ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The University of New Mexico posted a three-set sweep (17-25, 18-25, 14-25) over UTA volleyball in the first match of a doubleheader on Friday afternoon in the Lobo Classic at UNM's Johnson Center.
UTA (5-2) suffered its first three-set loss of the year, as New Mexico (5-2) got an eight-kill performance from Lauren Twitty to lead the Lobos attack. UNM finished hitting .278, holding the Mavs to a -.067 hitting percentage.
LEADING THE MAVS
The Mavs were paced by eight kills from junior Zhanelle Geathers, who added four digs and three blocks. Junior Qiana Canete hit a team-high .308 with six kills and a club-best nine digs. Freshman Cameryn Zahradnik finished with three kills and five digs, with sophomore Madison McConnell charting two kills and two blocks. Freshman Kailyn Gilbreath lead UTA in assists (11) for the fifth consecutive match and freshman Tessa Harfield and Senior Ashlynn Ford each had a kill. Libbie Vickers made her first career start in the libero jersey and had six digs. UTA also got contributions from Haley Higgins, Allie Deese and Madison Helt.
UTA will return to action later on Friday, facing Northern Colorado at 6:15 p.m. CT. Portland defeated Northern Colorado in four sets to open the Lobo Classic.
After the teams swapped points to reach 2-2, Zhanelle Geathers smacked her first kill of the match for a 3-2 UTA lead. UNM then went on a 5-0 run to take an 8-3 lead and force a UTA timeout from Coach J.T. Wenger. The Lobos stretched their lead to 11-5 and Cameryn Zahradnik smashed her first kill for a six-point hole at 12-6. Qiana Canete finished her first kill to make it 12-8 and Zahradnik's second kill cut the lead to 16-11. New Mexico stretched its lead to 22-14 and prompted a UTA timeout, finishing the set with a 25-17 win.
UTA opened up the second with a 3-1 lead but the Lobos evened the set up at 3-3, 4-4 and 5-5, with Madison McConnell's first kill of the match giving the Mavs their fifth point. A 3-0 UTA run saw UTA take an 8-5 lead, with Geathers again giving the Mavs a three-point lead with a kill at 10-7. UNM went on a 7-2 run to take a 15-13 lead into a UTA timeout and continued the run to finish off the second-set win, 25-18.
The Mavs got the first point of the set after an attacking error on the Lobos and after a Canete kill the match was evened at 7-7. UNM went on an 8-2 run to stretch its lead to 15-9 with Geathers notching two straight kills, on assists from Haley Higgins, to help the Mavs narrow the lead to 15-12. A pair of errors allowed the Lobos to take an 18-13 lead. The Lobos then finished off the win with a 7-1 run for a 25-14 win.
FOLLOW THE MAVS SOCIALLY
For up-to-date news, photos, videos and updates you can follow UTA sports program online at UTAMavs.com or via any of several social media accounts on twitter @UTAMavs, Instagram @UTAMavs, Snapchat @UTAMavs and Facebook at UTArlingtonAthletics. Follow @UTAVolleyball on twitter and at UTAVolleyball on Facebook.