Las Cruces, NM — The New Mexico State volleyball team fell 3-2 (17-25, 25-23, 25-19, 12-25, 10-15) to in-state rival New Mexico at the Pan American Center, Monday, Sept. 23. The Aggies are now 5-10 on the year while UNM moves to 10-1 overall.
The Aggies are now 43-28 all-time against UNM winning 17 of the last 21 meetings. NM State finished the evening hitting .024 after posting a negative hitting percentage in sets four and five, which seemed to be the difference in the match.
“It seemed like we were in control of the match after set three, then things just seemed to have a snowball effect for the worse in set four,” head coach Mike Jordan said. “You have to credit UNM for the way they came out in the last two sets and now we just have to make some adjustments for conference play.”
Senior Desiree Scott led NM State tying for a match-high 14 kills and adding nine total blocks (three solo and six block-assists) to score a match-high 20 points. Senior Lauren Loerch added 11 kills a service ace and seven digs as sophomore Taylor Livoti marked a double-double with 20 assists and 14 digs.
The Lobos were much more efficient than NM State in set one with a .345 hitting percentage while the Aggies hit .162 to take set one 25-17. Scott posted five kills on seven swings but that was not enough as her team tallied eight attack errors. There were ties at 1, 2 and 5 but the Aggies could not find momentum after that falling behind by seven at 18-11 before losing by eight.
NM State scored the first two points of set two and jumped ahead 4-1 before UNM came back to tie it at 7-7. There would be ten more ties and six lead changes but the Aggies continued to fight pulling to within one a 23-22. NM State took advantage of two attack errors and a service ace win 25-23.
The Aggies looked totally different in set three posting 7.5 team blocks after there were no blocks in the first two sets. NM State fell behind 4-1 early on but tied it at 4-4 and took its first lead on a UNM attack error to make it 5-4. The Lobos kept it close and tied the set three more times but a kill by sophomore Bradley Nash gave the Aggies a 17-16 lead. The Aggies used an 8-3 scoring rally to finish off the set and win 25-19.
NM State was out-blocked 5-2 in sets four and five combined while posting 15 errors in set four and another four in set five, allowing the Lobos to win the match. Scott was the consistent force for NM State as she had three kills in set four and another three in set five to go along with two blocks.
The Aggies head to Edinburg, Texas to face Texas-Pan American, Saturday, Sept. 28 at 1 p.m. (MT) for the first Western Athletic Conference match of the year. This is NM State ninth season in the WAC. The Aggies are 7-1 in WAC season openers and are 101-27 all-time in WAC play.