Local sports events

WNMU women's basketball completed their final exhibition game of the preseason traveling to Tucson to take on the University of Arizona. WNMU got off to a slow start falling behind 20-5 after the first quarter, but were able to right the ship and competed with the D-I Wildcats through most of the game.

Arizona hit 3 shots from beyond the arc to open up play in the first quarter and held the Lady Stangs to 1-13 from the floor in the first stanza. The Wildcats would continue their hot shooting from the three point area finishing the night hitting 11 of 13 from downtown.

After 20 years at the helm of Western New Mexico Volleyball, Head Coach Jim Callender has announced his retirement following the conclusion of the 2018 season. "Coach Callender has been a highly successful college coach over the last 37 years," says Director of Athletics Scott Noble. "He has been a true ambassador for the game of volleyball, but more importantly a compassionate mentor for the many students/athletes over that time span. I am privileged to have worked alongside Jim, and eager to continue that relationship. His experience, insight and encouragement are vitally important to our continual commitment to excellence."

Before making his way to Silver City, Coach Callender had stints at Western Oregon State College (1985-87,) Memphis State University (1987-89,) Mundelein College (1989-91,) Peru State College (1991-96,) and Saint Mary's University (1996-1998.) He was also active at the National level working for the United States Volleyball Association as a Head Coach for the USAV Volleyball Developmental Camps, Junior National teams and Volleyball Club Director.

In a must-win match for the Western New Mexico Mustangs, the visiting Angelo State Rambelles came back from a 2-0 deficit to outlast the Mustangs in five sets, ruining Western's chances of making the Lone Star Conference tournament. 

Set one saw the Mustangs take an early 8-3 lead which they maintained until a late surge by Angelo gave them the lead at 20-19. It would take extra points, before a kill by Erin Moss (Kailua, HI/University Laboratory School) and an Angelo attack error gave the Mustangs the 26-24 set win.

In set two, the Mustangs jumped out to a 4-0 lead, again maintaining that lead until costly errors allowed Angelo back in to tie it at 9-9. A kill by Delaney Seitz (Hillsboro, OR/Century High School), and back-to-back service aces by Sarah Campoli (Weatherford, TX/Azle High School) helped the Mustangs go ahead 20-17. Later, with the set tied at 22-22, errors by Angelo and a statement kill by Selai Damuni (Kula, HI/Tempview High School) ended it, 25-22, in favor of Western. 

The Western New Mexico University Mustangs gave the visitors from #18 Midwestern State University quite a scare as first-time quarterback Raemos Fano (Pago Pago, American Samoa/Fagaitua) lead the Mustangs' offense, racking up over 200 yards and two touchdowns through the air while completing 14 of 26 passes. 

Western opened the scoring in the first quarter when Fano capped the Mustangs' first drive of the game with a six yard touchdown run. The five-plus minute drive spanned 89 yards in 13 plays. The Mustangs failed to convert the extra point however, and the first quarter would end with Midwestern State holding a 7-6 lead on Layton Robb's 15-yard passing touchdown to Tyler Milliken.

The Mustangs would retake the lead at the 12:17 mark in the second quarter when Fano hit Issac Crichton from the 15 yard line on the tenth play of a 75-yard, four minute drive. Arkemus Baskerville (Lindenwald, NJ/Lenape) would rush for the 2-point conversion, giving Western a 14-7 lead. Midwestern State would answer back less than two minutes later, again through the air, when Robb completed a 67-yard pass to Juwan Johnson that finished off a four-play, 80-yard drive that tied the game at 14-14. However, WNMU would have the final word in the first half as Baskerville ended a 35-yard drive on the Mustang's fourth play with a six-yard rushing touchdown just 50 seconds before halftime. The teams would head into the locker room with the Mustangs leading 21-14.

WNMU men's basketball traveled to Tucson for an exhibition against the University of Arizona falling to the D-I Wildcats 95-44. The Mustangs would score the first bucket of the game, on a layup by Willie McCray. Arizona would answer with a 21-0 run over the next 7:30 before Alfredo Rodriguez got a dunk to stop the U of A onslaught. 

Sophomore Brandon Randolph would pace the Wildcats with 20 points, most coming in the first half, as Arizona would build their lead to as much as 53 points midway through the 2nd half. WNMU shot only 15% from the floor in the first half, missing all 7 of their three point attempts. 

The Mustangs would right the ship somewhat in the second half, hitting 12 of 37 attempts. WNMU was paced by McCray with 9 points followed by FR Tony Avalos with 7 points. NMSU transfer Leston Gordon chipped in 6 for WNMU.

The Mustangs could not match the hitting efficiency of their opponents the Pioneers of Texas Woman. The Pioneers posted double digit kills in all three sets, finishing the match with a .273 hitting advantage over the Mustangs .110.

Bria Augustine (Bell Flower, CA/Mayfair High School) had a quiet night offensively with eight kills, but led the Mustangs defensively with 16 digs. Gabi Lau (Kailua, HI/University Laboratory School) was right behind contributing 15, as well as two service aces. Deyzha Samuelu (Garden Grove, CA/Edison High School) added to the defensive efforts, recording three blocks for the Mustangs.

The Mustangs posted a strong performance against the Javelinas of Texas A&M - Kingsville Saturday night, falling just short in 37-34 loss.

In a quick 2-play, 63 yard possession DeAndre Williams (Tucson, AZ/Tucson Magnet) rushed 61 yards to put the Mustangs on the board first at 11:17 in the first quarter. Kingsville would respond with just under four minutes left in the quarter on a 39-yard pass, but a failed kick kept Western ahead 7-6.

A 56-yard run by Arkemus Baskerville (Lindenwald, NJ/Lenape) before the end of the first on a 6-play, 70 yard possession, increased the Mustang lead to 14-6 with just over a minute remaining in the quarter.

looney1A 6’0 forward, Megan (Buckeye, AZ) attended Apache Junction High school and played for the Western New Mexico University Mustangs (NCAA DIV 2).

Looney was a team captain at Apache Junction where she was the teams leading scorer averaging 15 points per game.  Prior to that, she played at juggernaut St. Mary’s in Phoenix where she won two state championship rings as a freshman and sophomore including going 30-0 her freshman year. Her junior season, she posted a career-high 30 points, 12 rebounds and two steals against Saguaro. The season opener that year she tallied 15 points, 15 rebounds, four steals, three assists and a block against Alhambra. During her sophomore season, she was mentioned in USA Today following an 18 point, 7 rebound game versus Alhambra.

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