Aggie Volleyball Downs Rival Lobos 3-1

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State got outstanding play from senior outside hitters Gwen Murphy and Bradley Nash to take the volleyball Battle of I-25 with a 3-1 win over New Mexico Tuesday night at the Pan American Center.

NM State (11-5) downed the Lobos (8-7) 20-25, 25-20, 25-14, 25-22 in the closely contested match.

“It’s a good win,” said NM State Head Coach Mike Jordan. “I felt we were the better team, especially at home, but that doesn’t mean anything in a rivalry match. You got to come out and play well. And we did.”

The Aggies were paced once again by Murphy, a senior from Elfrida, Ariz./Valley Union who posted 15 kills, including the one that ended the match, and hit .312. She also led the Aggies with six total blocks in the match.

Nash, a senior from Kayenta, Ariz./Monument Valley, had her best performance of the season, with 14 kills and a .444 attack percentage, along with a season-best five blocks.

“Gwen is an All-America caliber talent,” said Jordan. “But the player of this match was Bradley Nash. She was superb. She had a good matchup, she took advantage of it and she moved around better than we’ve seen her move in a while. Bradley was really a key to the match today.

New Mexico was led by junior Devanne Sours of Tatum, N.M. who tallied 11 kills with two blocks.

NM State outhit the Lobos .268 to .174, forcing UNM to hit below .090 in the last two sets.

The Aggies and Lobos slugged it out early reaching 20-all near the end of set one. But four consecutive NM State errors allowed the Lobos to take the first set 25-20.

The Crimson and White answered in the second set, building up a 22-15 advantage. The Lobos wouldn’t give before a pair of kills from Nash ended the set at 25-20 and even the match 1-all.

The third set was the turning point.

NM State opened a 10-4 lead and never allowed the Lobos to get on track. The Aggie block worked to perfection, forcing eight attack errors and a Lobo hitting percentage of .024 for the set. Murphy ended the set with consecutive kills for a 25-14 win.

The fourth set appeared to be a repeat of the third with NM State jumping out to a 23-16 advantage. But as in any true rivalry, the Lobos answered with a 6-1 run to get within 24-22.

However Murphy ended the comeback and the match with a thunderous kill to give the Aggies their first win over the Lobos since a 3-0 triumph on Oct. 23, 2012 in Albuquerque.

“It’s been a good rivalry,” said Jordan. “We’re 5-4 since Jeff (Nelson) took over, so anytime you get a win over a good Mountain West team you’ve got to be happy with it.”

The Aggies return to Western Athletic Conference play on Thursday night when they host Chicago State at 7 p.m. in the Pan American Center.