Aggies take down Vaqueros in straight sets

NMSU

LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) – New Mexico State volleyball hosted UT Rio Grande Valley at the Pan American Center for a Western Athletic Conference match on Thursday night. The Aggies swept the Vaqueros 28-26, 25-17, 25-22 to remain undefeated in league play.

“It’s always good to win at home, especially during conference play,” head coach Mike Jordan said. “We had too many errors especially in the first set and made things harder than they needed to be, but we were able to hold our own.”

HOW IT HAPPENED

NM State (12-3, 2-0 WAC) held an 11-6 advantage early and a UTRGV (7-10, 1-2 WAC) ball-handling error led to a timeout from the opposition. The team continued to dominate and a three-point run that included a block by Savannah Davison and Julianna Salanoa led to another Vaquero timeout with the Crimson and White ahead 17-11. The Aggie squad’s lead dwindled to a pair after a three-point run by UT Rio Grande Valley but a kill by Cat Kelly out of a NM State timeout snapped the run and put New Mexico State ahead 23-20. The Vaqueros did not go away quietly, scoring three-straight to tie the set, 23-23. Both teams continued to battle back-and-forth but solo block by Davison gave the squad set point before she sealed the 28-26 victory with a kill.

The Aggies went point-for-point with the Vaqueros in the second set but a four-point run resulted in an 8-6 advantage for New Mexico State before UTRGV burned a timeout. The set remained close down the stretch but a three-point run for the Aggies put the team ahead 20-16 before the Vaqueros called their final timeout. A four-point rally followed the break for NM State before Cat Kelly put away the 25-17 victory with a kill from the outside.

The Crimson and White maintained its momentum in the third set, jumping out to an early 13-8 lead following a kill by Davison. The team continued to cruise and Megan Hart scored out of the middle to put the Aggies ahead 15-11 at the media timeout. Out of the break, New Mexico State held strong down the stretch and a kill from Salanoa, off the assist from Natalie Mikels, put the team ahead 20-15. UTRGV did not go away quietly, scoring a pair while New Mexico State held set point. However, Kelly powered a kill cross court for the final play of the match, giving NM State the 25-22 victory.

BY THE NUMBERS

New Mexico State recorded 42 kills while hitting .298 in the match. The Crimson and White also posted 38 assists, 31 digs and 13 blocks. Davison and Hart tallied double-digit kills with 12 and 10, respectively. Defensively, Salanoa notched seven blocks and was followed closely behind by Ashley Anselmo, who recorded five.

The Aggies head to California Baptist for a weekday WAC match. The team faces the Lancers at Van Dyne Gym on Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. MT.

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