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Lobo volleyball splits two matches at North Florida Invite

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.— A match after the New Mexico Lobos captured a comeback fifth-set victory against North Florida, the Lobos found themselves on the other side of the column in the early morning Saturday match against the Furman Paladins.

The pattern of the two matches were identical, with UNM winning the opening set, dropping sets two and three, before fighting to force a fifth set with a late fourth set win. However, on this day, the Lobos couldn’t find the same result in the decisive set, with Furman taking the match 16-25, 25-22, 25-16, 22-25, 15-9.

Later in the day, UNM closed out the UNF Invitational with a 25-23, 25-21, 23-25, 25-19 victory over USC Upstate. With the win, UNM improves to 5-4 on the season after going 2-1 on the weekend.

Lauren Twitty had 22 kills and 14 digs, while Tai Bierria had a season-high 20 kills and 12 digs to lead the Lobos to the four-set win.  Bierria hit a team-high .472 in the match with 20 kills and three errors on 36 attacks. Sabrina Bianco added 37 assists to her weekend total to lead UNM and Victoria Spragg and Mariessa Carrasco each had four assisted blocks to lead in the category.

UNM held the advantage in kills (65-53), assists (57-51), digs (64-59), service aces (4-3) and total blocks (8-7), while outhitting the Spartans .307 to .227.

In the earlier loss, three Lobos registered double-doubles with Sabrina Bianco (23 assists, 11 digs), Lauren Twitty (11 kills, 12 digs) and Tai Bierria (13 kills, match-high 20 digs). Mariessa Carrasco had a season-high in kills with 10, hitting .455 (10-0-22), as well as a team- and career-high three service aces. Carly Beddingfield also reached double-digit kills, tying Bierria for the match high with 13, and had a team-high hitting percentage of .462 (13-1-26). Victoria Spragg led the team in blocks with one solo and four assisted.

Furman held the lead in kills (60-57), assists (57-49), digs (73-72) and service aces (9-7), outhitting New Mexico .250 to .223 in the almost 2-hour match.

Box score: Furman 3, UNM 2

Box score: UNM 3, USC Upstate 1