Aggies Close Out Regular Season With Sweep Of UTEP; Await NCAA Tournament Selection Show

Written By: NM state Athletic Dept.

EL PASO, TX – NM State captured a hard fought 3-0 victory to claim the season series sweep over I-10 rival UTEP in the regular season finale on Wednesday.

"We've got to serve the ball a lot better," said head coach Mike Jordan. "We need to be a little smarter on who we are setting the three-pass balls to as well. We set a lot of balls into standing doubles and made a lot of silly mistakes, but we played well down the stretch in sets. I don't want to see us getting down [by] seven anymore. UTEP played hard and made a lot of plays. I think they out served us, and we have to make sure we give it our best at the service line. [Kassandra] Tohm did a great job. I thought she gave us a lot of kills and did a lot of good stuff. We really missed Nathalie [Castellanos] and her court presence. We've got a lot of pieces that can play."

While the Aggies seemed to struggle in the match, they were able to come away with the victory in a 25-23, 25-21, 25-21 decision.

NM State has now won 19 in a row and are inching closer to the longest streak in school history, 23 matches set in 2003.

All-America candidate and WAC Player of the Year Gwen Murphy paced the Aggies with 10 kills. The Elfrida, Ariz./Valley Union HS native also had three service aces and a block.

Senior Talia Jones led the Miners with 10 kills.

NM State opened up the first set on a 5-2 run. However, errors by the Aggies let the Miners back in as they tied it up at 6-6. From there, UTEP hung around, never getting down by more than three points. The Miners fought to take the lead at 16-15.
They still held the lead at 23-21, but a 4-0 run by the Aggies closed out the set 25-23.

Errors continued to plague NM State in the second set, as they went down 6-3 early in the set. They were able to fight back and come within one point of the lead, with the score at 9-8. NM State took its first lead of the set at 14-13. They fought to hold on to the lead for the remainder of the set, and took the frame 25-21.

In what seemed to be a theme for the night, NM State went down 7-2 to start the third set. The Aggies fought back to tie it up at 10-10, but didn't take the lead until 13-12. At that point, they never relinquished the lead and won the final set and the match 25-21.

NM State will find out their first round opponent for the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m during the NCAA Volleyball Selection Show on ESPNU.