NMSU Volleyball Sweeps UTEP

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

EL PASO, TX - New Mexico State volleyball defeated UTEP at the Memorial Gym in the final match of the Borderland Invitational on Sunday. The Aggies swept the Miners 25-11, 25-22, 25-20, extending their winning streak to six matches.

"We were worried about a letdown after the big win yesterday, but I thought we came in with the right attitude, we were competitive. I thought we had a letdown for a few points in set two but I thought we battled back," head coach Mike Jordan said. "I'm very happy with the defensive effort, Halle Razo really stepped up for us. We set the ball pretty well and hitting .340 is pretty huge. Sweeping the rivals is great and getting a win over a team receiving votes in the coaches' poll, it's a big deal."

How it Happened

NM State (8-2) started the match on a roll, rattling off a seven-point run to hold a 10-2 advantage over UTEP (2-7). The Aggies continued to cruise down the stretch and with Tatyana Battle behind the service line, New Mexico State was able to take the 17-8 lead. With the Aggie offense unstoppable, NM State closed out the opening set with a seven-point rally to win 25-11.

After battling back-and-forth early in the second set, NM State fell behind by three after a block by the Miners. The teams continued to go point-for-point but New Mexico State fell out of rhythm and a three-point run by UTEP put NM State behind 19-14. However, the Aggies bounced back, posting a seven-point rally that included a service ace by Halle Razo to pull ahead 23-21. Holding all the momentum, a kill by Battle gave NM State set point and an attack error by the Miner sealed the 25-22 second-set victory.

After starting the third set on a 3-0 run, the Aggies fell flat when a pair of scoring runs put the team behind by four. With Razo serving, the squad rattled off a rally of their own and tied the set 12-12. Strong serving by Natalie Mikels and Battle helped the Aggies take a three-point lead over UTEP and a pair of Aggie blocks helped maintain the lead late in the set. A block by Megan Hart and Ashley Anselmo closed out the 25-20 win in the third set and sealed the sweep of the Miners.

By the Numbers

NM State posted 43 kills on hitting .340 for the match along with 42 assists and 35 digs. Battle led all players with 13 kills. The senior also notched a .429 hitting percentage in the win. Briana Ainsworth tallied a double-double in the victory when the setter recorded 18 assists and 11 digs.

New Mexico State travels to Tucson, Ariz. for the Wildcat Classic from Sept. 14-15. The Aggies face off against UC Davis, UT Martin and host Arizona at the weekend tournament.