NMSU Volleyball Splits A Pair Of Matches On First Day Of Lobo Classic

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - New Mexico State volleyball took on Florida Gulf Coast at the Dreamstyle Arena on Friday morning. Despite Tatyana Battle tallying her 1,000th career kill, the Aggies fell to the Eagles 25-20, 25-12, 25-22 in the opening match of the Lobo Classic.

How it Happened

NM State (2-2) went back-and-forth with FGCU (3-1) in the first set of the contest and after back-to-back points for New Mexico State, including a kill by Savannah Davison, the Aggies led 9-7 and FGCU called a timeout. The Eagles did not go away easily and rallied to hold a 16-14 advantage, forcing the Aggies to call a timeout. The break in the action did not stop the momentum for Florida Gulf Coast and late in the set, New Mexico State trailed by six. Despite an NM State three-point rally, the deficit proved to be too much for New Mexico State to overcome and the squad fell 25-20 in the opening set.

The Aggies started the second set battling for each point but after allowing a four-point swing to the Eagles, NM State called a timeout. Trailing 10-5, Cat Kelly ended the rally with a kill out of the middle off an assist from Briana Ainsworth and following the play, the Aggies were able to climb back within two. However, FGCU regained its momentum and held an 18-10 lead late in the set. Unable to find a rhythm, the Aggies fell 25-12.

In the third set, the Aggies gave up a four-point momentum swing early and NM State called a timeout while trailing 10-6. New Mexico State posted a five point rally with Jordan Pleasants serving late in the set, coming within a point of the opposition. The Aggies continued to keep pace with the Eagles and an ace by Kiley Tonge tied the set 20-20. However, a late surge by Florida Gulf Coast sealed NM State's fate and the 25-22 loss.

By the Numbers

As a team, the Aggies posted 25 kills while only hitting .019 for the match. Battle posted a double-double in the loss when she tallied 10 kills and 10 digs against the Eagles. Davison notched seven kills on the day while Ashley Anselmo recorded six.

MATCH TWO

New Mexico State volleyball took on Eastern Kentucky at the Dreamstyle Arena on Friday. The Aggies battled the Colonels to a five-set contest and came away with the 3-2 victory (25-18, 27-29, 25-27, 25-18, 15-9) at the Lobo Classic.

"We have a lot to iron out and a lot to figure out," head coach Mike Jordan said. "[With Savannah Davison] there were a lot of bright moments and a lot of tragic moments. She just need to do a better job of managing the game"

How it Happened

NM State (3-2) came out hot in the opening set and a block by Julianna Salanoa and Tatyana Battle put New Mexico State ahead of EKU (0-5) 5-1. Following a block by Ashley Anselmo and Megan Hart, Eastern Kentucky took a timeout with the Aggies holding the 9-3 advantage. NM State continued to dominate offensively and expanded its lead to 15-4, forcing the Colonels to take their second timeout of the set. The break in the action did not stop the hot Aggie offense and NM State held a 19-8 lead late in the set. A four-point rally posed a threat to New Mexico State, but the Aggies kept their cool and an ace by Battle closed out the 25-18 victory.

New Mexico State kept its momentum to start the second set when the team went on a 4-0 run. However, EKU countered with a rally of its own, tying the game. The teams went point-for-point until the Aggies scored five-straight to take a 12-9 lead. NM State maintained its advantage late in the set and Jordan Pleasants first ace of her career gave put New Mexico State ahead by five. However, Eastern Kentucky did not go away easy and a three-point run put the opposition within two and another rally for the Colonels tied the set 20-20. The teams battled back-and-forth late in the set but errors plagued the Aggies down the stretch and New Mexico State fell 29-27.

In the third set, NM State went point-for-point with the Colonels and the Aggies pulled out to a 7-4 lead early. Out of the media timeout, New Mexico State held a two-point lead but EKU scored two-straight, tying the set 15-15. Back-and-forth the squads went, but Eastern Kentucky held the 21-18 advantage late. Another loss to the Colonels looked to be the outcome when NM State went down 24-22, but the Aggies came back and an ace by Battle tied the set 24-24. A kill by Hart gave New Mexico State the 25-24 advantage but Eastern Kentucky scored three-straight, including an ace on set point, to hand NM State the 27-25 loss.

The Aggies jumped out to a 6-1 lead over the Colonels but EKU came within a pair of the NM State lead early in the fourth set. With Savannah Davison serving, New Mexico State pulled ahead 11-5 and the Aggies built their lead to eight-points over time. NM State posted a four-point run late, helping the Aggies reach set point and an Anslemo kill off an assist from Briana Ainsworth sealed the 25-18 victory.

In the final set, NM State jumped early to hold the 6-3 advantage after a kill down the line by Davison. A three-point rally by the Colonels tied the set 6-6 and when it came time for the teams to switch sides of the court, the Aggies led 8-6. Following the change, the NM State squad kept its foot on the gas and held a seven-point advantage and set point. Ainsworth connected with Battle for the final kill and the 15-9 fifth-set victory, giving NM State the 3-2 win in the match.

By the Numbers

The Aggies recorded 69 kills while hitting .248 for the match. Four NM State players posted double-digit kills including Davison, who led all players with 21 in the match. Battle posted her second double-double of the day when she tallied 17 kills and 22 digs. Hart and Anselmo posted 12 kills each and defensively, Salanoa led the way with six blocks.

NM State’s final match from the Lobo Classic takes place on Saturday, Sept. 1, when the Aggies face off against the Lobos at 1 p.m. MT.