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NMSU Volleyball Bounces Back With Pair Of Victories | bleedCrimson.net :: Your Source for NMSU Aggies Sports News

NMSU Volleyball Bounces Back With Pair Of Victories

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Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State volleyball team continued the NM State SpringHill Suites Invitational with a match against Grambling State at the Pan American Center on Saturday. The Aggies defeated the Tigers 25-11, 25-14, 25-18 for the squad’s sixth sweep this season.

“We were able to give a lot of people an opportunity to play today,” head coach Mike Jordan said. “I was pretty happy with our defense but we need to set it better. Hopefully, we can keep improving.”

HOW IT HAPPENED

NM State (7-1) jumped out to a hot start, holding 6-0 advantage over GSU (1-7) in the opening set. The Crimson and White continued to cruise and kill by Julianna Salanoa kept the Aggies ahead 17-5. The Tigers burned a timeout with New Mexico State leading 21-7 but the break did not stop the fiery offense and the NM State squad claimed the first set 25-11.

In the second set, the Aggies jumped out to a 10-5 lead after Savannah Davison served an ace. The team continued to dominate, scoring nine-straight points to hold the 21-8 advantage late in the set. A kill by Katie Birtcil brought New Mexico State to set point but the squad allowed three-straight points to the opposition following the play. Lia Mosher provided the much-needed kill for NM State, securing the 25-14 victory.

New Mexico State went point-for-point with the Tigers early in the third set but a kill by Brigette Lowe put the team ahead 14-10. The Crimson and White built on its advantage and Grambling State used a timeout with the Aggies in front 18-12. The Tigers rallied late, scoring four-straight points to shrink the NM State lead to 21-17. However, New Mexico State remained in control and took four of the final five points, securing the 25-18 victory.

BY THE NUMBERS

The Aggies posted 47 kills with a .375 hitting percentage in the victory. As a team NM State recorded 44 assists, 40 digs and 11 blocks. Davison led all players with 11 kills in the match. Natalie Mikels notched a team-high 19 assists while Salanoa tallied eight total blocks.

MATCH TWO

The New Mexico State volleyball team closed out the NM State SpringHill Suites Invitational with a match against Lamar at the Pan American Center on Saturday. The Aggies topped the Cardinals 22-25, 25-18, 28-26, 25-17 in the tournament finale.

"We were inconsistent too often. Our good is tough to beat but our bad makes us vulnerable," head coach Mike Jordan said. "We need to learn how to function better as a team and be consistent. As much as I think we need to clean up our game and get better, I'll take 8-1 at this point in the season."

HOW IT HAPPENED

NM State (8-1) came out flat against Lamar (5-5) and when the Aggies recorded their second service error of the match to go down 12-8 in the opening set, Jordan used a timeout. New Mexico State rallied following the break and a kill by Megan Hart tied the set 16-16. The teams battled back-and-forth but an ace by the opposition put the NM State behind 21-19 before Jordan used his final timeout. The deficit proved to be too much to overcome that late in the set and New Mexico State fell to the Cardinals 25-22.

Looking to rally in the second set, the Aggies jumped out to a 9-2 lead after Cat Kelly recorded a kill off an assist from Natalie Mikels. The squads battled point-for-point down the stretch but a four-point run for the Crimson and White put the team ahead 19-12. Holding all the momentum, Lia Mosher sent the Aggies to set point with a kill and Kelly's kill off an assist from Krysten Garrison allowed New Mexico State to win the second set 25-18.

Both teams kept the third set close but an attack error by the Aggies led to a timeout for the Crimson and White with the squad trailing 18-16. Following the break, New Mexico State scored five-straight points, including a block by Mosher and Megan Hart, to give the Aggies the 21-18 advantage. Holding set point, NM State allowed a pair of aces and a kill, which tied the set. The teams continued to fight for each point but an attack error by Lamar gave the Aggies the edge they needed before Hart came through with a kill to give the team the 28-26 victory.

NM State kept its momentum going by scoring the first four points in the final set. The Cardinals came within a point of the New Mexico State advantage but a kill by Julianna Salanoa started a rally where the Aggies posted five-straight points following the play. The Crimson and White added a scoring run with Kelly behind the service line to go ahead 12-5 before another Aggie rally gave the squad a 10-point lead. NM State continued to dominate late in the set and Brigette Lowe nailed a kill off an assist from Mikels to give the team the set point before Katie Birtcil sealed the 25-17 win for the Aggies.

BY THE NUMBERS

New Mexico State posted 63 kills and a .348 hitting percentage in the victory. The Aggies recorded 63 digs and 61 assists in the four-set match. Mikels tallied her first double-double of the season with 30 assists and 11 digs. Savannah Davison led the team with 15 kills while hitting .361 in the victory. Salanoa led all players with five blocks. Following the match, Salanoa and Kelly were named to the all-tournament team.

NM State heads to the Grand Canyon State for the Wildcat Classic next weekend. New Mexico State is set to face off against Sacramento State, Alabama State and host Arizona at the two-day tournament from Sept. 20-21.