NM State Volleyball Sweeps Radford

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State volleyball team picked up its second win in as many days on Friday after sweeping Radford, 25-20, 25-17, 25-13, during day two of the NM State Tournament inside the Pan American Center.

The Aggies go over .500 for the season with the win as they improve to 3-2 after starting the tournament at 1-2.

Junior outside hitters Bradley Nash and Gwen Murphy both had big days for the Aggies as both finished the match with 10 kills. Nash also finished with a .500 hitting percentage while Murphy added two solo blocks and one block-assist.

Junior setter Taylor Livoti once again led the team in assists with 18. Fellow setter Ashlyn Brown also had double-digit assists, finishing with 10. Libero Hannah Walker, meanwhile, had a team-high 15 digs.

Although the offense played well, it was a total team effort that paced NM State over a Highlander team that was playing its second match of the day and was coming off a thrilling five-set victory earlier in the day over the 30th-ranked Cal Bears.

The Aggies did not allow Radford to mark more than two-consecutive points throughout the entire match. NM State also held its opponent to a negative hitting percentage in all three sets. The Highlanders finished with a total hitting percentage of -.048.

“We played well in long stretches, I mean to hold them to a negative hitting percentage every set is a big deal,” Aggie head coach Mike Jordan said. “We were really good defensively tonight and we flew around and made a lot of plays and took care of the ball really well.”

The Aggies took command of the match early as they jumped to a 9-3 lead early in set number one. Nash had a couple of kills early and finished the set with five total kills. Radford would cut the NM State lead down to as little as four late in the set, but the Aggies would hold for a 25-20 win in the opening set.

Set two was more competitive early as the set would see five total ties, including at seven, eight, nine, 10 and 11 midway through the set. NM State would break it open from that point, however, by going on a six-point rally to take a 17-11 lead they would not surrender.

With the Aggies up 21-16, Murphy put an exclamation point on the set, first with a kill and then with a big block in the middle that gave the Aggies a seven-point lead at 23-16. Murphy then closed out the set with her sixth kill of the frame to put NM State up two sets to love.

The third set started with the Highlanders picking up the first two points of the set, but the Aggies maintained their poise and would mark seven of the next eight points to take a 7-3 lead, a lead they would not relinquish.

Radford would cut the lead to 14-11 midway through the set. Yet as before, NM State used a middle-of-the-set six-point rally to put the set and the match away. The Aggies led 20-11 after the rally and would finish off the Highlanders from there, 25-13.

NM State now concludes play in its home tournament by facing perhaps it toughest opponent of the weekend, No. 30 California. The match that will close out the NM State Tournament is scheduled for a 2 p.m. (MT) afternoon start on Saturday, Sept. 6, inside the Pan American Center. Radio coverage will be on KGRT AM 570 in the Las Cruces area and the match will also be broadcast live over an Internet webcast at NMStateSports.com.