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Lobo volleyball closes road trip with loss at Boise State

BOISE, Idaho – The University of New Mexico volleyball team saw its two-match win streak come to an end following a straight-set defeat to Boise State on Saturday afternoon at the Bronco Gym by scores of 25-19, 27-25, 25-22.

For the third-straight match however, the Lobos recorded double figures in total team blocks with 14.0 in the match, the second match in which the Cherry and Silver finished with 14.0 and was led by Rachel Murphy’s career-high 10 total blocks, the first Lobo this season to reach double figures in the category. The sophomore middle blocker accounted for one solo and nine assisted for the feat.

Two Lobos, Kaitlynn Biassou and Tai Bierria, tallied 10 kills in the match for the team high and Bierria finished with team-high 10 digs for her sixth double-double of the season and second in three matches. Jaclyn Inclan assisted on 18 of the team’s 35 assists, reaching double figures for the 12th consecutive match. Three different Lobos registered a service ace in Alena Moldan, Chloe Clark and Maddie Freiwald.

Although the match went three sets, it was highly competitive with back-and-forth scoring throughout much of the afternoon with a total of 27 ties and 10 lead changes.

The Broncos scored the first two points of the opening set before a Yasmin Tan kill put the Lobos on the board and a Twitty and Tan block evened the set. The run continued on a Bronco attack error to give UNM its first lead of the set and the Lobos would lead by two at 5-3 on a Murphy and Twitty block.  BSU would answer to tie the set before a Twitty kill restored the Lobo lead. A Bierria kill made it 8-7 UNM following a tie at seven, but Boise State tied the score on the following play and would take a 12-8 lead with a 5-0 run. Bierria ended the streak with a kill, but the Broncos scored the next three points to gain the six-point lead at 15-9. A Biassou kill would bring the point differential down to five at 15-10, but the margin would stretch to eight at 19-11 following a 3-0 BSU run. The Lobos would respond with a 4-0 run of their own to bring the score back to four at 19-15 with a Biassou kill, a solo Murphy block, a Bronco attack error and a Bierria kill. A Danica Rowan kill closed the gap to within three at 20-17 and a Bierria kill made it 21-19, on what would be an 8-2 run for the Lobos since trailing by their largest margin of eight. However, following a BSU timeout, the Broncos would go on a 4-0 run to take the set 25-19.

Bierria and Biassou each had four kills in the opening set and the Lobos would record 4.0 total blocks with a solo and two assisted blocks from Murphy.

A Bierria kill tied the second set at one and a block by Tan and Biassou gave the Lobos an early lead, which would grow to two at 4-2 on a Twitty kill. A dump by Inclan that fell in to empty space made it 6-4 UNM through the first 10 points of the set, which would stretch to three on a block by Rowan and Murphy. Boise State would rally to tie the set at seven, but Rowan would help UNM regain the lead on the next play with a kill. An exchange of points would lead to ties at eight, nine and 10 before the Broncos would win the next three points to go ahead 13-10. A service error by BSU ended the run, which was followed by a Biassou and Murphy block to bring UNM within one. The Lobos would go on a 3-0 run to tie the set at 14 on a Freiwald ace and a Twitty and Murphy block would give the Lobos a slight 15-14 at the media timeout, the first Lobo lead since it was 8-7. Out of the break, BSU would go on a 3-0 run to take the lead back. A Bierria kill knotted the set back up at 17-all and another Bierria kill made it 18-all, although the Broncos would take the next two points after that. A Bronco attack error brought UNM within one, but the Broncos got the points right back to lead 22-19. A Biassou kill and a Biassou and Tan block once again closed the gap to one, however, BSU would reach set point at 24-21. The Lobos would fight it off three times with a Biassou kill, a Biassou and Murphy block and a Twitty kill to tie the set at 24. After the Broncos scored the next point to force another set point, Murphy tied the set at 25 on a kill, but the Broncos would take the next two points to win the set 27-25.

There were 12 ties and four lead changes in the frame with the Lobos recording 6.0 total blocks, of which Murphy and Biassou each contributed to four. Twitty led with five of UNM’s 14 kills in the set, with Bierria slightly behind her with four.

Biassou opened the scoring for the Lobos in the third set with consecutive kills to put UNM in front 2-1, but the Broncos would score the next three points to take the two-point lead. A Moldan ace tied the set back at four and a ball handling error by the Broncos would give the Lobos the lead back. UNM would regain a two-point advantage at 7-5 on a Murphy kill and Murphy and Twitty block, but the Broncos would respond to tie the set back up. A Rowan kill broke the tie temporarily as BSU tied the set back up on the next play. In all, there were eight ties in the first 20 points with neither team going ahead by more than two points. A Biassou kill created another tie at 12-all, although Boise State would take the next three points to go back ahead at the media timeout. ­Each time the Broncos would push the lead back to three, ­Twitty kills kept the Lobos within reach at two and a Bierria kill made it a one-point set at 17-16. Boise State would push the deficit back to three at 19-16, but a service error and a Clark ace put the set back at one-point separation. Following a Bronco timeout, a Rowan kill put it back to a one-point set at 20-19, but the Lobos couldn’t find the tying point as BSU pulled ahead 22-19. Out of a Lobo timeout, Biassou reached double digits in kills with her 10th of the match, but BSU took the next two points to reach match point at 24-20. UNM was able to fight off match point twice on a BSU attack error and a Murphy and Biassou block, but the Broncos would take the set 25-22 and the match.

Biassou closed the match with four kills in the final set and Murphy added three more assisted blocks with the Lobos finishing with 4.0 total team blocks. Between the two teams, there was a total of nine ties and four lead changes.

Up next for the Lobos (8-18, 3-11 MW) is a three-match homestand, the final three matches at home for UNM this season, starting on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Johnson Center against San José State.

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