LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The New Mexico State volleyball team defeated the Alumni in straight sets (25-16, 25-22, 25-16, 25-23) at the Activity Center on the campus of NM State, Saturday, Aug. 24.
Sophomore Gwen Murphy paced the Aggies with a team-high 11 kills while senior Lauren Loerch added 10 kills. The setting duties were split by senior Ciara Brown and sophomore Taylor Livoti with 23 and 21 assists respectively.
NM State totaled 42 assists as a team with five different Aggie defenders making at least five digs. Livoti had the most with eight digs while junior Bradley Nash and senior Stephanie Ziegler added seven apiece. At the net, NM State posted 13 total team blocks with Murphy being the most aggressive blocking eight balls, two solo and six assisted.
Former Aggie outside hitter Kayliegh Giddens marked 14 kills for the Alumni and career-kills record holder Stevi Adams added 11 on the evening. Former All-American (honorable mention) setter Jennah DeVries tallied a double-double with 29 assists and a team-high 15 digs.
The 2013 Aggie team dominated set one taking an early 14-1 lead before eventually winning 25-16. NM State was cleaner offensively in set two posting a .314 team-hitting percentage with Nash marking four kills. The third set saw Loerch take post four kills while Murphy added a defensive spark getting in on three blocks.
Set four was the most exciting set as the Alumni took advantage of Aggie errors to jump out to a 6-2 lead. NM State eventually tied it up at 8-8 and 9-9 with Ziegler marking kills to tie it up each time. The Alum went up by as many as four at 14-10 and 22-17 but attack errors by the former Aggies an kills by Loerch and sophomore Nathalie Castellanos tied the set at 23-all. NM State eventually finished with freshman Aleisha Coates marking a service ace to wrap up the match.
The Aggies open the regular season with a tournament in Berkeley, Calif. NM State faces Nevada, Friday, Aug. 30 at 1:00 p.m. (MT), California on Saturday, Aug. 31 at 1:00 p.m. (MT) and UC Santa Barbara at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. All three matches are scheduled to air over the radio waves on KSNM AM 570 with Jay Sanderson giving the play-by-play action.