No. 23 Aggie Volleyball Team Splits A Pair On Saturday

Written By: NMSU Athletic Dept.

CHAMPAIGN, IL. - The No. 23 New Mexico State volleyball team dropped the second match of the State Farm Illini Classic to host team Illinois 3-1 (26-24, 21-25, 19-25, 14-25) in Champaign, Ill., Saturday, Aug. 30.

NMSU was led by senior outside hitter Lindsey Yon (San Antonio, Texas) who finished the match with another double-double as she pounded down 14 kills and came up with 10 digs. Head coach Mike Jordan was disappointed in the play of his team but knows what needs to be worked on to get some wins.

“I give credit to very Illinois team, but we had too many errors again,” Jordan said. “Lindsey (Yon) is playing very well and everybody else on the team needs to catch up to her.”

Senior Alyssa Gintant (Libertyville, Ill.) finished the match with 21 assists and freshman setter Jennah DeVries (Denver, Colo.) had 17. Senior Krystal Torres (Las Cruces, N.M.) had a team-high 20 digs, while NMSU was out-blocked by the Illini 16-7.

“We didn’t pass the ball very well, but Jennah (DeVries) played solid today,” Jordan said.

After being down early 4-1 to the Illini, NMSU came back on a 4-1 run to tie the game at five. The Aggies tied it 7-7 on a Krista Altermatt (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) ace, but fell behind 10-8 after a couple of Illinois blocks. Head coach Jordan was forced to call a timeout when Illinois went up by four points at 13-9. The timeout didn’t seem to affect the Illini as they went on a 5-1 run to take an 18-10 lead, the largest of the set over NMSU, and force another timeout. The Aggies went on a run of their own, lead by Altermatt, who picked up an ace and a kill to get NMSU to within three at 20-17. The Aggies took their first lead of the set on a Yon kill, taking the score to 21-20. After the set was tied for the fifth time at 24-24, NMSU Altermatt finished off the Illini with her fourth kill to pick up a win in set one, 26-24.

The Aggies got off to another slow start in set No. 2 and fell behind 4-0, but came back to tie the set at 8-8 when Whitney Woods (Midland, Texas) and Amber Simpson (Quincy, Ill.) came up with a double-block. Illinois was on a 6-2 run when sophomore Whitney Phillips (Scottsdale, Ariz.) got here first kill of the day giving NMSU a huge side out and took the score to 19-13 in favor of the Illini. A Torres ace and a couple of blocks on the Illini got the Aggies to within three again at 24-21, but Illinois wrapped it up to win 25-21.

The set was tied nine times before NMSU took a two point, 11-9 lead when Erin Birmingham (Riverside, Mo.) Yon got a double block. After the set was tied again at 12-12, Kelli Goodan (Des Moines, N.M.) and Yon slammed down a couple of kills to give the Aggies a 14-12 advantage. The set was tied for the 15th time at 17-17 before Illinois found some momentum to take a two point lead at 20-18. The Illini went an 8-2 run to finish the set and win 25-19.

NMSU kept it close to start the third set with three ties, including a 5-5 tie when Phillips served an ace. After that, Illinois took the lead and never looked back. The Aggies got to within two at 12-10 when freshman Kelsey Brennan (Snohomish, Wash.) picked up a kill along with a kill by Yon. From there, the Illini went on a 12-5 run to wrap up the match with a 25-14 win in set No. 4.


CHAMPAIGN, IL. - The No. 23 New Mexico State volleyball team had a block party against the University of North Carolina to pick up its first win of the 2008 season at the State Farm Illini Classic in Champaign, Ill., Saturday, Aug. 30.

NMSU, who came up with 15 blocks on the night, won in four sets (26-24, 19-25, 25-16, 25-16) to go to 1-2 on the weekend. Senior Amber Simpson (Quincy, Ill.) led the way with eight block assists and head coach Mike Jordan was impressed with the way his team played on the defensive side of the net.

“We got UNC away from the net and made some adjustments to start blocking a lot of balls tonight,” Jordan said.

The Aggies got off to a hot start which included two kills early on by sophomore Whitney Phillips (Scottsdale, Ariz.) to give her team a 7-3 lead over UNC. After the fourth tie of set No. 1, Yon picked up her fourth kill to give NMSU a 17-16 lead. The Tar Heels tied the set up for the eighth time at 23 all, but NMSU fought them off to pick up a 26-24 victory. Phillips led the way for NMSU as she had five kills and hit .500, while Yon came up with a set-high six kills.

“Whitney (Phillips) provides us with a spark,” Jordan said. “We just needed a change of pace and she provided that.”

After falling behind early, the Aggies got kills from Whitney Woods (Midland, Texas), Kelli Goodan (Des Moines, N.M) and Amber Simpson (Quincy, Ill.) to take their first lead of the set at 5-4. NMSU fell behind as the Tar Heels went on a 5-0 run taking an 18-13 lead.

UNC kept it close with six ties up when the Aggies broke it open with a 10-1 run that was topped off with a couple of aces from junior Krista Altermatt (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) to give NMSU the 20-12 lead. The Aggie serve was on point in set No. 3 and the Aggies won 25-16. The Aggies committed only two service errors in the set.

“Krista came off the bench and played well for us tonight,” Jordan said. “She’s the best server we have on team and she responded well off the bench.”

A 7-2 opening run for NMSU was highlighted by some great defense and great blocking and the blocks kept coming as the Aggies put up a total of four to take a 9-3 lead early on. The NMSU frontline was strong as they put up seven blocks to help take the score to 19-14, forcing the Tar Heels to take a time out. The Aggies finished off UNC with a kill from Altermatt to get the 25-16 win.

The Aggies will now head back home for five straight matches at the Pan American Center. NMSU will face I-10 rival UTEP, Wednesday, Sept. 3 at 7:00 p.m. before hosting the Hotel Encanto Classic Sept.4-6. The Aggies face Florida Gulf Coast, Houston, Texas and Utah respectively. Fans can go to for more information on the upcoming matches that will be taking place in Las Cruces during the upcoming week.