Aggie Volleyball Survives Five Set Battle With Denver

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Senior middle blocker Gwen Murphy notched a career-high 20 kills to help the Aggies outlast Denver 3-2 on Saturday afternoon.

After holding a pair of five point Aggie leads at 12-7 and 19-14, Denver rallied to tie the set at 22. Murphy notched a pair of kills followed by a service ace from Jordan Abalos to give the Aggies the final three points of the set.

Denver dominated set two jumping out to an 11-3 lead as the Aggies hit just .025 in the set with nine attack errors in the set.

The third set saw a much tighter battle with the Aggies holding a three point advantage at 10-7 before things would tighten up. With the set tied at 13, neither team held more than a one point advantage as the match sat tied at 21 apiece. The Aggies would score four of the set's final five points to win 25-22.

Set four would go to Denver as they would build an early five point lead at 12-7. The Aggies would trail 14-9 before outscoring the Pioneers 6-1 to tie the set at 15. Denver scored the next four points to push their lead out to four at 19-15 but the Aggies would cut the lead to just one at 23-22. However, Denver would score the final two points of the set to win 25-22 and force a decisive fifth set.

In set five it was the Aggies who would set the early tone taking an 8-5 advantage as the teams switched sides. Denver would get no closer than two points the rest of the set as the Aggies built leads of 12-7 an 14-9 before eventually winning the set 15-10 and the match 3-2.

The Aggies hit just .198 on the match while Denver hit .236. Denver's Sarah Schmid hit a match-high .706 with 13 kills on 17 swings with just one attack error while Gwen Murphy carried the Aggies with 20 kills on 37 swings with just four attack errors.

The Aggies were out-blocked 18.0 to 8.5 but out-dug the Pioneers 71-63 and committed five fewer errors at the service line than the Pioneers (11-6) with both teams recording five service aces.

The Aggies improve to 2-3 in five set matches this season and are 8-3 overall as they head to Tucson, Ariz. where they will face the host Wildcats and Savannah State on Friday and Texas on Saturday.