NMSU Volleyball Falls To LSU In NCAA Tournament, 3-2

Written by: NMSU Athletic Dept.

AUSTIN, TX - New Mexico State senior middle hitter Kim Oguh and freshman outside hitter Whitney Phillips evenly combined for 30 kills, but that was not enough to stop the Louisiana State University, as the Aggies fell 3-2 (25-20, 30-21, 30-21, 27-30, 13-15) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Gregory Gym in Austin, Texas, Friday, Nov. 30.

Phillips (Chandler, Ariz.) recorded a career high 15 kills, and also recorded her first career double-double with 11 digs. Oguh (El Paso, Hanks HS) also tallied five blocks and added three service aces. Oguh’s five blocks places her second on the Aggies all-time career block list with 180.

Junior middle blocker Amber Simpson (Quincy, Ill.) recorded a game-high seven blocks and had 13 kills, while junior outside hitter Lindsey Yon (San Antonio, Texas) added 12 digs and 9 kills, along with four blocks on the night.

Defensively, Krystal Torres (Las Cruces, Mayfield HS) tallied a game-high 31 digs, just two shy of tying her career digs with 33 set Sept. 22, 2007 against Hawai’i.

Head coach Mike Jordan said that he was proud of the success his team has had throughout the season, but felt that the squad made some pivotal mistakes throughout the night and did not execute to win.

"I thought we were in control majority of match starting with game two," Jordan said. I also felt we had a number of chances to win in game five but could never close it."

In game one NMSU got off to an early 2-0 start, until LSU answered with an 11-3 run pushing the score 11-to-5. NMSU rallied back within four from a Yon kill, but was not enough to stop the Tigers, falling 30-to-25.

Game two was back-and-forth until the Aggies tied the game for the final time, 10-10. Kills from Oguh and Phillips led a 15-5 Aggie surge, caused from solid defense by Torres, who came up big with six digs, and dominating hitting as NMSU claimed game two, 30-21. Leading the way for the Aggies was Oguh with five kills on eight swings.

The Aggies jumped out to a quick 6-3 lead in game three and continued dominance vaulting to a 19-12 lead from a 12-5 run. The Tigers continued chipping away at the deficit but strong blocking, by junior middle Amber Simpson who led the game with 4 blocks, was too much for the Tigers and the Aggies capture game three, 30-21. Phillips led the way in kills with six.

Game four was a roller-coaster ride as the Aggies and Tigers rallied back and forth throughout most of the match. LSU took the biggest lead of the match, 20-17, but NMSU chipped away equaling the score 27-27 from a monster kill by Oguh. That was as close as the Aggies would get as the Tigers scored the next three points to steal game four 30-27.

Game five was a replica of the entire night as the Aggies and Tiger equaled the score nine times with the final tie, 13-13. LSU found a groove scoring the final two points and won the match 3-2.

The Aggies concluded the 2007 season in Austin, Texas with an overall record of 26-6. This was their second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and their fourth in five years.