Las Cruces, NM — The New Mexico State volleyball team notched a straight-set victory over the Bakersfield Roadrunners, 25-15, 25-17, 25-19, Monday night inside the Pan American Center to remain unbeaten in WAC play. The Aggies improve to 7-8 overall and 2-0 in the WAC. Bakersfield also sits at 8-8 and falls to 1-2 in the WAC.
Four different Aggies finished with a team-high eight kills including redshirt sophomores Bradley Nash and Gwen Murphy, redshirt senior Stephanie Ziegler and senior Desiree Scott. Senior setter Ciara Brown led NM State with 20 total assists while sophomore libero Jordan Reifsteck finished with seven total digs to lead the team for the second consecutive match.
The Aggies outhit the Roadrunners who came into the match leading the WAC in total kills with 773 on the season. NM State finished with 38 kills to Bakersfield’s 32. The Aggies held the Roadrunners to a .000 hitting percentage during the final two sets. Aside from the hitting, blocks were the major difference in NM State’s win. The Aggies outblocked the Roadrunners by an astounding 24-4 margin.
After losing the first point in set one, the Aggies proceeded to win nine of the next 10 points to take an early 9-2. Up 11-5, NM State once again went on a run, this time a 7-1 run to take a commanding 18-6 lead. The Roadrunners could not muster more than one consecutive point until a six-point rally late in the set cut the Aggie lead to 21-14. Bakersfield could not get any closer, however, and NM State closed out the set with a kill by senior outside hitter Lauren Loerch. Scott led the Aggies during the first set with four kills while Murphy added another three. NM State outhit the Roadrunners .387 to .100.
The second set began like the first, with Bakersfield marking the first point and the Aggies coming back with an early run. This time, however, the Roadrunners would fight back. The set would be tied at five, six, seven, eight and nine. Midway through, however, NM State would go on an 8-2 run to pull ahead 16-11. The run was capped off by a kill and a block from Murphy. The Aggie lead would be cut to 20-17, but NM State marked the last five points of the set to win 25-17. The Roadrunners were held to a .000 hitting percentage while NM State hit at a .219 percentage.
Set three was close throughout with a total of eight ties and five lead changes. For the first time in the match Bakersfield got out to a sizeable lead midway through the set. A five-point rally gave the Roadrunners a 16-12 lead. After a timeout, however, the Aggies fought right back with a seven-point rally of their own which started with a trademark kill down the middle by Scott to take a 19-16 lead, a lead they would not relinquish. Bakersfield closed to within 19-18, but NM State scored six of the final seven points and closed out the Roadrunners with a couple of combination blocks by Murphy and Loerch.
The Aggies now look forward to a two-match weekend at the Pan Am Center, starting Saturday, Oct. 5, with a match versus Idaho at noon and concluding Sunday, Oct. 6, with a match against Seattle also beginning at noon.