OREM, Utah – The New Mexico State volleyball team hit .341 and cruised to a 25-18, 25-16, 25-17 sweep of Chicago State in a Western Athletic Conference Tournament semifinal match at Lockhart Arena in Orem, Utah, on Friday night.
The Aggies advanced to the WAC Championship match for the third-straight year.
NM State (16-1) started slow and held a slim 16-15 lead midway through the first set. However, a kill from Katie Birtcil and a service ace from Jordan George sparked a 9-3 Aggie run which included the last-four points in the first set for the 25-18 win. The Aggies served well in the first set, recording three aces in the frame.
After hitting just .289 in the first set, the Aggie offense came alive in the second set. NM State hit .440 in the frame with just two errors as it cruised to the 25-16 final in set two. The Aggie block was also dominant in the set, with the Aggies combining for six total blocks while Lia Mosher recorded five blocks. Shaney Lipscomb and Victoria Barrett each hit four kills on five attempts in the second.
With their backs against the wall, the Cougars came out battling in the third and led NM State 10-9 early on. However, the Aggies ripped off an 11-4 run to take control of the match at 20-15 before eventually cruising to a 25-17 victory in the deciding set. NM state hit .321 while holding Chicago State to .083 in the final frame.
Mosher was a menace at the net for the Aggies, hitting 10 kills while matching a career-high with nine blocks. Along with Mosher, Lipscomb and Barrett also hit 10 kills with Lipscomb hitting .375 and Barrett .381. Setters Carly Aigner-Swesey and Natalie Mikels facilitated an Aggie offense that hit .341 on the evening dishing out 21 and 17 assists respectively.
NM State now looks to punch its third-straight ticket to the NCAA Tournament with a WAC Championship matchup against Utah Valley tomorrow, April 3, at 2 p.m. (MT), inside Lockhart Arena. Aggie nation can watch all the action live on ESPN+.