LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Red shirt freshman Bradley Nash marked a career-high 11 kills on a .529 hitting percentage but it was not enough as the New Mexico State volleyball team fell 3-1 (17-25, 13-25, 25-22, 21-25) to Utah State in the Pan American Center, Saturday, Nov. 3.
NM State falls to 18-8 on the year and 11-4 in Western Athletic Conference play while USU moves to 19-7 overall and 14-2 in league play. The Crimson Aggies were out-hit as a team .129-.256 and were out-blocked 15.5-7. Nash was one of three players to mark double-digit kills on the evening as junior Lauren Loerch put down 15 kills and sophomore Meredith Hays tallied 10.
Freshman Taylor Livoti had a team-high 23 assists as she shared the setting duties with sophomore Maggie Jo Keffury, who posted 22 assists to go along with five digs. Junior Hannah Walker led NM State on the defensive side of the net with a match-high 14 digs, while red shirt freshman Gwen Murphy led the way at the net with three solo blocks and two block assists.
The Aggies of NM State played sluggish in the first two sets hitting .212 in set No. 1 and a negative hitting percentage in set No. 2. Utah State scored first in set one and never lost the lead. NM State pulled to within two points at 13-11 after Loerch hammered down a kill but USU pulled away and won set one 25-17.
NM State tied set two at 4-4 on a kill by Loerch, but the blue Aggies took advantage of NM State attack errors while posting six total blocks to dominate set two and win 25-13.
The southern Aggies played well in set three winning 25-22 while out-hitting and out-blocking USU. NM State forced eight USU attack errors as USU also marked four service errors to help the NM State cause. There were five ties in the set with the last one coming at 12-12. NM State went up by as many as six, but USU kept fighting and pulled to within two points at 23-19. A kill by Hays sealed the set for the crimson Aggies.
Set four saw NM State hit only .154 and mark nine attack errors and three service errors, compared to USU posting only four attack errors and zero service aces. Four different NM State players tallied three kills in the set including junior Desiree Scott who finished the night with six. NM State fought all the way thru the set tying it up 21-21 on a kill by Scott.
NM State heads back out on the road taking on Texas State, Thursday, Nov. 8 before facing UTSA, Saturday, Nov. 10. The match versus UTSA is scheduled to air over the radio waves on KSNM AM 570 with Jay Sanderson giving the play-by-play action.