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Hawaii Beats NMSU In 5 Sets


POSTED: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - 10:49pm

UPDATED: Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 3:20pm

The New Mexico State volleyball team took No. 8 Hawai'i to five sets falling 3-2 in front of more than 3,000 fans at the Pan American Center, Wednesday, Oct. 12.

NM State dropped its first Western Athletic Conference match of the year to fall to 5-1 in league play and 16-5 overall, while Hawai'i is now the only undefeated team in league play at 6-0.

"It was back and forth for most of the match and Hawai'i showed why it's the No. 8 team in the country," head coach Mike Jordan said. "Meredith (Hays) played well and she is still learning and Stephanie (Ziegler) had a really good match and continues to play well for us."

Freshman outside hitter had as many kills as the returning WAC Player of the Year with 22 on the night. Sophomore Stephanie Ziegler tallied the first double-double of her career with 14 kills and 12 digs while she had a .256 hitting percentage on the night.

Senior setter Jennah DeVries marked another double-double with 48 assists and 20 digs, while also adding three kills and two service aces. The Aggies finished the night with six service aces and eight total-team blocks. Senior Michelle Kuester led the way with two solo blocks and a block assist.

NM State took the first set 25-17 by tallying four separate rallies of at least four points. The Aggies never looked back after scoring their first point of the game off a kill by Hays. NM State went on to score six straight points to put the Aggies up 6-1. NM State went on to score four more unanswered points to give the Aggies a lead of 10-3. Hawai'i mounted a few rallies of their own during the middle of the set, brining the score as close to a one-point game. The set ended for NM State just as it began; with a kill by Hays.

NM State came back strong, capping off the set with four unanswered points to finish the score 25-17.

NM State dropped the second set 25-21, but never let Hawai'i get too far. Both teams held one another to less rallies, with no single rally ever going past three points. A kill by Brennan put the Aggies on the board after dropping the first two points to Hawai'i. A kill by Hays gave the Aggies their first lead of the set, going up 5-4. After comebacks by Hawai'i, NM State marked their own rally in the middle of the set to come back into the set. A three-point rally put the NM State up 14-11 for the Aggies' greatest lead of the set.

The first two points of the third set went to the Aggies, beginning with a kill by Hays. NM State soon cooled off, allowing Hawai'i to score five unanswered points. Hawai'i hit two early rallies, brining the score to 10-4. NM State came back to score eight of nine points to bring the score to 15-15. Hawai'i then went on a six-point rally to lead 20-15. NM State was never able to come back, dropping the set 25-20.

NM State was able to stray off a late comeback by Hawai'i to win the fourth set 27-25. NM State opened up by scoring the first point by a kill from Scott. The fourth set was back-and-forth between NM State and Hawai'i, with only one rally of four points being tallied. After keeping most of the match between one or two points, the Aggies help a crucial late rally, scoring four straight points to go up 22-16. Hawai'i responded with a five-point rally and eventually tied the set. Hawai'i took a 25-24 lead, but NM State never faltered despite the match point by Hawai'i. NM State came back with two straight points, and eventually forced a Hawai'i hitting error for the 27-25 win.

NM State was not able to fight off the Wahine during the final set. NM State started off strong by winning the first two points, starting with a kill by Hays. Hawai'i soon went off on a tear, scoring 11-straight points to go up 13-3. Two late points by the Aggies was not enough, and ended up dropping the final set 15-5.

The Aggies now look forward to hosting San Jose State, Saturday, Oct. 15 at 2pm (MT) in the Pan American Center. The match is set to air on the radio with Kyle Doperalski giving the play-by-play action on KSNM AM 570. Twitter updates are also schedule to be available during the match.

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