BERKELEY, Calif. – The New Mexico State volleyball team fell to 1-1 after being swept by California, 25-16, 25-18, 25-19 in Haas Pavilion, Saturday, August 31.
The Aggies struggled to pass the ball efficiently allowing four service aces and several overpasses, which led to points for the Bears. Cal also out-blocked the Aggies 8-4 and out-hit NM State .396-.167. Senior Lauren Loerch , who played her first two years of collegiate volleyball at Cal, posted a team-high 11 kills on 26 swings and freshman Aleisha Coates added nine assists.
“We have to give Cal credit. They played a lot better than we did and we didn’t take care of the easy ball at all. We must take care of the easy ball,” head coach Mike Jordan said. “I hope we get fired up after playing the way we did and we must ready to redeem ourselves. We can’t make the mistakes we did this afternoon.”
Senior outside hitter Stephanie Ziegler pitched in with nine digs, six kills and two service aces while setters Taylor Livoti and Ciara Brown marked 18 and 16 assists respectively. Redshirt sophomore Bradley Nash marked five kills on a .364 hitting percentage and chipped on the defensive side of the net with seven digs.
The Aggies had trouble stopping Cal’s middle hitters while the Bears offense seemed to overpower the Aggies. Cal posted a .480 hitting percentage in set one and a .484 percentage in set two. NM State started both those sets falling behind early, causing the Aggies to really fight to stay in it.
NM State gave the Bears some trouble in set three and took leads a couple of leads while tying the set five times. The Aggies held Cal to a .275 hitting percentage in the set but six NM State errors and a service ace from Cal ended any comeback the Aggies had in mind.
The Aggies wrap up the two-day tournament with a match against UC-Santa Barbara at 7pm (MT) in Haas Pavilion. Fans can listen to the action in Las Cruces on KSNM AM 570 or online at www.NMStateSports.com. Score updates will be available on Twitter @NMStateAggies.