Aggie Volleyball Sweeps UT Rio Grande Valley

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State got a solid performance on the floor Saturday afternoon as the Aggies opened Western Athletic Conference play with a 3-0 victory over the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

NM State (10-5, 1-0) swept the Vaqueros (7-8, 0-1) 25-18, 25-18, 25-17 at the Pan American Center.

The Aggies were led by the powerful play of senior Nathalie Castellanos of Vado, N.M./Gadsden, who tallied 10 kills with a .429 hitting percentage and two blocks.

“They physically just couldn’t deal with her,” said NM State Head Coach Mike Jordan. “Nathalie has that kind of presence. She’s a great player. She made a lot of plays.”

Senior Gwen Murphy of Elfrida, Ariz./Valley Union, hit an amazing .727 in the match, with eight kills on 11 attempts. Murphy also led the Aggies with three total blocks.

Senior Bradley Nash of Kayenta, Ariz./Monument Valley added seven kills, while sophomore Sasha-Lee Thomas of Pottsville, Pa. also had seven kills and matched Murphy’s three blocks.

UTRGV got nine kills from sophomore Bojana Mitrovic on 29 attempts with eight errors. The WAC’s leader in kills hit only .034 for the match.

The Aggies outhit the Vaqueros .326 to .056 in the three sets, with UTRGV hitting above zero in only the first set.

NM State never trailed in the first two sets, but allowed UTRGV to hold leads briefly in the third set after freely substituting.

“We’re a more physical, more veteran team and we should win these matches,” said Jordan. “We looked good in stretches, but there room for improvement still.”

The Aggies opened a four-match homestand with the win. NM State next hosts I-25 rival New Mexico on Tuesday evening at the Pan Am. First serve is set for 7 p.m.