The New Mexico State volleyball team (11-5, 5-1 WAC) dropped its match to Utah State (11-5, 6-1 WAC) in straight sets to fall to second place in the Western Athletic Conference, Thursday, Oct. 4 in the Dee Glenn Spectrum.
NM State struggled offensively hitting only .035 as a team, while being out-blocked 12-6.5 to lose 25-21, 27-25, 25-16. Junior Desiree Scott had the most efficient night posting a team-high seven kills to go along with two block assists. NM State held the northern Aggies to a .194 hitting percentage, but nine service errors by the visiting Aggies boosted USU to a sweep.
USU is now a game and a half up on NM State in the WAC rankings after tonight's match that saw Meredith Hays post a negative hitting percentage. Hays tallied five kills on the evening while junior Lauren Loerch and freshman Nathalie Castellanos also added five kills each.
Junior Stephanie Ziegler marked a team-high 11 digs while juniors Hannah Walker and Ciara Brown, along with Hays, came up with seven digs a piece. Brown had 16 assists on the night as sophomore Maggi Jo Keffury tallied seven for the team.
NM State marked negative hitting percentages in sets two and three after starting the match with 14 kills on 46 swings in set two. The Aggies couldn't seem to find a rhythm marking only eight kills in set two and nine in set three while posting only one block and seven digs in the final set.
The Aggies jumped out to a 6-1 lead in set one but USU fought back and tied it up at 14-14 before taking its first lead of the match at 15-14. It was a back and forth battle before the Navy Blue Aggies extended their lead to three 23-20 before winning by four at 25-21 as NM State marked two errors to end it.
There were 17 ties and seven lead changed in set two but NM State couldn't pull it off falling 27-25 after USU put down two consecutive kills to end the set. NM State took a two point lead late in the match at 19-17 but the northern Aggies got back in it to tie it up at 21. A couple of costly errors by NM State gave the northern Aggies the momentum they needed to get the win.
Set three saw NM State struggle all around hitting a negative .034 and digging up only seven balls. There were ties at 1-1 and 2-2 but that is as close as NM State would get falling in set three, 25-16.
The Aggies take on San Jose State in its second WAC-road match of the week. The match is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. (MT) and will air over the radio waves in Las Cruces on KSNM AM 570 with Jay Sanderson giving the play-by-play.