Aggies Improve To 2-0 After Impressive 3-1 Victory Over Northern Colorado

Written By: N.M. State Athletic Dept.

DENTON, TX - The New Mexico State volleyball team won its second match of the season 3-1 (25-23, 25-23, 19-25, 25-22) over Northern Colorado in the Mean Green Volleyball Classic, hosted by the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 29.

There were four Aggies with double-digit kills on the match as NM State marked 65 kills all together.  Sophomore Kelsey Brennan (Monroe, Wash.) picked up a career-high 13 kills, while hitting an impressive .409 on the match.  Junior Whitney Woods (Midland, Texas) posted 10 kills, senior Krista Altermatt (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) had 16, while junior Kayleigh Giddens (Lubbock, Texas) posted a match-high 17 kills.

"Kelsey (Brennan) is a physically talented and strong kid with a big arm," head coach Mike Jordan said.  "We want her to take over matches.  She is growing and we want her to continue to do that."

Sophomore Jennah DeVries (Denver, Colo.) added 48 assists on the match, while sophomore Kelsi Phillips (Scottsdale, Ariz.) was impressive defensively, working for a match-high 18 digs.  Senior Erin Birmingham (Riverside, Mo.) knew what her role was in the match, tallying seven kills and three block assists.

NM State fought off UNCO to take set one 25-23 with Giddens and Altermatt leading the way with six and five kills respectively.  As a team, the Aggies hit an outstanding .531 hitting percentage while committing only three attack errors.  The set was tied 3-3 early on and then NM State went on a 5-0 point rally to take an 8-3 lead.  UNCO fought back to come back and tie the set at 23 all before Giddens and Brennan put the set away as each player had a kill to pick up the final two points.

The Aggies took a 2-0 lead after winning set two 25-23.  There were 13 ties in a set that went back-and-forth.  NM State scored the first point of the set, but UNCO picked up its first lead of the match when it scored two straight points going up 2-1.  With ties at four, five, six, seven, eight and nine, no one seemed to dominate the set.  After a 21 all tie, NM State finished the match with Altermatt picking up kills No. 9 and 10 lead the path to victory.

UNCO bounced back in the third set to win 25-19.  NM State started off where they left off in set two taking 4-1 lead early on.  Altermatt and Giddens led the way with three kills each in the set, while Phillips had five digs.  After NM State tied the set at eight points a piece, UNCO went on a 4-0 scoring run taking a 12-8 lead.  The Aggies stayed in there and eventually got to within one point at 18-17 when Altermatt picked up her 13th kill of the match.  But UNCO went on another point run going up 21-17 and eventually pulled away for the win.

NM State put the Bears away in the fourth set winning 25-22.  Altermatt started the set tallying her 14th kill, then getting an ace to give NM State a 4-1 lead.  UNCO went on a 4-0 scoring run to go up 5-4.  NM State wouldn't regain the lead until the 14-13 mark.  After UNCO tied the set at 14 all, Brennan picked up a huge solo block, which was followed by a Bears error and a kill by Birmingham.  UNCO pulled to within one at 20-19 but the Aggies sealed the match and won 25-22.

The Aggies play the final match of the tournament at 6 p.m. (MDT) against host team North Texas.  It will air on the radio at KSNM AM 570 with Kyle Doperalski giving the play-by-play.