The Aggies marked a .110 hitting percentage and had just one more kill than Hampton but that was enough for NM State to win 3-1 (28-26, 25-11, 24-26, 25-22) as NM State out-blocked the Pirates 14-7. Senior Desiree Scott led the defensive charge with a season-high five solo blocks and three block assists for eight total blocks. She also marked 15 kills, tying a season-high and posted a match-high .310 hitting percentage.
“We struggled all-around tonight and we need to start improving in some areas if we want to win down the road,” head coach Mike Jordan said. “You have to give credit to Hampton for playing tough and they were the better team in the second half of the match.”
Redshirt sophomore Bradley Nash added seven kills, two assists and three services aces but struggled with serve-receive as she marked four reception errors. Sophomore setter Taylor Livoti posted a double-double with 16 assists and 13 digs while senior libero Stephanie Ziegler added 13 digs as well.
There were 17 ties and eight lead changes in set one with NM State coming out on top 28-26. The Aggies took a 22-21 lead late in the set but Hampton rallied back and took a 24-22 lead using a 3-0 run. A kill by Nash and an attack error by a Hampton attacker tied the set at 24-all. There were ties at 25 and 26 as the Aggies rattled off two consecutive points to win.
The Aggies held Hampton to a negative hitting percentage in set two with NM State looking dominate to win 25-11. The Pirates were blocked three times and committed 10 errors as Scott led the Aggies with three kills and two blocks.
NM State fans were hoping for a sweep but the Pirates spoiled it in set three with the Aggies falling 26-24. The Aggies had nine kills and nine errors and allowed one Hampton attacker to mark nine kills herself. NM State went up by as many as four at 15-11 but the Pirates kept in it and tied it up at 17-17. The Aggies didn’t give up and eventually took a 24-23 lead when Lauren Loerch hammered down a kill. Although a bad set by an Aggie setter and an ace by Hampton settled set three with the Aggies on the downside falling 26-24.
The Aggies rallied back and hit .385 as a team in set four with six different NM State attackers marking at least two kills. Scott was the difference maker once again as she had three kills on four swings to go along with two blocks. NM State went up by four at 7-3 and led by as many as five at 14-9. Hampton gave the Aggies a scare when the set was tied at 20 and 21 but senior Preslie Alexander boosted the Aggies to a 25-22 victory with three kills late in the set.
NM State takes on South Dakota State, Saturday, in the Pan American Center at 2 p.m. Live stats are available online at www.NMStateSports.com and a Twitter feed is also available @NMStateAggies.