One might say the University of New Mexico volleyball team’s setter situation was unsettled last season. It now appears set.
The Lobos officially added setter Jaclyn Inclan to their indoor roster this week. The 5-foot-11 Inclan is transferring from Arizona, where she played primarily beach volleyball as a freshman for the Wildcats.
Inclan may play outdoors for the Lobos next spring, but coach Jeff Nelson fully intends to employ her setting skills indoors at Johnson Center.
“Arizona recruited Jaclyn for indoor,” Nelson said, “but she was stuck behind two really good setters. The situation’s different here. We’re really excited to have her.”
Inclan, a former all-state player at Arizona’s Ironwood Ridge High School, has three years of eligibility remaining and can play this fall as NCAA rules do not require volleyball transfers to sit out a calendar year. She’s one of just two setters on UNM’s indoor roster. Freshman Sabrina Bianco from Bowie High School in Austin, Texas, signed with the Lobos in November.
“We’ll have to get them integrated, but I feel really good about our setting situation,” Nelson said. “Sabrina and Jaclyn are fantastic athletes and will give us some different options.”
UNM’s options dwindled last season when starting setter Carson Heilborn unexpectedly quit during the season. Freshman walk-on Sarah Lobo, the only remaining setter on the roster, played the position for the final 11 matches of the season.
Lobo is still attending UNM but is not planning to return to the volleyball program next season, Nelson said.
Stabilizing the setter position is key for the Lobos, who return most of their net players from a 16-16 season in 2017. Outsides Lauren Twitty, Hailey Rubino, Yasmin Tan and middles Victoria Spragg and Mariessa Carrasco headed UNM’s hitting rotation last season, and all five will be back.