The New Mexico State volleyball team defeated Idaho in four sets (25-18, 14-25, 25-23, 25-22) in the Pan American Center, Thursday, Sept. 29, to move to 2-0 in Western Athletic Conference play and 12-4 overall.
The Aggies were led by senior libero Kelsi Phillips who tallied a career-high 30 digs, while freshman Meredith Hays tallied a match-high 19 kills to go along with 10 digs for her seventh double-double of the year.
Senior setter Jennah DeVries was the director of the Aggie offense as she handed out a match-high 42 assists and added six kills, which ties her career-high.
The Aggies served tough in set one and held the Vandals to a .068 hitting percentage to win 25-18. NM State jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and eventually took an 11-point lead after a kill by sophomore outside hitter Stephanie Ziegler, who ended the night with five kills and 13 digs.
Set two was quite the opposite for the Aggies as Idaho took it 25-14. NM State was held to a .025 hitting percentage, while committing nine errors. After falling behind 5-2, NM State fought back to pull within one at 8-7. The Vandals put together an 8-2 scoring rally during the set before an ace ended it at 25-14.
The Aggies regrouped after the intermission and won in set three, which saw six ties and four lead changes before NM State pulled off the 25-23 victory. It was back-and-forth until NM State extended its lead to three at 13-10 on a kill by sophomore Deirdre Pajares. A kill by Hays late in the set gave NM State a 23-19 lead before ending the set with her eighth kill of the evening to get the win.
The fourth set was also tight but NM State was able to come out victorious, 25-22. The Vandals jumped out to a 7-3 after four attack errors by the Aggies. With a never-say-die attitude, NM State fought back and tied the set at 8-8 with a Kesley Brennan kill and took a 9-8 lead on a Hays kill. NM State used that momentum and eventually forced Idaho to call a timeout when DeVries marked her sixth kill of the night. A kill by Ziegler gave the Aggies a two-point cushion before an attack error by the Vandals ended the match.
The last time an Aggie player tallied at least 30 digs in a four-set match was Oct. 27, 2005, when Jordan Bostic marked 30 against the Vandals in Moscow, Idaho.
The Aggies continue WAC play, Saturday, Oct. 1 at 7pm in the Pan American Center when Utah State comes to Las Cruces.