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Aggie Volleyball Falls To No. 14 Colorado State In Three Close Sets | bleedCrimson.net :: Your Source for NMSU Aggies Sports News

Aggie Volleyball Falls To No. 14 Colorado State In Three Close Sets

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Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - In a match that saw 35 total ties, two sets go into extra points and all sets decided by two points, the New Mexico State volleyball team lost to the 14th-ranked Colorado State Rams in three sets, 26-24, 28-26, 25-23, on Friday night inside the Pan American Center.

The evenly-matched defeat during the first day of the NM State/UTEP Tournament takes the Aggies to a 3-4 overall record. NM State fought tooth and nail with a Colorado State team that had earlier in the day beaten the ninth-ranked BYU Cougars in five sets.

“I think we get better each week,” Aggie head coach Mike Jordan said. “We were point-for-point with a great team. We just need to make a few more plays at crunch time.”

The Aggies outhit the Rams .252 to .218 and outblocked them 10 to six, but eight service errors, twice as many as their counterparts, would prove costly for NM State.

Junior Andrea Tauai marked her second-consecutive double-double to lead the Aggie attack after finishing with a team-high 13 kills while adding 10 digs. Bradley Nash and Sasha-Lee Thomas each added nine kills while Thomas also had a team-high .400 hitting percentage.

Junior Taylor Livoti once again led NM State with 21 assists while fellow junior Nathalie Castellanos added 16 assists. Libero Hannah Walker led the team with 22 digs.

The first set saw a total of 14 ties throughout. The eighth tie came at 10, but the Aggies would mark five of the next six points, including two kills by Thomas, to open up a 15-11 lead.

The Rams would fight back, however, and after two-straight points the set was once again knotted up, this time at 20.

From that point the set would be tied at 21, 22 and 23 before NM State took a 24-23 lead off another Thomas’ kill to bring them within one point of a first-set win. The No. 14 team in the country would mark the last three points of the set, however, to take the set 26-24 in extra points.

Thomas had seven kills in the opening frame without an attack error for a perfect hitting percentage.

The Aggies would fall down 4-0 early in the second set, but would battle back to take a 10-9 lead. Colorado State would strike back, marking eight of the next nine points to take 17-11 advantage. But NM State continued to dig deep and after a four-point rally the set was tied at 21.

With the Rams a point away from going up 2-0 at 24-22, the Aggies marked two-consecutive points to tie the set at 24. The two teams would exchange points to bring the 10th tie of the set at 26. But as in the first set, Colorado State would mark the final points, taking set two 28-26. Tauai had six of her 13 kills during the tight second set.

The final set was much like the previous two, with both teams fighting back and forth and a total of 11 ties. Once again the Rams would take an early lead and once again NM State would rally to even the set late.

Colorado State would lead by as many as four midway through the set, but after a solo block and block-assist by Thomas, the teams were once again squared off at 16. The Aggies would lead 22-21 and 23-22, but the Rams would mark the final three points to take the set and the match.

“Give Colorado State credit, they have more of a veteran team and it showed,” Jordan said. “I love our effort though, and I like the direction we’re headed.”

NM State concludes its five-match homestand by facing another ranked team, No. 9 BYU, on Saturday beginning at noon during the final match of the NM State/UTEP Tournament.

Saturday’s match will be broadcast live on television by AggieVision with the telecast coming out locally on Comcast Cable channel 77. The match can also be seen on the Altitude Sports Network, which can be seen on DirecTV channel 681 and Dish Network channel 413.