HONOLULU – The New Mexico State volleyball team dropped a four-set match to Santa Clara in the Stan Sheriff Center by scores of 22-25, 25-17, 16-25, 25-27 on Sept. 7 to fall to 1-5 on the year while Santa Clara moves to 3-3 this season.
Senior Lauren Loerch played well marking a team-high 10 kills and three service aces on the offensive side of the net and added five digs and three block assists on the defensive side of the net. Senior Desiree Scott added nine kills and seven block assists to help the Aggie out-block Santa Barbara 14-7.
Sophomore setter Taylor Livoti tallied her second double-double of the year with 14 assists and 10 digs. Senior setter Ciara Brown had a team-high 20 assists and senior Stephanie Ziegler marked a team-high 13 digs.
The Aggies were out-hit in set one .353-.152 while Santa Clara posted more kills that NM State (15-11). The Aggies fell behind 7-3 early in the match but fought throughout the set and eventually tied it up when Nash served up an ace, making the score 18-18. Scott hammered down a kill in the middle of the court. After ties at 19, 20 and 21, the Aggies began to fall behind making a couple of errors and allow a couple of kills to lose 25-22.
NM State posted seven team blocks and only one reception error in set two to pick up a 25-17 win. Scott marked three kills and Loerch helped the cause with two of her own while there were few overpasses by the Aggie defense. After a 3-3 tie, NM State went on a 3-0 scoring rally take a 6-3 lead. The Broncos pulled to within three at 11-8 but NM State used a 6-2 run to take a 16-10 lead mid-way thru the set. The Aggies went up by as many as seven at 20-13 and 21-14 before eventually winning eight points at 25-17.
The Aggies tried to put something together in set three but struggled offensively marking more errors than kills. NM State also committed six service errors and the defense didn’t pass the ball well, which made it tough to make any offensive plays. There were only two ties in the set at 1-1 and 2-2 with the Broncos taking a 3-2 lead on a Stephanie Ziegler error. Santa Clara would not lose the lead after that and went up by 10 at 22-12 before NM State fell 25-16.
NM State bounced back and took a 4-2 lead in set four and eventually went up by three when Ziegler tallied a kill to make it a 13-10 ball game. The Broncos used a 3-0 run to tie it up at 13 and took the lead after Ziegler marked an attack error. The set stayed close with the Aggies taking a two-point lead at 20-18. It seemed like the Aggies sealed it up when a Bronco attacker committed an error to give NM State a 24-22 lead but three kills by Santa Clara ended the match as the Aggies lost 27-25.
The Aggies head back home and host a tournament featuring Southern Utah, Northern Illinois and Arkansas-Little Rock next weekend. For more information on the tournament go online to www.NMStateSports.com.
NM State Volleyball Tournament Schedule (Sept. 13-14):
9/13 – NM State vs. Southern Utah - 10 a.m.
Northern Illinois vs Arkansas Little Rock 12:30pm
Southern Utah vs. Northern Illinois – 5 p.m.
NM State vs. Arkansas-Little Rock - 7:30 p.m.
9/14 Southern Utah vs. Arkansas Little Rock – 10 a.m.
NM State vs. NORTHERN ILLINOIS - 1 p.m.