Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
LAS VEGAS, NV - The New Mexico State volleyball team (19-9) fell to No. 3 Hawai'i in the 2009 Western Athletic Conference Championship 25-12, 25-17, 25-23 in The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., Wednesday, Nov. 25.
Senior Krista Altermatt (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) led the way with 10 kills, while juniors Kayleigh Giddens (Lubbock, Texas) and Whitney Woods (Midland, Texas) added eight kills each. Both Giddens and Woods joined sophomores Jennah DeVries (Denver, Colo.) and Kelsey Brennan (Monroe, Wash.) on the 2009 WAC all-Tournament team.
The Aggies out-blocked UH 7-5, but 18 attack errors, six service errors and two blocking errors gave the Rainbow Wahine the momentum it needed to pick up its ninth consecutive tournament title.
NM State seemed to be a bit nervous as UH posted five service aces. The Aggies hit .095 while the Rainbow Wahine marked a .320 hitting percentage. Woods and Altematt tallied three kills each in the 25-12 loss.
"They put a ton of pressure on us on with their serve and we just couldn't stop them," head coach Mike Jordan said. "We needed a better start, especially against a team like Hawai'i."
The Aggies improved its hitting percentage in set two, marking a .321 percentage, but that wasn't enough as UH posted a .500 hitting percentage to win 25-17. Giddens marked four kills a set that saw the Rainbow Wahine go on a 5-0 run after a 2-2 tie. The Aggies couldn't regain any momentum as UH committed only two attack errors and two service errors.
The Aggies jumped out on a 6-1 run in set three but Hawaii showed why it's the No. 3 team in the nation coming back to win 25-23. Tournament MVP, Kanani Danielson was too much for NM State as she posted six kills and a solo block to lead her team to victory.
The Aggies now look forward to Saturday, Nov. 28 as they will face another nationally ranked team in No. 22 Colorado State. The match is set for a 12 p.m. (MT) start with live stats available at www.NMStateSports.com.
2009 WAC All-Tournament Team
Kelsey Brennan - NM State
Aneli Cubi-Otineru - Hawai'i
Jennah DeVries - NM State
Dani Mafua - Hawai'i
Kayleigh Giddens - NM State
Breann Nesselhuf - Boise State
Whitney Woods - NM State
MVP: Kanani Danielson - Hawai'i