Aggie Volleyball Falls 3-1 To Pepperdine At Arizona Invitational

Whitney WoodsThe Aggie volleyball team opened up the Arizona Invitational with a 3-1 loss to Pepperdine on Friday morning. The Aggies lost 25-21 in the first set, 28-26 in the second set, came back to win set three 25-22 before falling 25-17 in set four.

The Aggie volleyball lost the first two points of set one and fell behind 7-2 forcing an early timeout. Pepperdine added two more points out of the timeout to push their lead to seven points at 9-2. Three straight points by the Aggies including a service ace by Madison Hardy cut the Waves' lead to 9-5 but Pepperdine would go on another 7-2 run to push their lead to 16-7. The Aggies would cut the lead to six at 16-10 after three straight points and Pepperdine would maintain the six point advantage at 19-13.

Down 22-16 in the set, the Aggies would cut the Waves' lead to just four at 22-18 after a service ace by Rocio Gutierrez. The Waves would have set point at 24-19 but the Aggies would score back-to-back points to cut the deficit to just three at 24-21 however, an attack error by Rocio Gutierrez would give the Waves the first set 25-21.

Set two saw the Aggies get off to a better start as they would lead 5-3 early after a kill by Whitney Woods however four straight points by Pepperdine would give the Waves the 7-5 lead. The Aggies would tie the set at 7-7 and retake the lead at 9-8 after a kill from Kayleigh Giddens. With the set tied at nine points apiece, the Aggies would score three of the next four points to take a 13-10 lead. The Waves would respond with four consecutive points to take a 14-13 lead. The Aggies would tie the set at 15-15 on a kill by Kelsey Brennan but a ball handling error by setter Jennah DeVries and an attack error by Rocio Gutierrez gave Pepperdine a 17-15 lead. The Waves would add two more points on a block by Victoria Adelhelm and a kill by Lilla Frederick to go up 19-15 forcing the Aggies to call a timeout.

Out of the timeout the Aggies would get back-to-back kills form Kelsey Brennan to close the gap to just to points at 19-17. After a double-block by Pepperdine put them ahead 20-18, the Aggies would tie the set up at 20 on a service error by Pepperdine's Adelhelm and a kill by Kayleigh Giddens. The Waves would again take a two point lead at 22-20 but once again the Aggies would tie the set up at 22-22. A service error by Jennah DeVries was followed by a service ace by Lilla Frederick giving Pepperdine set point at 24-22. However, the Aggies would stave off two set points to tie things up at 24-24.

The Aggies would have set point at 25-24 after a kill by Whitney Woods, however, Pepperdine would tie the set once again at 25-25 on a kill by Kim Hill. The Aggies would get another set point on a kill by Ellen Miks however on set point with the Aggies leading 26-25, junior middle blocker Kelsey Brennan would go down in the middle of the rally and play would be halted. Brennan would be helped off the court, her status unknown as she did not return the rest of the match. With momentum halted for the Aggies, Pepperdine would take advantage getting two straight kills by Emily Cook to go up 27-26. The Waves would take the set 28-26 on a service ace by Kim HIll.

Coming out of the intermission the Aggies and Waves would battle early in the third set with the set seeing ties at 3-3, 4-4, 5-5 and 6-6. The Aggies would take a two point lead at 8-6 after a solo block by Kayleigh Giddens, however, the Waves would tie the set at 8-8 after two Aggie errors, a service error by Ellen Miks and an attack error by Kayleigh Giddens. The Aggies would go up by three at 12-9 and extended their lead to four points at 14-10 on a kill by Rocio Gutierrez. Pepperdine would score five of the next six points to tie the set at 15-15 and would take the lead at 16-15 on a kill by Lilla Frederick. The Aggies would take two point lead at 19-17 after a kill by Kayleigh Giddens forcing Pepperdine to take a timeout.

The Waves would score two points out of the timeout to tie the set at 19 and after the teams traded points the Aggies would take two in a row to go ahead 22-20. A kill by Amanda Tonga gave the Aggies a 23-21 lead and after a kill by Victoria Adelhelm trimmed the Aggies' lead to 23-22, Whitney Woods would give the Aggies set point at 24-22 and an attack error by Brittney Clark would give the Aggies the set 25-22.

The fourth set started off with a kill by Kayleigh Giddens, however, Pepperdine would go on a 5-0 run to take a 5-1 lead. The Aggies would trail 8-2 and after a timeout the Aggies would cut the lead down to four points at 8-4. The Waves would push their lead out to six points several times and the Aggies would respond cutting the lead down to four points several times, however, the Aggies would get no closer than four points at 17-13 as the Waves would go on a three point run to go ahead 21-13. The Aggies would get score back-to-back points to cut the Waves' lead to 22-16, however, the Waves would close out the match winning the set 25-17 and the match 3-1.

The Aggies hit .192 as a team and Whitney Woods paced the Aggies with 18 kills on 37 swings with just six hitting errors positing a .324 hitting percentage. Kayleigh Giddens added 17 kills on 39 swings with just five attack errors and a .308 hitting percentage.

Pepperdine finished the match with a .252 hitting percentage and was led by Kim Hill and Emily Cook who each recorded 15 kills for the Waves. Lilla Frederick added 10 kills.

The Waves outblocked the Aggies 13.5 to 4.5 in the match while the Aggies had seven service aces and 10 service errors to four service aces and six service errors for the Waves.

The loss drops the Aggies to 6-5 on the season as the Aggies have now lost four matches in a row. New Mexico State is back in action at 6:00 p.m. MT when they take on Texas State. Free streaming video will be available for the match and can be access by clicking here.