EDINBURG, Texas (KTSM) – The New Mexico State volleyball team swept UT Rio Grande Valley 25-23, 25-14, 25-19 to win its 13th-straight match and stay unbeaten in conference play in Edinburg, Texas, on Saturday.
“We started slow defensively in the first set but served our way back into it,” said head coach Mike Jordan. “I’m pretty happy with the defensive effort after that, to hold a team like that to 20 kills is pretty impressive defensive work.”
After the Aggies (21-3, 12-0 WAC) Scored the match’s first two points, UT Rio Grande Valley (13-13, 7-5) went on a 6-0 run to take a 6-2 lead. NM State battled back, making it 15-12 at the media timeout after a block from Julianna Salanoa and Cat Kelly and a kill from Savannah Davison. Then, New Mexico State scored three-straight points out of the media timeout to tie up the set at 15.
The Vaqueros continued to take advantage of the Aggies’ poor play in serve-receive and found themselves leading 23-21. However, Ashley Anselmo hit two kills before Davison ended the set with a kill of her own for a 25-23 NM State victory in the first set.
New Mexico State started the second set strong, racing out to a 7-2 lead. The Vaqueros brought it back to 11-8 before the Aggies erupted. NM State scored the next eight points, including three service aces from Natalie Mikels to open a 19-8 lead. New Mexico State cruised from there with back-to-back kills from Lia Mosher and Cat Kelly ending the set 25-14.
The third set was all Aggies to start as a Davison kill sparked a 6-0 run to begin the set. UT Rio Grande Valley continued to battle and pulled within 12-9. NM State then opened a 16-10 lead before a rally from the Vaqueros made it 16-14. The two sides battled on with the Aggies leading 20-19. Then, NM State scored the last five point of the set, capped by another ace from Mikels, to end the set 25-19 and complete the sweep.
New Mexico State was led by Davison who finished the match with 10 kills. Megan Hart added nine kills on .643 hitting while Kelly also notched nine kills. Mikels wrapped up the match with four service aces while Julianna Salanoa finished with five blocks.
As a squad, the Aggies hit .281 while holding UTRGV to .082 hitting. NM State finished with 41 kills to 20 for the Vaqueros.
The Aggies remain on the road with a trip to CSU Bakersfield on Thursday, Nov. 7, at 8 p.m. and Grand Canyon on Saturday, Nov. 9, at 2 p.m.