NMSU Volleyball Splits A Pair Of Matches On First Day At Wildcat Classic

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

TUCSON, AZ - New Mexico State volleyball took down UC Davis at the McKale Center to open the teams run at the Wildcat Classic. The Crimson and White defeated the opposition 26-24, 10-25, 25-16, 17-25, 15-8, in the five-set thriller.

"This UC Davis team gave us a run. They are definitely the best serving team we've faced all year and they are good defensively," head coach Mike Jordan said. "In a lot of ways, we were fortunate to win because we had long stretches of poor passing and bad swings. We gave up way too many point runs, but at the end of the day we kept plugging along and made plays when we needed."

How it Happened

NM State (9-2) came out hot in the opening set, taking an early 5-1 lead over UC Davis (7-3). A pair of kills by Savannah Davison as the set progressed stretched New Mexico State's lead to five, forcing the opposition to take a timeout. UC Davis looked to stop the Crimson and White's momentum and a five-point rally tied the set 13-13. Back-and-forth the teams battled late into the set with neither squad able to break away until a kill by Tatyana Battle and a block by Ashley Anselmo and Julianna Salanoa closed out the 26-24 victory.

The Crimson and White got off to a slow start in the second set, allowing UC Davis to pull ahead 13-3 early. NM State fell behind even further after a four-score run put the opposition ahead by 14. Ultimately, errors plagued New Mexico State and the deficit proved to be too much to overcome in the 25-10 second-set loss.

NM State came out looking for revenge in the third frame, starting with a 5-0 rally to begin the set. The Crimson and White kept control following the early advantage and held its lead late into the set. With Jordan Pleasants behind the service line, the NM State squad rattled off a three-point rally to lead 22-16 and an ace by Halle Razo gave New Mexico State the 25-16 victory in the third set.

The squads battled point-for-point but a four-score rally put NM State behind 12-8. New Mexico State clawed its way back to trail by just a pair but another four-point run put the Crimson and White behind 21-15. UC Davis scored three-straight to close out the set, handing New Mexico State the 25-17 loss in the fourth set.

With the match on the line, NM State tallied a three-point run, which included a pair of blocks by Salanoa and Anselmo, to jump ahead 5-2 in the final set. A kill by Tatyana Battle put the Crimson and White ahead when it was time to switch sides of the court and back-to-back service aces by the outside hitter gave New Mexico State the 13-6 advantage. Holding match point,Natalie Mikels found Davison on the outside and the freshman's kill sealed the 15-8 victory over UC Davis and gave New Mexico State its seventh-straight win.

By the Numbers

NM State recorded 50 kills on hitting .145 in the match. The team also posted 68 digs, 48 assists and seven blocks. Battle tallied a double-double when she tallied 17 kills and 13 digs. Davison also had double-digit kills when she notched 14 in the match.

MATCH TWO

TUCSON, AZ - New Mexico State volleyball fell to Arizona at the McKale Center during the teams run at the Wildcat Classic. The Aggies were swept by the tournament host 25-18, 26-24, 25-17, snapping the squad's seven-match winning streak.

"I want to congratulate Dave Rubio on his 500th win. He's a great coach, a class act and a great friend. His team played exceptionally well. They did a lot of things better than they did last week and we didn't have any answers," head coach Mike Jordan said. "I was disappointed in the effort defensively. We need to improve on it and toughen up so that we can be ready to play tomorrow."

How it Happened

NM State (9-3) got off to a slow start with Arizona (10-1) climbing out to a 4-0 lead to start the opening set. The Aggies battled back-and-forth with the Wildcats but a five-point run down the stretch put NM State behind 14-7. New Mexico State was unable to overcome the early deficit and fell in the first set 25-18.

The Aggies jumped ahead 3-0 early in the second set after Natalie Mikels served up back-to-back aces. The squad battled back-and-forth but five–point rally for NM State forced Arizona to take both timeouts in the span of the run. The Aggies led 24-20 late in the set but the Wildcats clawed their way back, scoring four straight to tie the set. New Mexico State could not stop the fiery Arizona offense and the Wildcats added a pair of points to close the second set on a six-point rally and hand the Aggies the heartbreaking 26-24 loss in the set.

In the third set, NM State fell behind 11-7 when the Wildcats went on a seven-point scoring run. Unable to find a rhythm, New Mexico State went point-for-point down the stretch but the squad was unable to make a dent in the Arizona lead. Unable to find a rhythm late in the set. New Mexico State fell 25-17, ending the team's seven-match winning streak.

By the Numbers

NM State tallied 28 kills on hitting .094 in the match. The team also posted 45 digs, 27 assists and three aces. Tatyana Battle led the Aggies with 10 kills followed by Davison with five. Setters Mikels and Briana Ainsworth notched 12 and 11 assists, respectively, while libero Halle Razo posted a team-high 14 digs.

New Mexico State closes its tournament run with a match against UT Martin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15.