors in the second set and were held to just nine kills.
Georgia Tech again opened with a small lead and eventually ran the score to 14-8. Throughout the set, the Lobos were able to string together a few points at a time but never enough to take over the lead.
The Yellow Jackets ran the score to 18-12 before a kill by Warren and consecutive errors by Georgia Tech put the Lobos within three, 18-15.
But a botched serve by the Lobos swung the momentum back to the Yellow Jackets who took six of the next seven points and sealed the set, 25-16.
Set Three - Lobos 27, Goergia Tech 25
The Lobos took their first lead since winning the first set, 2-1, off a block by Lexi Ross and they used scrappy defense to roll from there and keep at least a two-point cushion early in the third set until the Yellow Jackets went on a 5-3 run and tied the set 14-all.
The teams traded points, but then a kill by Georgia Tech's Chanell Clark-Bibbs started a 6-3 rally to move the score to 20-18 and force the Lobos to call a timeout.
The teams traded kills out of the breather and before long the Yellow Jackets had set point, 24-22. A kill by Johnson off a set by Maddie Mayfield followed by an attack error by Tech tied the game at 24-all.
The teams again traded kills to move to 25-25 before an attack error by the Yellowjackets followed by a big kill from House ended the game in favor of the Lobos, 27-25.
Set Four -- Lobos 25, Georgia Tech 23
The Lobos used a 5-1 run early in the fourth set to break away from Georgia Tech and take a 15-10 lead. HIghlights of the run included kills by Riddle and House and some incredible digs by Lovato and Warren.
New Mexico's lead grew to as much as eight points, 21-13, when the Yellow Jackets made a 7-1 charge to come within two points, 22-20. Georgia Tech hung close and pushed the mark to 24-23 with a kill by Ivona Kolak, but Warren hammered home an assist from Johnson and the Lobos took the set, match and tournament.