NMSU Volleyball Downs UTRGV 3-1

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State volleyball took down UT Rio Grande Valley in four sets on Saturday for the Aggies 11th-straight win at the Pan American Center. NM State defeated the Vaqueros 29-27, 20-25, 25-15, 25-20, to move into a tie for first place in the Western Athletic Conference.

"We changed the lineup a lot. I thought the players off the bench did a really good job for us, especially with getting kills and blocks," head coach Mike Jordan said. "We did a good job hanging in there and finding ways to win. I'm proud of the effort. We've put ourselves in a position now where we we're tied for first and we partially control our own destiny."

How It Happened

NM State (15-7, 6-2) went point-for-point with UTRGV (12-9, 6-2) to start the match but a six-point run gave the Aggies a 15-10 lead. The Vaqueros charged back with a run of their own, tying the match 15-15. The Aggies continued to battle but the team gave up another scoring run to fall behind 21-18. NM State fought back and with Tatyana Battle behind the service line, the Aggies tied the match 24-24. Back-to-back kills by Kassandra Tohm gave the New Mexico State a 28-27 advantage before the Aggies claimed the first set 29-27.

In the second set, New Mexico State fell behind early, trailing UTRGV 11-6. The Aggies surged back and with Ariadnne Sierra serving, NM State tied the match, 11-11. The team continued to fight for each point but a point run by the Vaqueros put the Aggies behind 21-14. New Mexico State chipped away at the UT Rio Grande Valley advantage but the deficit was too much for NM State to overcome as the team fell 25-20.

After going back-and-forth with the Vaqueros to start the third set, the Aggies pulled ahead 10-4. A four-point run brought UTRGV within a two, but NM State held onto the lead and continued to capitalize on its advantage by putting up three-straight points. New Mexico State closed out the set by scoring the final seven points to take the third set 25-15.

New Mexico State gave up five-straight to UTRGV to start the fourth set, but the Aggies chipped away at the Vaqueros lead and a kill by Tohm gave NM State an 8-7 advantage. New Mexico State charged forward and led 18-12 late in the set. The Aggies never looked back and a block by Sasha-Lee Thomas and Lia Mosher closed out the match, helping NM State to a 25-20 victory.

By the Numbers

New Mexico State posted 52 kills on hitting .149 in the match and held UTRGV to a .034 hitting clip. As a team, NM State recorded 81 digs, 49 assists and 14 total blocks. Mosher posted a new career high for kills when she recorded 12 in the match. Megan Hart tallied 10 block assists which puts her in a tie for second all-time for block assists in a four-set match. Briana Ainsworth recorded her eighth double-double of the season by posting 27 assists and 16 digs.

For their next matches, the Aggies travel to take on UMKC on Thursday, Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. (MT) before facing Chicago State on the road on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 11 a.m.