The Western Athletic Conference tournament champions get set for the first round of the NCAA Tournament as New Mexico State faces off against the No. 15-seed Oregon at Matthew Knight Arena on Thursday night. First serve from the match is set for 8 p.m. MT.
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The Aggies first-round match against the Ducks can be heard on 91.5 FM KRUX or through the TuneIn site or app on tablets or mobile devices with Adam Young handling the play-by-play. Fans can view the match on through an online live stream.
A trio of New Mexico State volleyball players received all-conference accolades following the 2018 regular season. Savannah Davison carried on the Aggie tradition as the outside hitter became the fifth-straight NM State player to be named to the all-freshmen team. Davison posted 3.08 kills per set during league play to rank eighth in the WAC and her 3.40 points per set was good enough for 10th.
Tatyana Battle and Megan Hart were among the players on the All-WAC First Team. Battle received the honor for a third-straight year and the senior ranked fourth in the conference for kills (3.62) and points (4.11) while also placing 10th in digs (3.11). Hart received her first ever post-season award after finishing the conference season with a .387 hitting clip, which ranked second in the WAC while also averaging 1.12 blocks for seventh in the league.
WINNER OF THE WAC
The WAC tournament trophy calls the City of Crosses home for the first time since 2015 as the Aggies defeated Utah Valley 3-1 to claim the conference tournament crown last weekend. The championship is the sixth conference tournament title and the NCAA appearance is the ninth under head coach Mike Jordan.
In the championship match, Davison led the way with a match-best 16 kills while also posting 18 digs. Battle recorded her conference best 19th double-double when she had 14 kills and 16 digs. Hart took care of business offensively and defensively when the middle amassed 13 kills and 10 blocks. The 10 block assists ranks second in the Aggie record books for a four-set match.
At the conclusion of the championship, Davison, Battle and Hart were named to the all-tournament team with Hart earning the coveted title of Most Valuable Player. The redshirt junior hit .408 for the tournament with 23 kills and tallied 16 blocks to average 2.00 per set.
2018 WAC Volleyball All-Tournament Team
Tatyana Battle, NM State
Savannah Davison, NM State
Megan Hart, NM State (MVP)
Tyrecia Lukes, Kansas City
Seren Merrill, Utah Valley
Kazna Tarawhiti, Utah Valley
THE BATTLE TO 1,000
In the championship match of the WAC Tournament, Battle recorded her 1,000th career dig. In doing so, she became the only active player in the WAC with 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs. The outside hitter reached the milestone for kills in her hometown of Albuquerque, N.M., when the Aggies faced NCAA tournament team Florida Gulf Coast at the Lobo Classic. Battle is the WAC’s active leader in kills with 1,372 and has 1,008 career digs.
SCOUTING THE DUCKS
Fifteen-seeded Oregon enters the tournament at 20-10, and the 13-7 conference mark landed the Ducks in a tie for second in the Pac-12 standings. UO sits second in the league, behind No. 1 Stanford, with a .263 hitting clip and 14.72 kills. Oregon also posts 16.43 digs per set for second in the conference.
Individually, August Raskie runs the Ducks offense with 11.92 assists per set, ranking second in the Pac-12. Libero Brooke Nuneviller is also second in the league as the freshman records 4.99 digs per set. Offensively, Sumeet Gill (.339) and Ronika Stone (.337) place seventh and eighth, respectively, for hitting percentage.
The Ducks are the fourth Pac-12 opponent the Aggies face during their 2018 campaign. NM State fell on the road to Arizona and Arizona State but picked up a win against the Wildcats during a five-set thriller at the Pan American Center earlier this season.
COMING UP: TOURNEY TIME
The winner of the match between New Mexico State and Oregon moves on to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and faces the winner of the contest between Baylor and Hawaii. First serve from the second-round match on Friday, Nov. 30 at Matthew Knight Arena is slated for 8 p.m. MT.