NMSU Volleyball Ends Season With Loss Against No. 15 Oregon

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

EUGENE, OR - New Mexico State volleyball took on No. 15-seeded Oregon at Matthew Knight Arena as a part of the first round for the NCAA Tournament on Thursday. Despite taking a set from the Ducks, the Aggies fell 22-25, 25-18, 21-25, 11-25 ending the team's postseason run.

"First, I want to congratulate Oregon on the win. I thought they played a good match and obviously they are very talented," head coach Mike Jordan said. "It was a great battle for a long time. I enjoyed it and I think our players did too. Up until [the last set] we were in control for long stretches of time. We had a few more kills than they did and we dug the ball really well. I'm never happy with losses but I thought we played exceptional volleyball at times. I am very proud of this team."

How it Happened

NM State (24-8) came out hot to start the match and following a kill by Savannah Davison, UO (21-10) called a timeout with the Aggies leading 9-4. However, New Mexico State's advantage dwindled following a four-point run by the Ducks and after allowing a service ace, Jordan used a timeout with NM State trailing 15-13. A kill by Brigette Lowe snapped the rally for Oregon but the Aggies continued to trail by a pair. NM State continued to fall behind but a kill out of the middle by Julianna Salanoa got the team within three. Despite allowing the Ducks to reach set point, the Aggies posted a four-point rally before a service error handed NM State the 25-22 loss in the opening set.

New Mexico State went back-and-forth and three-straight kills by Tatyana Battle tied the second set 13-13. Not backing down, Briana Ainsworth went to Davison on the outside and the kill by the redshirt freshman sent the Aggies into the media timeout with a one-point advantage. New Mexico State continued to fight and after back-to-back aces by Battle, the Ducks looked to stall the Aggie offense as the Crimson and White led 18-14. Another ace came from Battle and following an Ashley Anselmo kill, the Oregon used another timeout with New Mexico State ahead by six. The Aggies continued to dominate late and Davison put the 25-18 victory away with a kill off a Natalie Mikels assist.

NM State looked to carry its momentum from the second set but at the media timeout, the Aggies were behind by four. A kill by Brigette Lowe brought New Mexico State within a pair at 15-13 but an ace by the opposition put the team behind by five, forcing the Aggies to use a timeout. With Halle Razo serving, NM State clawed within three with help from back-to-back kills by Battle, New Mexico State trailed 21-18. The deficit proved to be too much to overcome and the Aggies fell 25-21 in the third set.

New Mexico State fell behind early in the fourth set after allowing the Ducks to post a four-point run that left the Crimson and White behind 8-6. After Jordan used a timeout to stop the hot Oregon offense. The Aggies allowed five-straight before calling for their last timeout of the set. A kill by Anselmo ended the UO run but the team remained behind by eight. The deficit grew to 10 late in the set and UO was too much for NM State and the team fell 25-11.

By The Numbers

The Aggies posted 54 kills and a .207 hitting clip for the match while holding Oregon to 50 kills. Salanoa led the team with a career-high 15 kills. Battle closed her senior season with 14 kills on hitting .400. Davison ended her freshman campaign with a double-double that included 11 kills and 10 digs. Defensively Razo led the way with a match-best 16 digs.

NM State's season ends following the squad's NCAA tournament appearance. Seniors Battle and Ainsworth leave the program with their names etched in the New Mexico State record books. Battle leaves a legacy being third in career total attempts (3,999) and fourth in kills (1,386) while Ainsworth sits in fourth for career assists (2,769).