NM State Drops Opening Match Of Hawaiian Airlines Invitational To No. 9 Hawai'i

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

HONOLULU, HI - The New Mexico State volleyball team fell in straight sets 25-17, 25-23 and 25-15 to No. 9 Hawai’i in the Stan Sheriff Center, Thursday, Sept. 5. The Aggie fall to 1-3 on the year while UH moves to 3-1.

The Aggies struggled all evening with the UH serve with nine service errors and numerous over-passes, which led to points for the strong Hawai’i team. Outside hitter Bradley Nash and freshman Aleisha Coates marked six kills hear while Nash marked a .316 hitting percentage and six block assists.

“We seemed to come out a little tight and our serve-receive really hurt us, especially in the first set,” head coach Mike Jordan said. “The served the ball really tough and we just could put points together and had trouble finishing out plays.”

The Aggies hit .133 as a team and UH hit .260 but the Aggies out blocked UH 9-6. Sophomore setter Taylor Livoti marked a team-high eight digs and a team-high 13 assists, with senior libero Stephanie Ziegler adding seven digs. Senior middle Desiree Scott added four kills and four total blocks needing just three more total blocks to move into the top 10 career records at NM State.

NM State took and early 5-4 lead in set one but fell behind after struggling to handle the Wahine serve. UH was the first to reach 15 after a 4-0 run by the Wahine to put the Aggies behind by five at 15-10. NM State picked up a point and a great block by Gwen Murphy but UH posted a 8-0 run, which ended by the Wahine going into the net while the Aggies trailed 19-11 lead. Bradley Nash scored two consecutive points on a hard-hitting kill and a nice block but the Aggies ended up losing the first set 25-17.

The Aggies tied set two at 2, 3 and 4 but fell behind by two at 7-5, 8-6, 9-7 and 11-9. NM State fell behind by six at 18-12 and was down 21-16 before rallying back using a 6-1 scoring run to tie it at 22-22. Nash marked three kills and a block assist in the set as freshman Aleisha Coates marked three kills and a service ace to help her team make it a competitive set.

Set three saw Coates pick up her fifth kill of the night to pull the Aggies to within four 11-7. A block by Scott and Nash kept the Aggies within four points at 16-12 but the Aggies fell behind by 12 the Aggies when the Wahine scored 10 consecutive points. NM State kept fighting but lost the set 25-15.

NM State faces No. 10 UCLA, Friday, Sept. 6 at 9 p.m. (MT) in Honolulu, Hawai’i.