Volleyball Hits the Road to Face New Mexico, UNLV

Oct. 11, 2017

Match Week Preview
San Diego State (8-11, 2-4 MW) at New Mexico (10-8, 2-4 MW)
Thursday, Oct. 12 | 7 p.m. MT/6 p.m. PT | Johnson Center | Albuquerque, N.M.
Series: SDSU 36-21

San Diego State (8-11, 2-4 MW) at UNLV (6-13, 2-3 MW)
Saturday, Oct. 14 | 3 p.m. PT | Cox Pavilion | Las Vegas, Nev.
Series: SDSU 26-18

Weekly Release

SAN DIEGO -- San Diego State closes off the first half of its 2017 Mountain West schedule this week when it travels to New Mexico and UNLV. The Aztecs will square off against the Lobos on Thursday, Oct. 12, beginning at 7 p.m. MT/6 p.m. PT, before battling the Rebels on Saturday, Oct. 14, starting at 3 p.m. PT.

In addition to live stats, both matches will be streamed on GoAztecs.com via the Mountain West Network.

SDSU split two matches last week, falling to Fresno State on the road in four sets, before turning the tables in a 3-1 home conquest of Air Force. With the Aztecs' triumph over the Falcons, Aztec head coach Deitre Collins-Parker earned her 300th career victory.

SERIES RECORDS
> San Diego State owns a 36-21 all-time record against New Mexico dating back to 1976.
> The Aztecs dropped a 3-0 decision (18-25, 19-25, 23-25) to the Lobos on the road last year in the only meeting between the two squads.
> In that contest, Alexandra Psoma led the Scarlet and Black with 10 kills, while Alexis Cage collected nine put-aways of her own and tied for match-high honors with three block assists.
> Collectively, New Mexico maintained the upper-hand in kills (40-35), hitting percentage (.223-.151), digs (49-33) and team blocks (7.0-6.0).
> Since the Mountain West's inception in 1999, San Diego State is 21-14 against UNM overall, but is just 8-10 vs. the Lobos in Albuqurque during that stretch.
> In addition, the Aztecs are 3-7 in their last 10 trips to the Duke City.
> SDSU sports a 26-18 all-time ledger against UNLV dating back to 1985.
> The Aztecs are 21-15 vs. the Rebels since the MW's inaugural season, including a 7-10 mark in Las Vegas.
> San Diego State posted a 3-0 sweep (25-23, 25-22, 25-13) over UNLV last season at Aztec Court in the lone encounter between the two squads.
> In that match, Psoma led all players with 16 kills and tied for match-high honors with six block assists, joining Deja Harris, who also launched 10 non-returnables.
> As a team, SDSU boasted a sizable advantage over the Rebels in kills (51-32), digs (56-41), team blocks (9.0-4.0) and hitting percentage (.280-.133).
> The Aztecs' are 3-7 in their last 10 visits to Las Vegas. SDSU's last victory in Sin City occurred in 2012, when it claimed a four-set decision.

SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
> New Mexico (10-8, 2-4 MW) suffered a pair of losses on the road last week, falling to Nevada in four sets (25-23, 23-25, 21-25, 18-25) before dropping a 3-2 heartbreaker to San José State (18-25, 25-16, 25-21, 18-25, 13-15). The Lobos are 3-2 in home matches this season, including a 1-1 mark in Mountain West play. Offensively, UNM is led by sophomore outside hitter Lauren Twitty, who ranks third in the conference with 3.79 kills per set, while junior middle blocker Mariessa Carrasco (2.34 kills/set) occupies the fourth position with a .343 hitting percentage. Junior setter Carson Heilborn also landed in the fourth spot this week with 9.58 assists per set, while senior libero Ashley Kelsey ranks sixth with 4.02 digs per frame. Last month, Carrasco (Sept. 18) and Twitty (Sept. 25) garnered consecutive MW Offensive Player of the Week accolades. Elsewhere, junior middle blocker Victoria Spragg has been the team's most productive force at the net this season with 57 total blocks (0.92/set), including nine solo stops. Collectively, the Lobos occupy the third spot in the conference with 14.68 digs per set and rank sixth with a .212 hitting percentage. UNM is coached by Jeff Nelson, who is in his 11th season on the Albuquerque campus. Prior to assuming the reins of the Lobo program, Nelson served as head coach at Texas Tech 1995-2002) and San Francisco (2003-06). In 2009-10, Nelson guided UNM to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. His career record stands at 440-272, including a 198-125 record with the Lobos.

> UNLV (6-13, 2-4 MW),which lost four starters and the libero from last year's squad that posted a 24-8 record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, snapped a nine-match losing streak with a pair of five-set victories on the road last week at San José State (19-25, 25-18, 21-25, 25-20, 15-11) and Nevada (25-18, 18-25, 28-30, 25-14, 15-13). Offensively, the Rebels are led by freshman outside hitter Mariena Hayden (2.77 kills/set) and junior middle blocker Elisa Descamps (2.27 kills/set). Sophomore libero Leka Kiner-Falefa, who collected MW Defensive Player of the Week honors on Monday, anchors UNLV's back row with 4.23 digs per set, which ranks third in the conference, while senior middle blocker Ashley Owens occupies the fifth spot with 1.21 blocks per frame. In addition, sophomore setter Riley Jacobs finds herself among the league leaders in assists (7th, 8.66/set). As a team, the Rebels are fifth in the MW with 2.25 blocks per set and rank sixth with 1.29 service aces per frame. However, the Rebels are currently at the bottom of the conference in kills (10.65/set) and opponent hitting percentage (.229). UNLV is coached by Cindy Frederick, who is in her seventh season in charge of the Rebel program. Prior to her arrival in Las Vegas, Frederick was the head coach at Weber State (1985-88), Washington State (1989-2003), Iowa (2004-07) and Luther College (2010). Her career record stands at 547-435, including a 120-84 mark at UNLV. San Diego State head coach Deitre Collins-Parker also served as the Rebels head coach for eight years from 1996-2003. With the Aztecs, Collins-Parker is 10-5 against her former school.

AZTECS AMONG MOUNTAIN WEST LEADERS
> Entering the fourth week of conference play, Deja Harris and Devyn Pritchard are among the MW leaders in various categories.
> Harris ranks third in the league with a .343 hitting percentage and occupies the sixth spot with 1.20 blocks per set.
> Pritchard also climbed into the fourth position this week with 4.19 digs per frame.
> As a team, SDSU ranks among the top half of the conference in kills (4th, 13.101/set) and assists (5th, 12.06/set).

POWER TO THE PEOPLES
> Setter Gabi Peoples is off to a strong start in her freshman campaign, averaging 8.13 assists and 1.36 digs in 61 sets played.
> The Beaverton, Oregon, native has cracked the starting lineup 12 times this season, including the last 11 matches.
> Over the last eight outings, Peoples has averaged 10.00 assists, 1.33 digs and 0.73 blocks per set.
> Against San José State on Sept. 28, she tied her career-high 47 assists and shoveled up six digs while adding one solo block and two block assists.
> In the Aztecs' victory over Air Force on Oct. 7, Peoples set a personal-best with six block assists as well.

For complete release, please view PDF at top of page

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