Aggie Volleyball Wins Five Set Battle With Sacramento State; Falls In Three Sets To No. 16 Texas A&M

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – New Mexico State volleyball (6-2) pulled out the victory in a five set thriller against Sacramento State (3-4) on Friday. The Aggies were able to take the match with a 25-22, 16-25, 27-25, 24-26, 16-14 decision.

“We were making plays when we needed to, but we were a little up and down like we have been,” said head coach Mike Jordan. “That’s youth and confidence, though. Hopefully, we will continue to learn every time we take the floor.”

The Aggies had four player put up double-digit kills in the match. Western Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year Sasha-Lee Thomas paced the Aggies once again with 17 kills and six blocks to go with her .359 hitting percentage. Junior Jordan Abalos logged her sixth double-double of the season with her 14 kills and 17 digs. Junior Kassandra Tohm put up 13 kills and 5 blocks. Sophomore Tatyana Battle nabbed her first double-double of the season with 11 kills and 13 digs.

The first set of the match was tightly contested with three ties early, but the Aggies gained some distance with an 8-5 lead. Sac St. battled back to tie the match again at 10-10. They briefly took the lead at 12-10, but the Aggies retied it at 13-13. The match became close again with three more ties before NM State took the lead for good at 17-16. They would go on to claim the frame 25-22.

The second set was a bit of a different story as the Hornets opened on a 6-2 run early in the frame. They pushed that lead out to 10-4, and then to 20-10. The Aggies were unable to combat Sac St.’s multiple runs of four or more points, with the Hornets taking the set 25-16.

With the score tied 1-1, the third set look to be more of the same as Sac St. opened on a 5-1 run. The Aggies were able to battle back and eventually tie it at 12-12. Unfortunately, a 6-0 run by the Hornets put NM State back in the hole 18-12. Once again, the Aggies clawed and scrapped their way back, tying the match at 24-24. They took their first lead of the set at 26-25, and took the frame 27-25.

The fourth set was the most tightly contest frame early as neither team could distance themselves, until Sac St. took the lead at 9-8. Thanks to a 4-0 run, the Hornets pushed the lead to 15-10, and then 18-13. As before, NM State fought all the way back to tie the match at 22-22. However, Sac St. was able to gain the edge and force a deciding fifth set with a 26-24 decision.

The fifth and final looked to be all Aggies as they ran out to a 6-3 lead to start. The Hornets would not be denied, however, as they battled back to tie the set at 10-10. NM State ran out to 13-10 lead, but Sac St. would once again tie it at 14-14. Fortunately, the Aggies gained the edge this time and took the set and match with a 16-14 decision.


New Mexico State volleyball (6-3) was unable to contain No. 16 Texas A&M (5-3) on Friday night as they fell in straight sets. Texas A&M was able to claim the victory with a 25-20, 25-16, 25-19 decision.

“I thought we served it pretty well, in stretches,” said head coach Mike Jordan. “We got off to a great start with [Ariadnne Sierra] serving it tough. We are getting better at that, which is great. Our outside hitters struggled. [Texas A&M] presented a big block, but we had some hole opportunities to hit the ball sharp across and we didn’t do it. We have to learn from these things. That is why we schedule these matches. They present those kinds of problems with a team like that. We have to learn from it, and get better at those things. When we do, I think we will be pretty good.”

A trio of Aggies led the team in kills. Junior Sasha-Lee Thomas logged seven kills and two blocks on the night. Junior Kassandra Tohm put up seven kills of her own. Freshman Brigette Lowe gathered seven kills en route to an impressive .600 hitting percentage.

NM State looked ready to bring it in the first set as the opened up on a 6-1 run, including three-straight service aces from Ariadnne Sierra. Texas A&M battled back to tie it up 11-11. The visiting Aggies would take a brief lead at 14-13, but NM State would tie it and take the lead 16-14. Texas A&M retook the lead at 18-16 and did not let it go, winning the frame 25-20.

In the second set, NM State again ran out to a sizable lead to start at 4-1, but once again Texas A&M found a way to tie it up at 6-6. From there, it was all Texas A&M, with their largest lead of the set coming at 15-10. They eventually took the frame 25-16.

In what seemed to be a running theme in this match, NM State opened the third set with a 3-1 lead. They would eventually push the lead to 10-6. However, once again Texas A&M fought back to tie the set at 15-15. From there, the visiting Aggies took over with a lead of 17-15 and then 23-17. They would claim the set and match with a 25-19 decision in the final frame.

NM State is back in action tomorrow as they close out the Borderland Invitational against Arizona at noon.