NMSU Volleyball Defeats Montana In Five Sets

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State volleyball took on Montana at the Pan American Center to open the SpringHill Suites Invitational on Friday night. In a five-set thriller, the Aggies took home the victory, defeating the Grizzlies 25-18, 19-25, 25-18, 21-25, 15-13.

"We made plays when we needed to but we were inconsistent. I was really disappointed about how we blocked the ball today," head coach Mike Jordan said. "Offensively, we had some good contributions. [Halle] Razo gave us a lift we needed defensively and did a great job. Anytime you can win when you're not playing your best, you should be happy with that."

How it Happened

NM State (6-2) started the match on a 3-0 run but the lead quickly dissipated and the Aggies found themselves battling UM (1-7) for each point. New Mexico State was able to build back its advantage and led 15-13 at the media timeout. Back-and-forth the match went and following a kill by Savannah Davison, Montana called a timeout with NM State leading 18-15. Kiley Tonge served the Aggies to a five-point advantage and after holding the momentum, a block by Davison and Lindsay Blakey closed out the 25-18 victory in the first set.

In the second set, New Mexico State came out flat and after falling behind 5-1, Jordan called a timeout to stop the Grizzlies momentum. The stoppage did not delay the UM offense as NM State fell behind 8-1 before a kill by setter Natalie Mikels ended the rally. The Aggies continued to trail late in the set and despite cutting the Montana lead to three, the Aggies were unable to overcome the early deficit and fell 25-19 in the second set.

New Mexico State fell behind 4-1 early in the third set but continued to fight and a kill by Ashley Anselmo gave the team the 7-6 advantage. The squad built on its lead and a kill by Davison off an assist from Mikels put NM State ahead by five. The Aggies continued to dominate down the stretch and after holding the 21-16 advantage, Montana called its final timeout of the set. The break in play did not slow New Mexico State as the Aggies claimed the third set 25-18.

NM State continued its momentum from the previous set when the team jumped out to an early 7-4 lead. The Aggies battled point-for-point with the Grizzlies but a seven-point rally put New Mexico State behind by five late in the set. Looking to make a comeback, NM State closed the gap by trailing by just three but it was not enough as the Aggies fell in the fourth set 25-21.

In the final set of the match, each team battled for each point and Cat Kelly came through with a kill to give New Mexico State the 8-7 advantage heading into the media timeout. After taking a 12-9 lead, Montana called a timeout looking to slow the offense. The Aggies let the Grizzlies to come within a point, but NM State looked to stop UM's momentum with a timeout. However, Montana countered with a kill tying the match 13-13. With victory in sight, a kill by Battle and an attack error by the Grizzlies sealed the Aggies 15-13 victory in the fifth set while also giving NM State the 3-2 victory.

By the Numbers

As a team, New Mexico State notched 60 kills on hitting .220. The Aggies also tallied 64 digs, 55 assists and eight blocks in the match. Davison posted her second career double-double when she recorded a team-best 20 kills and 17 digs. Battle also hit double figures in kills and digs, tallying 16 and 12, respectively.

NM State continues its run at the SpringHill Suite Invitational taking on Arizona on Saturday, Sept. 8 at noon. New Mexico State closes the weekend at UTEP on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 1 p.m.