NMSU Volleyball Downs UMKC, Finishes WAC Regular Season Undefeated

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Perfection.

The New Mexico State volleyball team finished Western Athletic conference play with a perfect 16-0 conference record with a 25-21, 25-23, 23-25, 25-23 victory over Kansas City on Senior Day Saturday afternoon in the Pan American Center. It was also the Aggies’ 17th-straight win and the second time since 2015 that the Aggies ran the table in the WAC.

“When you lose sets you’re either going to play harder or feel sorry for yourself, I think we made plays when we needed to make plays,” said head coach Mike Jordan.
Julianna Salanoa started the match, and an 8-3 Aggie (25-3, 16-0) run, with a monster kill off the quick set from Natalie Mikels. New Mexico State extended its lead 20 13-6 before the Roos (16-10, 12-4) went on a 6-0 run with Alli Schomers at the service line to pull within one, 13-12. However, the Aggies responded and brought the lead back to four, 19-15, after a Savannah Davison kill. The teams traded points until Salanoa finished the first set like she had started it, with a big swing off a quick set from Mikels to give the Aggies set one, 25-21.

The second set was evenly matched, with NM State holding a 15-13 advantage at the media timeout after a kill from Brigette Lowe. After Lowe added two more kills, the Aggies led 18-15. However, Kansas City caught fire and took a 21-19 lead before Davison hit back-to-back kills to the set at 21. The Roos then re-took the lead, 23-22, before an attack error, a kill by Megan Hart and a solo block from Lia Mosher ended the second set 25-23 in favor of New Mexico State.

The Aggies were slow at the beginning of the set but exploded to turn an 8-5 deficit into an 11-8 lead. After Salanoa gave NM State a 15-12 lead at the media timeout, the Roos ripped off a 9-1 lead to take a 21-16 lead. Kansas City never gave up the lead in the set and the Aggies fell 23-25.

Much like the earlier seta, the fourth set was back-and-forth to start with the Roos leading 5-4. Then, Mosher smashed a kill that started a 6-0 run to put the Aggies ahead 10-5. Kansas City fought back, however, and only trailed 15-12 at the media timeout after another Mosher kill. Davison crushed a kill out of the media timeout but the Roos eventually took a 20-18 lead.

Then, with Halle Razo at the service line, Ashley Anselmo ripped a kill to jump-start a run that was capped by a Salanoa kill and a 23-20 NM State lead. After the Roos tied it up at 23, Salanoa hit her 11th kill of the match and Mosher and Anselmo stuffed Kansas City’s Alicia Harrington to take set four 25-23 and the match 3-1.

Four different Aggies hit double-digit kills led by Davison and Hart with 13 each while Hart hit .310 and Davison recorded her 10th double-double of the season with 14 digs. Lowe wrapped up Senior Day with a career-high 11 kills on a .269 hitting percentage and Salanoa finished the match with 11 kills on a red-hot .409 hitting percentage. Mikels added 25 assists with Anselmo and Mosher both recording three blocks and Acosta finished with 14 digs.

As a team, NM State hit .260 on the afternoon with 57 kills. The Aggies held Kansas City to .208 hitting and forced 24 attack errors.

The Aggies now head to Orem, Utah, for the WAC Tournament on Friday, Oct. 22, against the winner of the Utah Valley-UT Rio Grande Valley quarterfinal. As the number one seed and the regular-season champion, NM State receives a bye into the semifinals. Every match from the WAC Tournament can be streamed live on the WAC Digital Network.