NM State Picks Up Win On Senior Day

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State volleyball team won its second-consecutive four-set match after defeating Utah Valley on Saturday afternoon, 28-26, 25-20, 18-25, 25-21, inside the Pan American Center.

Saturday’s match was the final one for the Aggies at home this season. With the win NM State improves to 14-9 overall and remains in second place in the Western Athletic Conference with an 8-3 conference record. The team finishes with an 8-4 record inside the Pan American Center.

The Wolverines fall to 10-16 and under .500 in the WAC at 5-6.

Junior Nathalie Castellanos led the Aggies by tying a season high with 12 kills. She also had 12 kills against Utah Valley the first time the two teams met this season. Castellanos also finished with a match-high .423 hitting percentage.

On the day NM State celebrated Senior Day, senior Shelbi Goode marked a career-high 11 kills, her first time marking double-digit kills in her Aggie career. Andrea Tauai, filling the libero position for the second-straight match for injured senior Hannah Walker, had a team-high 10 digs. Setters Taylor Livoti and Ashlyn Brown again shared the setting duties, Livoti finished with 21 assists while Brown was right behind with 19 helpers.

The Aggies got off to a slow start in the opening set as the Wolverines scored the first four points of the match. After Utah Valley ran off another five-consecutive points later in the set, NM State saw itself trailing 13-5.

But the Aggies rallied with a 10-3 run that put them back in the set at 15-16. With the Wolverines leading 22-19, NM State got three-straight points to finally pull even with the visitors at 22-22 late in the set.

The set would also be tied at 23, 24, 25 and 26, but the Aggies marked the final two points of the set to rally and win set one 28-26.

NM State reversed the tables on Utah Valley in the second set as this time the Aggies scored four-straight to start the set. NM State would maintain its lead through the first half of the set, but a four-point rally by the Wolverines knotted things up at 18-18.

The Aggies answered, however, with a six-point rally that put them at set point. A couple of points later the home team would get a 25-20 set win and lead 2-0.

After losing the third set, NM State saw itself in an early battle during the fourth set. A four-point rally gave the Aggies a 10-8 lead and after a three-straight points later in the set the Aggie lead was at 19-16.

The teams traded points late in the set, but NM State once again marked the final two points of the set on a kill by Goode and an attack error by Utah Valley to take the set and the match.

The Aggies will finish off the regular season with three matches on the road. They have a week off as their next match, and only match next week, is next Saturday in Edinburg, Texas, versus Texas-Pan American. The match is scheduled for a noon (MT) start and can be heard live in Las Cruces on KGRT AM 570. NM State then concludes the regular season with trips to Chicago State and WAC-leading Missouri-Kansas City in two weeks.