Aggies Sweep Great Danes In Season Opener

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS VEGAS, NV - New Mexico State volleyball open the 2016 season with a bang sweeping Albany in straight sets. The Aggies took the decision 25-22, 25-12, 25-13.

"First I'm really proud of the team," said head coach Mike Jordan. "This is a great Albany team. They are fairly physical, play great defense and forced a lot of long rallies. The first match of the season is always a crapshoot, you don't know what you are going to get. We were jittery and made some uncharacteristic errors, but that's going to happen in the first set. I'm glad we stayed patient and when it came crunch time, I think we were a little mentally tougher than they were. I think that was the turning point of the match."

Junior Jordan Abalos and sophomore Tatyana Battle picked up where they left off in 2015 with both posting double digit kills. Abalos put up her first double-double of the season with 10 kills and 11 digs. Battle led the Aggies with 12 kills. Both Preseason Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year Sasha-Lee Thomas and junior Kassandra Tohm racked up nine kills. Freshman Brigette Lowe posted an impressive .600 hitting percentage in her first match.

NM State came out of the gate hot with a 3-1 lead to start the first set. Things evened out from there with neither team able to gain a sizable edge until Albany went on a 3-0 run to take a 16-14 lead. The Aggies were able to tie the set at 20-20 and took over from there, winning the frame 25-22.

The second set was all NM State, as the Aggies went on multiple long runs. They opened the frame up on 5-0 run, and led 5-1 early. Albany was able to pull within three points several times during the match, but that would be as close as they got. The Aggie run of 6-0 put them up 21-10, and was their longest of the set. NM State would win the frame 25-12.

The Aggies continued to roll in the third and final set as they stared the set on a 3-0 run. The Great Danes tried to keep it close early, but several three-point or longer runs helped the Aggies run away with the frame. NM State's largest lead came at 21-10, and the Aggies would claim the set and match with a 25-13 decision.

NM State will be back in action today at 6 p.m. and face off against UC Santa Barbara in both team's second match of the UNLV Invitational.