LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) – The New Mexico State women’s volleyball team dropped the first against Chicago State on Thursday afternoon before bouncing back for a 17-25, 25-23, 25-15, 25-18, to remain unbeaten in Western Athletic Conference play and run its winning streak to 16 matches.
“Defensively, we kind of got going in the second set,” said head coach Mike Jordan. “We started digging the ball, trying a little harder to make plays. We got better and finally started digging the volleyball a little better which led to transition opportunities that we scored.”
With Cat Kelly unavailable, the Aggies (24-3, 15-0 WAC) started slow and the Cougars (5-25, 1-14 WAC) raced out to a 9-3 lead. NM State battled back with a Savannah Davison kill bringing the score within one at 11-10. However, New Mexico State continued to struggle and the Cougars pulled away for a 25-17 set one victory.
After Julianna Salanoa started the second set with a kill, the Aggies’ struggles continued and they fell behind 14-9, then with Krysten Garrison at the service line, NM State ripped off a 7-0 run kick-started by a Hart kill and capped with an ace for Garrison for a 16-14 Aggie lead. The cougars refused to quit, however, tying the set at 17 before taking a 23-22 lead. Then, the Cougars committed a service error and Davison caught fire, ripping two kills and ending the set 25-23 in favor of the Aggies.
Natalie Mikels served up an ace to start the third set and set the tone for NM State who raced out to a 13-3 lead behind three-straight blocks from Salanoa and Ashley Anselmo. The Aggies cruised from there and took set three 25-15.
NM State continued to roll in the fourth set with three kills from Davison contributing to a 5-0 run to start the set. The Cougars battled back as they had all night and pulled within 19-16. However, NM State ended the set on a 6-2 run with three clutch kills from Anselmo to take the fourth set 25-18 and end the match.
Davison recorded her ninth double-double of the season with 16 kills and 11 digs while Mikels added her fifth of the season with 26 assists and 16 digs. Salanoa was again a monster defensively, racking up six blocks to go with eight kills on .368 hitting. Anselmo also had a solid night with 10 kills and five blocks while Kiley Tonge added a career-high 10 digs off the bench.
As a squad, NM State hit just .188 but held Chicago State to .106 hitting. The Aggies finished with 52 kills to the Cougars’ 44.
The New Mexico State volleyball team wraps up its regular season with a Senior Day showdown against Kansas City on Saturday, Nov. 16, at 1 p.m. Join us as we celebrate our outstanding senior class!