The New Mexico State volleyball team took on the 2012 National Champion Texas volleyball team in a spring exhibition match, Saturday, April 13, falling 5-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-19, 25-9, 15-11) at Gregory Gym.
Head coach Mike Jordan wanted to give his team the opportunity to take on the highest-quality team in the county so that it could gain valuable experience. Middle blocker Desiree Scott paced the Aggies with nine kills and 3.5 blocks while hitting at a .353 clip.
“It was a great experience for us, well worth the effort of making the trip. Obviously facing the best athletes in the country is going to help your team,” Jordan said. “We’re not going to see anything in the regular season that is more difficult to deal with than those athletes.”
The Aggies traveled to Austin with a minuscule roster, taking only one libero. The disadvantage showed up in the box score as NM State was out-blocked 19-7 while four Longhorns tallied double-digit kill figures.
NM State kept the opening set close as it was tied at 17-17 before the Longhorns closed the frame with an 8-3 run. The Aggies battled in the second set trailing midway through by two points at 13-11. Although UT used five consecutive points to push the advantage to 18-11, the Aggies closed the gap to 22-18 after a Scott block. Texas won three of the next four points and ended the frame with a kill. The Aggie offense struggled as it was held NMSU to a -.036 hitting percentage in the second set.
The Longhorns jumped out to a 5-0 advantage in the third set and held a 12-8 lead, before the Aggies rallied for four straight points to even the score at 12-12. NM State lost the lead at 16-15 and ended up losing 25-19 after a Longhorn scoring run of 9-4.
NM State trailed 3-2 to start the fourth frame, but Texas scored nine consecutive points to build a 12-2 cushion, NM State couldn’t get back into the set from that point on and fell 25-9.
After falling behind 7-3 in the final set, before the Aggies responded with three straight points to trim the margin to 7-6. Texas answered with four consecutive points to go up 11-6 but the Aggies showed a never-say-die attitude dropping the set 15-11.
“Other than set four, it was competitive for good stretches of the match,” Jordan said. “We were very good in system but really struggled passing the heavy jump serves and attacking bad balls versus their block. We’ll make that an emphasis the rest of spring.”
The Aggies conclude spring practices this week.
“I was really impressed with Desiree, Lauren and Gwen from a block and attack standpoint and Hannah Walker did well at libero even though she has the hip injury. She showed a lot of toughness,” Jordan said.