Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State volleyball team hosted Grand Canyon in a Western Athletic Conference match at the Pan American Center on Saturday. The Aggies swept the Lopes 25-15. 25-23, 25-16 for their 18th straight victory at home.
"I thought we won the serve and pass battle today. We did a good job blocking for most of the match," head coach Mike Jordan said. "We worked hard defensively for the second-straight match, which was huge for us. We had better contributions from our right-side players and our middles offensively and that's big as well."
How it Happened
NM State (12-5, 2-2 WAC) came out with the momentum early, holding an 8-4 advantage over GCU (7-8, 0-3 WAC). The Aggies pulled ahead by six late in the set and Grand Canyon looked to stop the rally with a timeout at 19-13. New Mexico State kept its rhythm and a setter dump by Briana Ainsworth allowed the Aggies to take the 21-14 lead. A three-point run to end the set favored NM State and secured the 25-15 victory.
In the second set, the squads battled back-and-forth but a kill by Megan Hart gave the Aggies the 15-12 lead at the media timeout. New Mexico State built up its lead to six down the stretch but after the team allowed a three-point run, NM State was forced to call a timeout. The Aggies contained their composure following the break and Natalie Mikels went to Savannah Davison for the kill to break up the rally. A kill by Tatyana Battle brought on set point for NM State but the squad allowed another late run to the Lopes and the squad only led by a single point late in the set. However, a kill by Hart finished off the win, helping New Mexico State claim the second set 25-23.
A service run that included a pair of aces by Ainsworth allowed NM State to pull ahead 7-4. New Mexico State held a steady advantage over Grand Canyon and led 15-12 at the media timeout. With Ainsworth serving, NM State extended its lead to five, leading to a GCU timeout. Following the break, a block by Hart and Battle put NM State ahead 18-12 late in the set. Leading 21-16, the Aggies closed out the match on a four-point run with a block by Cat Kelly and Julianna Salanoa ending the 25-16 victory in the final set and securing the sweep over Grand Canyon.
By The Numbers
New Mexico State recorded 47 kills as a squad on hitting .350 in the victory. As a team, NM State posted 41 assists, 32 digs and 10 blocks. Hart led all players with 13 kills and five blocks. Battle also tallied double-digit kills with 10 in the match.
The Aggies hit the road for their next matches when NM State takes on UMKC on Thursday, Oct.4, at 6 p.m. MT and face Chicago State at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6. New Mexico State volleyball is back at the Pan American Center on Oct. 18, when the squad welcomes Utah Valley to the City of Crosses.