POSTED: Sunday, September 12, 2010 - 5:22pm
UPDATED: Sunday, September 12, 2010 - 10:10pm
The New Mexico State volleyball team concluded the LSU Tiger Classic with a heart-pounding loss to LSU in five sets (25-19, 25-23, 22-25, 15-25, 17-15) at the Maravich Center, Saturday, Sept. 11.
The Aggies entered the game with an overall record of 6-2 and a 1-1 record in the tournament, defeating Rice on Friday, Sept 10 and a loss against UNC on Saturday, Sept 11. LSU entered the game with wins over Rice and UNC and an overall record of 8-0.
NM State lost the first set to LSU, 25-19, while the Aggies were able to keep it close, but were not able to overcome LSU's greater kill percentage of .417. In the second set, the Aggies fell behind early, but picked up the pace to catch up, eventually tying the game at 20-20. The Aggies again fell short, losing a tight second set 25-23.
In the third set, the Aggies turned the momentum around by winning 25-22. NM State buckled down on execution to cut down on errors. NM State had just two errors in the third set while LSU had seven. The Aggies became more efficient, going from a .128 hitting percentage in the second set to a .379 hitting percentage in the third set.
NM State became even more aggressive during the fourth set, winning a convincing 25-15 set victory. Senior Kayleigh Giddens earned five kills as freshman Amanda Tonga earned four. The Aggies also became more efficient on defense, producing 19 digs and 10 blocks in the match.
With the Aggie victory, the final match of the LSU Tiger classic moved to a decisive fifth set. Giddens unleashed six more kills during a set which only goes to 15 points. Despite the hard-fought comeback, the Aggies fell short in the final match, losing 17-15.
Giddens finished the game with an impressive 22 kills and 17 digs. Junior Kelsey Brennan and Desiree Scott, both middle hitters, finished with eight kills apiece. Tonga, along with freshman Rocio Gutierrez and senior Whitney Woods each finished with seven kills.
The Aggies only committed 21 errors through five sets, six fewer than LSU.
Giddens finished the tournament with 46 kills and 33 digs. Brennan finished with 17 kills and eight digs. Jennah DeVries earned 113 assists and 20 digs. Gutierrez finished with 28 kills and 15 digs. Ellen Miks finished with 65 digs.
NM State sits at 6-3 and will return to New Mexico for the in-state rival game against UNM for Tue, Sept 14 at 7:00 p.m. at the Johnson Center in Albuquerque. The Lobos are currently 4-5