Aggie Volleyball Falls In Five Sets Against UC Santa Barbara

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept,

LAS VEGAS, NV - After sweeping the first match of the day, New Mexico State (1-1) was unable to go 2-0 after falling in five tightly contested sets to UC Santa Barbara (1-1). UCSB claimed the match with a 30-28, 25-22, 23-25, 19-25, 13-15 decision.

"When you play back to back, it's really hard," said head coach Mike Jordan. "It was obvious that Jordan [Abalos] was wearing out a little there at the end. It really just comes down to getting better production out of our young kids. We knew it was going to be a struggle and that they might have the yips. It was just little things. You have to rise up to the challenge and our freshman didn't do that. I think that's common, and that's not a negative thing if we learn and grow from it. You have to go out there and play your hardest. We got a little sloppy at the end and didn't do the things you have to do."

Four Aggies finished the match with double-digit kills. Western Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year Sasha-Lee Thomas led the Aggies with 19 kills, a new career high for the junior. Sophomore Tatyana Battle posted 17 kills, while also logging two service aces. Juniors Jordan Abalos and Kassandra Tohm both raked in 16 kills apiece. Abalos garnered her second double-double of the day with 15 digs to go along with her kills. Tohm's 16 kills is a new career high.

The Aggies went on a 6-0 run early, which put them up 6-1. The Gauchos would battle back and tie the set at 11-11. From that point on, neither team could gain a sizeable lead. NM State would eventually capture the frame 30-28, after several back and forth points.

The second set began the same way the first one ended with a tightly contested battle between both sides. The Aggies were able to break away eventually, and ran out to a five-point lead at 15-10 and again at 18-13. NM State would go on to win the set 25-22.

NM State came out a little cold in the third set as they allowed the Gauchos to lead for most of the frame. UCSB was able to jump out to a five-point lead at 15-10, but the Aggies rallied all the way to retake the lead 21-19. The rest of the set was extremely close, but the Gauchos would eventually claim their first set of the match 25-23.

The fourth set was the most contested of the match with neither team able to break away until late in the frame. UCSB was able gained a four-point advantage at 21-17 and did not relinquish its lead. The Gauchos took the set 25-19.

The Aggies looked to have rebounded from the previous two frames as they led for most of the fifth and final set. UCSB would take their final lead of the match at 12-11 and force match point at 14-11 to cap off a 5-0 run. NM State attempted a rally, but could not come back as the Gauchos won the set and match 15-13.

The Aggies will be back in action tomorrow as they face off against host UNLV at 3 p.m. in the final match of the UNLV Invitational.