DEKALB, Ill. - The New Mexico State volleyball team opened the 2012 season with a big 3-1 (28-30, 25-16, 25-20, 26-24) win over Wichita State in the Northern Illinois Tournament, Friday, Aug. 24, on Victor E. Court, in DeKalb, Ill.
After dropping the first set to the Shockers, who received votes in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Preseason Coaches Poll, NM State fought back and won set two in dominant fashion. The Aggies then played exceptional offense out of the intermission to win set three and showed poise in set four closing out the match with a come-from-behind 26-24 win.
"They are definitely a top 25 caliber team and you have to give them credit because it was a battle the entire match," head coach Mike Jordan said. "It is always good to start the season with a win and this one is big."
Sophomore outside hitter Meredith Hays led the offensive charge with a match-high 20 kills and was very efficient posting a .357 hitting percentage. Junior transfer, middle hitter Preslie Alexander and junior middle hitter Desiree Scott each posted double-digit kill figures with 11 and 10 respectively. Scott played very well marking her 10 kills on 15 swings with just one error, finishing with a .600 hitting percentage.
NM State ran a 6-2 offense against the Shockers with junior Ciara Brown and freshman Taylor Livoti sharing the setting duties. Brown marked 26 assists and Livoti finished the afternoon with 20. Livoti, however, was the only Aggie with a double-double as she added 10 digs. The entire team chipped in defensively as it came up with 53 digs while seven different players tallied at least five digs.
The Aggies and Wichita State battled in set one with the Shockers taking advantage of a late service error before winning 30-28. NM State dominated set two by out hitting WSU .323 to .050. The Aggies also posted four blocks and 17 digs compared to the one block and 10 digs marked by their opponent.
NM State was even more efficient in set three hitting .545 as a team with only one attack error to win 25-20. The Aggies were down 19-13 in the final set before going on a 7-1 scoring rally to tie the set at 20-all. NM State used three consecutive kills to close out the match with a 26-24 victory.
The Aggies play two matches on Saturday, August 25 taking on North Dakota State at 11 a.m. (MT) and Northern Illinois at 6 p.m. Both matches will air over the radio waves on KSNM AM 570 with Kyle Doperalski giving the play-by-play action.