OREM, Utah – The New Mexico State volleyball team’s season came to an end in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament Championship with a straight-set loss to tournament host Utah Valley on Saturday afternoon inside Lockhart Arena.
“UVU played really well and did a much better job blocking it out of system than we did and I think that was the difference in the match,” said head coach Mike Jordan. “I hate that we were put in the position to play on someone else’s floor as the one seed. It just makes no sense to play a double round robin regular season and then have a tournament for the for the automatic bid. Then, on top of that, you have it on a lower seeds court. It doesn’t make any sense to put your best team in so much jeopardy year after year.”
The Aggies finish the season with a 16-2 record and were the WAC regular-season champions despite not being able to practice in New Mexico until Jan. 19 and not playing a home match until March 15.
NM State came out of the gates flat and the Wolverines, playing in front of a spirited home crowd, took advantage, snatching the first set 25-21. The second set was back-and-forth and saw the two teams tied late in the frame at 22, however, the Aggie offense stalled and the Wolverines scored the next three points to close out the set 25-22.
The third set mirrored the second as both teams duked it out with the season on the line. Lia Mosher was able to tie it up at 23 late in the frame but the Wolverines won the next two points to take the WAC Tournament Title, 25-23.
“I’m proud of the team, we had a really good year despite the challenges and we were the best team from January until the beginning of April. It’s a shame we weren’t rewarded for that but again, UVU played really well and I’m happy for Sam, who’s a good friend, and I’ll be pulling for them in the NCAA Tournament,” Jordan added.
The Aggies’ normally high-powered offense struggled, as they hit just .157 with 24 errors on the afternoon. For their efforts on the weekend, Mosher and freshman Victoria Barrett were named to the WAC All-Tournament Team.
“I also want to thank our seniors for all their hard work and dedication to the program, Jordan George and Natalie Mikels are wonderful young women and I’m so proud of them and all they’ve accomplished,” Jordan finished.