CHICAGO, IL – The New Mexico State volleyball team posted the best regular-season winning percentage in program history at .938 with a 25-21, 25-19, 25-22, sweep over Chicago State at the Jones Convocation Center in Chicago on Tuesday afternoon.
The match did not count towards NM State’s Western Athletic Conference record.
“We were a little better defending today and had a lot of good transition opportunities,” said head coach Mike Jordan. “We need to rest and get in the gym and make ourselves better. We have a lot of room for improvement so I’m hopeful we’ll attack our final practices the right way.”
The Aggies (15-1, 13-1 WAC) raced out to an 8-3 lead but the Cougars hung tough and eventually tied the set at 21 late, forcing an NM State timeout. Coming out of the timeout, Savannah Davison sparked a 4-0 Aggie run to take set one 25-21. Freshman Victoria Barrett got off to a strong start with five kills in the frame.
With the Aggies finding success at the pins for the second-straight day, the middle began to open up for Lindsay Blakey and Lia Mosher who hit four kills each to power NM State to a 25-19 second set win. NM State’s offense caught fire in the second frame, hitting .394 to the Cougar’s .115.
Chicago State refused to go away, however, and opened a 9-5 lead to open the third set before the Aggies ripped off a 7-0 run to take a 12-9 lead. This was followed by a 5-0 run from Chicago State to race back ahead, 14-12. The Cougars eventually took a 22-21 lead before NM State finished the match on a 4-0 run.
Senior setter Natalie Mikels dished out 24 assists to move into 10th in the NM State record books for career assists with 2,226. She also moved into fourth for career aces, serving up her 138th and 139th aces.
The Aggies hit .279 and were paced by Barrett, Blakey and Mosher. Barrett finished with 12 kills on .346 hitting while the two Aggie middles combined to hit 17 kills on .444 hitting. Mosher also matched a season-high with six blocks while freshman libero Darian Markham finished with 17 digs.
The Aggies now look to defend their WAC Tournament Championship in Orem, Utah, as the number one seed beginning with a semifinal matchup on Friday, April 2, at 5 p.m. (MT) against the winner of the UT Rio Grande Valley/Chicago State semifinal. NM State heads to Orem as the WAC Regular Season Champion and the two-time defending WAC Tournament Champion. Fans can stream all the action from Orem live on ESPN+.