Lobos Host San Diego State For Senior Day

Both the Lobos and Aztecs are coming off of losses in their last match, with SDSU falling to UNLV in three sets on Thursday night while UNM lost to Fresno State in five.

San Diego State enters the contest with a record of 8-20 and 6-9 in the Mountain West.  Historically, the Aztecs lead the series 39-21, but the Lobos are 14-13 at home.

UNM Notes | SDSU Notes | Live Stream | Live Stats 

LOBOS LAST TIME OUT

Junior outside hitter >Lauren Twittyrecorded her 12th double-double of the season with 17 kills, a match high,  and 12 digs and added a match-high three service aces and four assisted blocks as the Lobos fell to the Fresno State Bulldogs in five sets on Thursday night.

The Lobos pulled out two close sets, while testing Fresno State late in one before ultimately dropping it, in the 28-26, 19-25, 20-25, 25-23, 7-15 loss.

>Mercedes Pacheco tallied 21 digs in the match, her third-straight match with 20-plus digs and fifth overall this season.  >Sabrina Bianco had a team-high 24 assists with >Jaclyn Inclan slightly behind her with 19, and >Victoria Spragghad two solo blocks and four assisted blocks to lead the Lobos at the net. Spragg also had a season-high 12 kills on the night, hitting .320 in the match. >Tai Bierria was the third Lobo to have double-digit kills in the match, tallying 11 kills. 

The opening set had 13 ties and five lead changes in which 25 points wasn't enough to determine the winner.  A kill by Carrasco made it 21-20 UNM, and a Bierria kill and Clark's second kill of the set gave UNM set point at 24-22. A service error by UNM and a Fresno State kill tied the set at 24. UNM fought off set point two times with Clark tying the set at 25 on a kill and a Bulldog attack error tying the set at 26, before UNM took the final two points on another Fresno State attack error and a Spragg kill to win the opening set 28-26. 

The Lobos and Bulldogs had four ties in the first eight points of the second set before Fresno State took control for the 25-19 set win. 

In the third set, after Morgan Schreckler registered a service ace to tie the set at 17, Fresno State regained the lead with the next four points for the 21-17 advantage. The Lobos would get three more points on a Bulldog service error, a Twitty kill, and a Clark and Murphy block before Fresno State won the third set 25-20.

There were 14 ties and seven lead changes in the fourth set as the Lobos got out to an early 6-2 lead with three kills from Carrasco and a Pacheco service ace. The Bulldogs responded to tie the set at 10 and went on to take the lead on the next point. There were ties at 11 and 12 before the Lobos retook the lead at 14-12 on a Spragg and Twitty block, to which the Bulldogs answered with a 3-0 run to pull back ahead 15-14. A Spragg kill evened the set at 15 and a Bulldog attack error allowed UNM to go back in front, but only temporarily. There were more ties at 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 before Twitty gave UNM the lead for good with her second kill of the set and 15th kill of the match. Carrasco put the finishing touches on the set with a kill after a long rally to give UNM the 25-23 set win and force a fifth set.

The Lobos were able to hang close in the early stages of the fifth set, due to service errors and a double hit by the Bulldogs that kept UNM within one in the first nine points. However, that was as close as the set would be from there as after a Fresno State ball handling error made it 5-4 FS, the Bulldogs scored the next five points to go up 10-4. A Spragg kill ended the run, to which the Bulldogs answered with the next two points to push their lead to seven at 12-5. The Lobos scored two additional points on a Bulldog attack error and a final kill by Twitty, but the final margin ended up being eight as Fresno State won the set 15-7.

LAST TIME VERSUS SDSU

The Lobos lost their road match to the Aztecs in four sets (21-25, 22-25, 25-21, 15-25). 

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The Lobos saw their four-match win streak snapped in the first meeting with the Aztecs, as Twitty registered her ninth double-double of the season with 12 kills and 11 digs and Bierria had a team-high 14 kills in the setback. Pacheco had a match-high 13 digs to join Twitty as the only two Lobos with double-digit digs and had the only service ace on the night for UNM. Bianco had 23 assists in the match, accounting for over half of the team's 43. At the net, Spragg and Mariessa Carrasco each had one solo and three assisted blocks. Carly Beddingfield also had a solo block to go with an assisted block and Nicolette Clark had three assisted blocks. 

The Lobos had an opportunity to take the opening set after gaining the early lead and later fighting back to tie the set at 21, but ultimately was unable to finish, dropping the set 25-21. In the second set, the Lobos would get within one at 19-18, 20-19 and later fought back with a late 3-0 run on back-to-back Twitty kills and a Carrasco and Beddingfield block to make it 23-22, but UNM couldn't ever get the needed point to tie the set before SDSU took the set 25-22. UNM finally broke through in the third set, taking control of the set from the first point to set point en route to the 25-21 set win to extend the match. However, UNM couldn't maintain the momentum into the fourth set, dropping the set 25-15.

SENIOR APPRECIATION

Saturday's match versus San Diego State marks the last regular-season home match of the year and Senior Day for the Lobos. 

UNM will honor the careers of four seniors in Carly Beddingfield, Mariessa Carrasco, Mercedes Pacheco and Victoria Spragg, made even more special in that all but Carrasco are New Mexico natives. 

GOING THE DISTANCE

Ten times this season, UNM has played five sets, recording a 5-5 record, including last night's match. 

In last Thursday's match at SJSU, the Lobos rallied from down nine (20-11) to win the third set 25-23 and were within two points of taking the fourth set and the match before dropping the fourth set 25-23 and the fifth set 15-11. 

In UNM's match against Wyoming, the Lobos forced a fifth set with a 25-23 fourth set win, but were unable to pull out the victory as they fell behind 6-2 early on in the fifth set and lost 15-9.

In the win versus the Wolf Pack, the Lobos easily took the first set after hitting .500 as a team before the roles reversed and they dropped the second set. The third set went to New Mexico in a frame that although there were ties, the Lobos never trailed. Nevada used a late run to force a fifth set, where New Mexico scored the first five points en route to a dominating 15-4 set win. In their match at Air Force, the Lobos were unable to capture the fourth set but catapulted out to 10-2 lead in the fifth behind a 9-0 run. The Falcons made a late push to cut the margin to three at 14-11, but Tai Bierria notched the final point on a kill to seal the set and the match.

In the last non-conference match against CMU, and for the fifth time this season, UNM went the distance in a five-set victory. After the Chippewas rallied to force a fifth set, the Lobos scored the first three points of the set, closed the match on a 7-0 run, including four blocks in-a-row, en route to the 15-7 set win. 

In the three matches played at the Idaho Volleyball Classic on opening weekend and the three matches at the UNF Invitational, the Lobos played five sets in two of each tournament, going 2-2. UNM lost a late lead in the fifth set to fall to Grand Canyon University to open the tournament, but finished with a five-set victory against host Idaho. At UNF, New Mexico was down to match point at 24-23 in the fourth set, with Lauren Twitty registering a kill to extend the set. The Lobos would go on to win 26-24. In the fifth set, the Lobos trailed 13-10 before fighting back to win the set 16-14.

THE CLOSER

Junior outside hitter Tai Bierria has scored the final point in eight matches this season, six of which tallied the winning point. In MW play, Bierria recorded the final kill against Nevada, Air Force, UNLV (twice) and Utah State to clinch the victory, and recorded the final point scored by the Lobos against Boise State and San Diego State. She also had the winning point versus USC Upstate in non-conference play.

SETTING THE TONE

The Lobos have two new setters on the roster in freshman Sabrina Bianco and redshirt-freshman transfer Jaclyn Inclan. Bianco leads the team with 583 assists, averaging 5.35 per set, and Inclan is behind her with 467 assists (4.41 a/s). Combined, the duo has 1050 of the team's 1194 assists. Bianco has started 21 matches, registering double-digit assists in all 27 matches this season. Inclan recorded a season-high 32 in the match at Air Force and has recorded double-digit assists in all but one match. Inclan also made her first start of the season against the Spartans, and has started in five matches since. 

SERVES YOU RIGHT

Lauren Twitty leads the team in service aces with 20 following her match-high three service aces in last night's match against Fresno State. Sabrina Bianco (18) is second and Morgan Schreckler is third with 15. Jaclyn Inclan (12), Mercedes Pacheco (11) and Mariessa Carrasco (10) round out the Lobos with double-digit service aces. 

The Lobos had a 6-2 advantage in service aces against the Bulldogs, behind Twitty's three and one each from Pacheco, Schreckler and Makayla Tam.

 

JUST DIG IT

Mercedes Pacheco is pacing the Lobos in digs with 324 digs through 85 sets, an average of 3.81 digs per set. Lauren Twitty is second on the team with 263 digs at 2.44 digs per set, followed by Sabrina Bianco and Tai Bierria, who have 194 (1.78 d/s) and 172 digs (1.61 d/s), respectively. Pacheco had a career-high 23 digs at San José State and has had 20-plus digs in the last three matches. 

ROAD BLOCK

Victoria Spragg leads the team with 123 total blocks (20 solo and 103 assisted), with an average of 1.13 blocks per set. Six of her solo blocks came in the matches versus UNLV, Air Force and Nevada, and she had two more solo blocks in Thursday's Fresno State match. In the match at Air Force, she had a career-high 12 total blocks with two solo and 10 assisted.

Mariessa Carrasco is second on the team with 102 total blocks, 12 solo and 90 assisted. 

Spragg and Carrasco have had breakout seasons at the middle blocker position for the Lobos. For comparison, in the last two years, Spragg had 118 total blocks in 2016 and 115 in 2017 on the season and Carrasco had 101 total blocks last year and 96 the year before (2016), numbers that the middle blockers have surpassed with three matches left to play in the regular season.

JOINING THE RANKINGS

Lauren Twitty is fifth in the Mountain West with 3.48 k/s, totaling 376 kills in 108 sets, as well as fifth in points per set at 4.00 (432 points). Mercedes Pacheco is sixth in digs per set with 3.81. Victoria Spragg is 10th in hitting percentage with .287 as well as 10th in blocks per set.

 

In just conference matches, Spragg is fifth in the MW in hitting percentage at .306 and is seventh in blocks per set (1.22). Twitty is fourth in kills per set (3.60) and Tai Bierria is 10th (3.08). Pacheco is fourth in digs per set with 4.03 and Twitty is fourth in points per set (4.08). 

Nationally, Twitty is ranked in attacks per set (10.02), points, points per set, total kills, kills per set and total attacks (1032). Spragg is ranked in total blocks (117) and blocks per set (1.13) and Mariessa Carrasco is ranked in total blocks (100) and blocks per set (.96). 

 

I'LL HAVE THE DOUBLE-DOUBLE, PLEASE

The double-doubles keep coming for the Lobos, as UNM has 30 on the season. Lauren Twitty had four double-doubles in six matches and two in the last two matches for a team-high 12 on the season, as well  as recording three double-doubles at the UNF Invitational. Tai Bierria and Sabrina Bianco are tied for the second-most on the team with six after Bianco had two in the last two matches. 

In the last week's two matches, Bianco recorded her fifth and sixth of the season against SJSU (15 assists, 14 digs) and Nevada (22 assists, 10 digs) and Mariessa Carrasco had the first double-double of her career at Nevada (11 kills, 10 total blocks).

In the match at Air Force, UNM had three players with double-doubles with Victoria Spragg (11 kills, 12 blocks), Jaclyn Inclan (32 assists, 14 digs) and Mercedes Pacheco (10 assists, 21 digs). It was the first double-double of the season for Spragg and Inclan and the first of Spragg's career.

Versus Furman, three New Mexico players had a double-double, but in all three UNF Invitational matches, at least two Lobos had a double-double.

Against Idaho, four Lobo players registered double-doubles. Sabrina Bianco had 30 assists and 12 digs,  Inclan had 23 assists to go with 11 digs, in addition to Twitty's 20 kills and 14 digs and Bierria's 12 kills and 12 digs.

SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION

ABOUT SAN DIEGO STATE

The Aztecs are 1-4 in their last five matches and are 3-7 on the road, 2-8 in three-set matches, 2-7 in four sets and 4-5 in five sets.

Deja Harris leads the team in kills with 327 (2.95 k/s) and total blocks (149, 1.34 b/s) with 18 solo and 131 assisted, and is second on the team in service aces (22). The senior middle blocker has tallied 432.5 points, averaging 3.90 points per set and is hitting .309 on the season. Delaney Taylor has 655 of the team's 1287 assists, averaging 7.99 a/s. Ashlynn Dunbar has a team-high 47 service aces and 248 digs (2.41 d/s). 

Harris is seventh in the MW in hitting percentage, third in blocks per set, and sixth in points per set. Taylor is sixth in assists per set and Dunbar is fourth in service aces per set (.46) and tied for the third-most aces in the conference. 

SDSU is second to last in the conference in digs per set at 12.77 and opponent hitting percentage (.227).

SERIES VS. SDSU

This will be the 61st meeting between the two teams, with SDSU holding a 39-21 edge. In Albuquerque, the Lobos are 14-13 against the Aztecs. San Diego State has won the last three meetings, all 3-1 victories. UNM is 9-15 in three sets, 9-12 in four sets and 3-11 in five sets. UNM is 3-7 in the last 10 meetings and 1-4 in the last five.   

TICKETS

Single-game tickets can be purchased at Johnson Center prior to the match, or fans can purchase a New Mexico Mutual Lobo Pride Pass, which grants owners access to all home games for all Olympic sports during the 2018-19 academic year. The New Mexico Mutual Lobo Pride Pass will give one person admission to all Lobo Volleyball regular season matches.  For more information on the New Mexico Mutual Lobo Pride Pass please contact the Lobo Ticket Office in Dreamstyle Arena at (505) 925-LOBO.

Source : https://golobos.com/news/2018/11/9/womens-volleyball-lobos-host-san-diego-state-for-senior-day.aspx

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