No. 14 BYU upends NM State in NCAA Tournament

NMSU

, New Mexico State volleyball vs. BYU in the NCAA tournament December 6, 2019 in Provo, UT. (Photo / Steve C. Wilson)

PROVO, Utah – The New Mexico State volleyball team’s season came to a close in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in a sweep at the hands of the 14th-seeded BYU Cougars at Smith Fieldhouse on Friday night.

“Once we got through the first set, I thought we competed really well,” said head coach Mike Jordan. “We adjusted to the length that they had and it was a pretty good match after that.”

The Aggies (27-4) struggled early with the Cougars length and the raucous atmosphere and were blown out in the first set. However, NM State began to settle down after that. The second set started with BYU going on a 9-5 run and looking like it would pull away as it did in the first set. New Mexico State then battled back behind Ashley Anselmo and Savannah Davison to tie the set at 14.

Then, after a setter kill from Natalie Mikels, the Cougars went on a run and led 20-15. However, Davison continued to play well and got the Aggies right back in it 23-22. After BYU went to match point, Cat Kelly smashed a kill but the Cougars then closed out the set with a kill from All-American McKenna Miller, 25-23.

With Davison continuing to swing hard, the Aggies jumped out to an 8-5 lead in the third set. NM State traded points back-and-forth with the Cougars and led 12-9, forcing BYU too take a timeout. Coming out of the timeout, BYU ripped off a 10-1 run and New Mexico State never recovered, dropping set three 25-19.

Davison led the way for NM State with 12 kills on 23 swings for a .348 hitting-percentage while Anselmo and Kelly each had six. Anselmo hit .357 on the night.

The Aggies end the season with a 27-4 record and won both the Western Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships for the second-straight year. Megan Hart was named WAC Player of the Year while Mike Jordan was named WAC Coach of the Year. Julianna Salanoa and Davison both joined Hart on the All-WAC First Team.

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