The New Mexico State volleyball team earned its first sweep of the year and go to 6-1 overall after defeating Florida International (25-22, 25-20, 25-17) in the 2012 Rams Classic, which is being played in Moby Arena.
Before today, NM State played all its matches in four sets while this is the first sweep since the Aggies swept Idaho in the WAC Tournament, Nov. 22, 2011.
"We got off to a good start and then our serve-receive went south," head coach Mike Jordan said. "We let some defensive plays go by which we can't do against really good teams. Although, we came back and got our first sweep of the year and that is always good."
Sophomore outside hitter Meredith Hays led the way with a match-high 11 kills, while junior Preslie Alexander chipped in with eight kills and a .583 hitting percentage. She went-8-of-12 with only one attack error. Junior libero Stephanie Ziegler marked a match-high 10 digs as the Aggies out-dug FIU 32-25. Although coach Jordan wasn't too pleased with his team's defensive effort, the Aggies held the Panthers to a .034 hitting percentage while his offense hit .223.
The Aggies took set one 25-22 behind seven kills from Hays. The Aggies took an early 5-3 lead over the Panthers as NM State hit .250 in the set while holding FIU to a .071 hitting percentage. NM State went up by as many as nine at 13-4 but the Panthers fought back and tied it at 18 all forcing coach Jordan to call a timeout. After the timeout, NM State scored three consecutive points to regain the momentum and middle hitter Gwen Murphy capitalized it with a big solo block before the NM State eventually pulled off the win.
NM State started set two with an ace from Taylor Livoti and took an early 6-2 before the Panthers battled to pull within one at 8-8 when Scott was blocked by three Panther defenders. The set was tied at 10, 11 and 12 before NM State took a five-point lead at 17-12. The Aggies went up by seven when freshman Nathalie Castellanos combined with Scott for a block. Castellanos wrapped up the set with a great kill down the line giving the Aggies a 25-20 victory.
After falling behind 2-0 early on, the Aggies took a 5-4 lead on kill by Murphy in the middle. The Aggies extended their lead to eight at 15-7 when NM State went on a six point scoring rally. After a couple of errors by the Aggies, coach Jordan was forced to call a timeout. The Aggies responded well to what the coaching staff said and won the set 25-17.
The Aggies take on No. 12 Pepperdine, Saturday, Sept. 8 at 11 a.m. (MT). An in-match Twitter feed will be available with score updates. For all your Aggie information, go online to www.NMStateSports.com .