NMSU Volleyball Falls In Five Sets At Utah Valley

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

OREM, UT - The New Mexico State volleyball team continued Western Athletic Conference play with a match against Utah Valley at Lockhart Arena on Saturday. The Aggies fell to the Wolverines 25-21, 25-19, 15-25, 23-25, 20-22 in a five-set thriller

"Congrats to UVU, they outlasted us today," head coach Mike Jordan said. "Utah Valley made fewer errors and it showed."

How it Happened

NM State (18-7, 8-4 WAC) started the match by taking an 8-4 lead over UVU (14-11, 6-6 WAC) following a kill down the line by Savannah Davison. The Aggies fell out of rhythm, giving up a four-point rally to the Wolverines, which narrowed the lead to a single score but Briana Ainsworth went to Megan Hart in the middle to snap the opposition's run. New Mexico State gained back its momentum with Hart behind the service line, gaining a four-point advantage before the Wolverines used a timeout. The break in the action did not slow the NM State offense and the Aggies held the 21-16 advantage when Utah Valley called its second timeout. The Wolverines did not go away quietly, coming within a pair of New Mexico State's lead late, but Tatyana Battle put the set away with a kill to give NM State the 25-22 victory in the opening set.

The Aggies picked up where they left off, scoring three-straight to start the second set, but a rally by the Wolverines had NM State behind 7-5 early. The teams battled back-and-forth but New Mexico State registered back-to-back blocks to take a three-point advantage over UVU. The opposition hung with the Aggies, tying the set at 16-16 after scoring two-straight points. With the score tied 19-19, a 6-0 run for New Mexico State, which included a kill by Battle on set point, sealed NM State's 25-19 win.

After starting the third set on a 3-0 rally, the Aggies gave up four-straight before Davison hit the set-tying kill. With the momentum from the second-set lost, Jordan used one of his timeout with New Mexico State trailing Utah Valley 8-4. The deficit for NM State grew to eight but a rally with Natalie Mikels serving, which included a pair of aces for the sophomore, helped the Aggies come within two of the UVU lead. The momentum did not last for New Mexico State as the Aggies fell behind 20-12 late in the set. With the team unable to overcome the deficit, the NM State squad dropped the third set 25-15.

Still in a slump, New Mexico State gave up a 7-0 run to start the fourth set before a kill by Julianna Salanoa snapped the rally. With Halle Razo behind the service line, NM State creeped within four of the opposition but Utah Valley seemed unfazed, rolling to hold a 15-8 advantage. The Aggies exchanged volleys with the opposition but the team could not claw its way back until a 7-0 New Mexico State rally put NM State behind 23-22. Despite Ashley Anselmo coming through with a clutch kill while Utah Valley held set point, New Mexico State fell 25-23 in the fourth.

The Aggies went back-and-forth in the deciding set and a block by Hart and Anselmo gave NM State the one-point lead. Two-straight kills by Davison expanded the New Mexico State lead 8-5 when it came time to switch sides of the court. After holding the 10-5 advantage, NM State gave up three-straight to the Wolverines before a kill by Davison snapped the run. Another swing favored Utah Valley, tying the match 11-11, but an attack error by the opposition gave the Aggies the one-point advantage. The teams continued the hard-fought battle with neither team able to take the two-point lead that was desperately need to win. NM State held match point three times in the fifth, but New Mexico State allowed three-straight scores by UVU and a block by Utah Valley ended the 22-20 Aggie loss in the fifth set.

By The Numbers

New Mexico State posted 67 kills on hitting .161 for the match. NM State also tallied 84 digs, 65 assists, and 15 blocks in the loss. Battle recorded her league-leading 15th double-double when she had 19 kills and 17 digs. Ainsworth added a double-double to her senior campaign, posting 29 assists and 10 digs. Davison also had a double-double, her seventh of the year, when she recorded 13 kills and a career-best 25 digs.

The Aggies hit the road for their next match at GCU on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 6 p.m. MT. NM State returns to the Pan American Center to host WAC newcomer California Baptist on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 11 a.m.