Mike Jordan Picks Up Career Win No. 400; Aggies Win Two At Troy Invitational

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

TROY, AL - With the 3-0 sweep of Valparaiso (2-2) on Friday, New Mexico State head coach Mike Jordan reached rarified air earning his 400th career win. The Aggies (3-2) captured the win with a 25-9, 25-19, 25-21 decision.

"I have had a lot of great players and a lot of great coaches in my career," said Jordan. "I am proud to be the coach here at New Mexico State. Reflecting back, there have been a lot of big wins, but I think about all of the players too. That's the cool part about this win, it brings me back to my first season here and all of the memories."

In his 19th season at NM State, Jordan now holds a career coaching record of 400-179, all with the Aggies. He is the winningest coach in NM State volleyball history, a title he claimed in 2004.

As for the match itself, Jordan said, "Sometimes we are high error, but that comes with a young team still learning how to play. When we are not high error, we are pretty good. We hit for good percentages and do a lot of things well. I like seeing the development of some of our players. Crash [Parker] is so much better this weekend than last weekend, and we were hoping to see that. We are getting more balance as we go along. Overall, I don't have much to complain about. We are learning, and it's not pretty sometimes. However, there is a lot to be excited about."

NM State had two players with double-digit kills. Junior Kassandra Tohm paced the Aggies with 15 kills and an impressive .542 hitting percentage. Western Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year Sasha-Lee Thomas logged 13 kills and four blocks. Redshirt-freshman Megan Hart contributed with five blocks.

The Aggies picked up right where they left off from the match earlier in the day. They opened the match with a 9-3 lead early in the first frame. NM State would then go on an 8-0 run, their longest of the season, to push the lead to 17-3. The Crusaders tried to rally late in the set, but it was too late as the Aggies won the frame 25-9.

Valpo came to life in the second set as neither team could gain an advantage for most of the set, which featured nine ties. NM State finally broke away with a lead of 13-10. Thanks to multiple sustained runs, the Aggies took the frame 25-19.

NM State seemed to go cold coming out of the break as the Crusaders held an 8-3 lead early in the third set. However, they would battle all the way back to tie the set at 12-12 and take the lead 14-13. Valpo would tie the match again at 17-17 and 18-18, but NM State would claim the lead to stay at 19-18. The Aggies went on to claim the victory with a 25-21 decision in the third set.

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New Mexico State volleyball defeated the Lady Govs of Austin Peay 3-1 in the opening match of the Trojan Invitational on Friday. The Aggies took the match with a 25-16, 27-29, 25-20, 25-18 decision.

"I liked that we served it tougher today," said head coach Mike Jordan. "We still missed too much, but we will take that trade off. We definitely were more aggressive at the service line, and did a good job. I was really happy with the way Megan Hart played. She is just going to get stronger after her knee injury. She is not there yet, but any kind of production from her is positive right now. As she gets stronger and more confident, she is going to keep putting up good numbers. I was pretty happy with our overall effort all in all."

NM State had three players post double-digit kills in the win. Western Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year Sasha-Lee Thomas paced the Aggies with 16 kills and a .667 hitting percentage, a new season high. Junior Jordan Abalos put together her fourth-straight double-double of the season with 14 kills and 15 digs. Junior Kassandra Tohm logged 10 kills.

The Aggies came out of the gate white hot as they ran out to a 7-3 lead early in the first set. Thanks to several runs of three points or more, including two 4-0 runs, NM State was able to run away with the set 25-16.

The second set proved to be a little bit more difficult as NM State held an early lead of 7-4, but the Lady Govs didn't back down. Austin Peay fought all the way back to tie the match at 11-11, and would take their first lead at 13-12. They ran the lead out to 21-15, but the Aggies slowly scratched and clawed their way back. NM State would force a tie and eventually retake the lead briefly at 27-26. Unfortunately, it was not enough as Austin Peay took the frame 29-27.

Facing a 1-1 tie, the Aggie came out of the break on fire as the rolled to a 10-3 lead early in the third set. However, the Lady Govs would not go down quietly as they fought back to cut the lead to 14-10. That would be as close as they got, as NM State went on a 4-0 run to push the lead to 18-12. The Aggies eventually claimed the set 25-20.

The fourth set looked to be all NM State, as the Aggies went on an 8-1 run to start the frame. But once again Austin Peay attempted a comeback, cutting the lead to 15-8. Thanks to extended runs again, the Aggies would claim the match and set with a 25-18 decision.