NMSU Volleyball Sweeps I-10 Rival UTEP

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State (14-4, 4-0 WAC) notched their fourth-straight sweep over UTEP (3-13, 1-2 C-USA) with a 26-24, 25-23, 25-15 victory in front of a raucous crowd on Wednesday.

“It is always good to get wins in these rivalry matches,” said head coach Mike Jordan. “However, we made a lot of bad attack choices in the first two sets. We got out of system and they blocked some balls, plus we made too many errors and gave them points. In the third set, we only made three errors. That is really what it boiled down to.”

With the win, NM State claimed their eighth-straight victory and their fifth-straight over the Miners. The Aggies have now won 22 of the last 25 against UTEP.

Three Aggies logged double digit kills on the night. Junior Jordan Abalos paced the squad with 13 kills and eight digs. Junior Sasha-Lee Thomas put up 12 kills and three blocks. Sophomore Tatyana Battle posted 11 kills, six digs and a service ace.

NM State came out ready to go as they opened on a 3-1 run to start the match. Facing a 5-2 deficit, UTEP went on a 5-0 run to take the lead 7-5. They held on to the lead, running it out to 12-8 and 13-9. The Aggies rallied back to reclaim the lead at 16-15, and kept it for the remainder of the frame. NM State went on to win the set 26-24.

The second set was tightly contested early in the frame, featuring nine ties and four lead changes. The Aggies finally broke away for good at 10-8. They would run the lead out to 17-13 and 19-14 at its height. The Miners attempted a comeback late in the set, but the divide was too large and the Aggies took the frame 25-23.

The third and final set was all as Aggies as they started on a 10-1 run to begin the frame. The lead grew to 15-4 and 22-10. NM State claimed the win with a 25-15 decision.

The Aggies are back in action on Saturday as they return to conference play and face off against UT Rio Grande Valley at 1 p.m. in the Pan American Center.