NMSU Volleyball Takes Down UTRGV In Five Sets

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

EDINBURG, TX - The New Mexico State volleyball team defeated UT Rio Grande Valley 28-26, 14-25, 25-22, 21-25, 15-7 on the road Saturday night to move into second place in the Western Athletic Conference Standings.

NM State (15-5, 5-2 WAC) took set one after both teams went back forth for the entirety of the set. UTRGV had a chance to take the set, up 24-22, but a service error followed by an ace from Jordan Pleasants and a kill from Megan Hart gave the Aggies a 25-24 lead. After the Vaqueros tied it at 26, a kill from Hart and an error on UT Rio Grande Valley gave New Mexico State the 28-26 win.

The Aggies started the second set slow, falling behind 5-0 before a kill from Savannah Davison gave them their first point of he set. UTRGV continued to cruise, never letting NM State get closer than six points for the rest of the set. The Vaqueros would win set two 25-14 to even the match at one set a piece. This was the first set the Aggies had lost since losing the first set against Seattle U on Sept. 27.

The third set was competitive as both sides were tied at seven through 14 points before a service error on the Vaqueros started a run of four straight Aggie points, giving them a lead they would not relinquish for the rest of the set. After a kill from Tatyana Battle put NM State up 24-21, UTRGV closed to within two at 24-22 but Hart ended the set on a feed from Briana Ainsworth for a final tally of 25-21.

New Mexico State came out of the intermission into the fourth set slow, falling behind 15-9 and 19-14. The Aggies would close within one point at 21-20 after a Battle Kill and an attack error from the Vaqueros, but UTRGV would close the set on a four point run for a final tally of 25-21 to set up a decisive fifth set.

The fifth set was all Aggies as they were able to race out to a 10-3 lead thanks to kills from Hart, Battle, Cat Kelly and Julianna Salanoa. UTRGV pulled it to back within five at 10-5 but NM State closed the set on a 5-2 run for the final of 15-7.

New Mexico State posted 63 kills on a .2014 hitting clip to 57 on .214 for the Vaqueros while racking up 59 assists and 83 digs. Battle posted the 11th double-double of her senior campaign on 12 kills and 16 digs while Savannah Davison picked up her fifth double-double of the season on 13 kills and 14 digs.

Kelly led the team with 14 kills on a .400 hitting clip, her 14 kills are a new career high for the freshman from Albuquerque. Hart finished with 10 kills and four blocks while Ainsworth finished with 25 assists and Natalie Mikels 22.

NM State is back in action when it hosts Utah Valley in the City of Crosses on Thursday, Oct. 18, at 6 p.m. (MT) before CSU Bakersfield comes to town on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 12 p.m.