NMSU Volleyball Heads Home With A Victory

Written By: NMSU Athletic Dept.

PALO ALTO, CA - The New Mexico State volleyball team (5-6) came out of the Stanford Tournament with a 3-1 win over UC-Santa Barbara (3-5) at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto, Calif., Saturday, Sept. 13.

The Aggies won (25-14, 25-22, 23-25, 25-18) with three players getting double-digit kills on the evening. Senior Lindsey Yon (San Antonio, Texas) had 18 kills, senior Amber Simpson (Quincy, Ill.) had 11 kills and junior Krista Altermatt (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) had a double-double with 12 kills and 13 digs. Head coach Mike Jordan knows that it takes a total team effort to pick up wins like this.

"We came together as a team and were much better offensively today," Jordan said. "Of course Santa Barbara is not the same caliber as Stanford and Santa Clara, but we have learned a lot about ourselves with our schedule so far."

The Aggies out blocked UCSB 10-3 and out hit the Gouchos .227 to .090 on the match. Simpson led the way defensively at the net with six block assists, while senior libero Krystal Torres (Las Cruces, N.M.) had an outstanding match with 25 digs. Torres also added two service aces, while NMSU had eight as a team.

"We need to take what we’ve learned so far and get back in the gym to work at getting better," Jordan said.

Set No. 1 was tied at 1-1 and 2-2 before the Aggies took off and went on a 6-0 scoring run with Simpson leading the way with a kill and two service aces. Although UCSB kept up the fight, the Aggies were too much with Yon coming up with a set-high five kills. NMSU hit the ball efficiently with a .267 attack percentage, while the Gouchos couldn’t even come up with a positive hitting percentage.

The Aggies picked up where they left off and took an early 3-0 lead in the second set, but UCSB went on a 4-1 run to tie it up at 4-4. The two teams would tie the set at five and six before the Gouchos went on a 3-0 run to take a 9-6 lead. Down 16-12, the Aggies showed heart and fought back winning four consecutive points to tie the set at 16 with the fourth point on that run coming from an Altermatt kill, her eighth of the match. Each team would exchange points at 17 and 18, when UCSB took went up by two at 21-19. A kill by Yon, her eighth, and a kill by Simpson tied it up for the seventh time. After the Gouchos took another brief lead at 22-21, Simpson tied it at 22-22 with a monsterous kill in the middle. NMSU won four straight points from there, which was topped off by a Simpson ace, to win 25-22.

Set three was tied seven times up to 9-9 when UCSB got some momentum and took a 13-9 lead. That momentum was somewhat broken when Yon got her 12th kill of the match and the Aggies took advantage of that to go on a 5-1 run tying the set up 14-14. The Gouchos got their momentum right back and went on a 5-0 run of their own forcing NMSU to call a timeout to regroup. The Aggies tried to put a comeback together and tied it up at 23-23 but failed to do so and dropped the set 25-23. For the first time in the match, NMSU was out-hit by the Gouchos .125 to .114 with the Aggies committing seven errors on 35 attacks.

After the Aggies fell behind 4-2, they went on a 8-1 rally to take a 10-5 lead. It seemed like UCSB was making a comeback but the Aggies kept fighting with Alyssa Gintant getting a kill to put her team up 16-12. NMSU didn’t look back and hit an outstanding .345 hitting percentage in set four to pick up a dominant victory, 25-18.

The Aggies will return back to Las Cruces to open up conference play with a match against Fresno State, Thursday, Sept. 18 before taking on Nevada, Saturday, Sept. 20. Both matches will be played at the Pan American Center and will begin at 7:00 p.m. (MST)