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Top Seeded NMSU Volleyball Upset By 5-Seed UTRGV In WAC Tournament Semifinals | bleedCrimson.net :: Your Source for NMSU Aggies Sports News

Top Seeded NMSU Volleyball Upset By 5-Seed UTRGV In WAC Tournament Semifinals

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Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The top-seeded NM State volleyball team was upended Friday night, 3-2, at the Pan American Center to fifth-seeded UT Rio Grande Valley in the semifinal match of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament 23-25, 20-25, 25-16, 25-23.

The Aggies finished the year 23-7 on the year after claiming the WAC regular-season crown. Jordan Abalos and Tatyana Battle led the way once again for NM State on the attacking end with 13 and 14 kills apiece. Both Abalos (18) and Battle (10) also recorded double-doubles with 12 and 10 digs, respectively.

Alexsa “Crash” Parker had a game-high 23 assists while Brianna Ainsworth stood right behind her with 22 on the night. Ainsworth also finished with a double-double for the Aggies.

How It Happened:
The first set was tightly contested from start to finish with 13 lead changes and three ties. However, it was 11 attack errors and a .022 team hitting-percentage that led to UTRGV taking the first set 25-23 on an attack error.

Just like the opening set, the second frame went back-and-forth between the two teams until midway through the set. With NM State leading 18-16, a critical 9-2 run by the Vaqueros saw Mike Jordan’s team trail a fifth-seeded UTRGV team 2-0.

The regular-season champs didn’t back down after trailing 2-0 to UTRGV and cruised to a 25-16 victory in the third set. The Aggies used a 14-9 edge in kills and was able to hold UTRGV to a .057 hitting clip that set.

With a victory in the third set under their belt, the Aggies had hoped for another rally in the fourth set. Similar to the first two sets, the final set of 2016 for NM State volleyball was a roller coaster ride with 11 lead changes and five instances where the scores were knotted up. But, it was attack errors that haunted NM State in the end as it dropped the final set and match of the season.

By The Numbers:
NM State volleyball was outhit .187 to .167 on the night, but it was the 30 attack errors that led to swung things in favor of UTRGV. By the time the match ended, there were 36 lead changes and 10 ties in the match.

Quotable:
Head Coach Mike Jordan
Thoughts on the team after Friday’s loss…

“We cannot make that many mistakes, especially on the left side. That first set was totally winnable, but we made 11 attack errors. You cannot do that, but that’s symptomatic of us all year. We are a high error team.”