LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The New Mexico State volleyball team remains undefeated in Western Athletic Conference play after defeating Seattle U in four sets (24-26, 25-15, 25-14, 25-21) in the Pan American Center, Sunday, Oct. 6. The Aggies are now above .500 on the year at 9-8 and 4-0 in league play, while The Redhawks fall to 7-13 overall and 3-2 in conference.
The Aggies had five different players with at least five kills with sophomore outside hitter Bradley Nash leading the way with a match-high 13 kills on a match-high .462 hitting percentage. She added 11 digs on the afternoon for her third double-double of the year. Senior Lauren Loerch tallied 12 kills, nine digs three total blocks ant a service ace to pace the Aggies to their fourth WAC win of the year.
There were seven ties and two lead changes in set one as Seattle U out-hit the Aggies .195-.146 to earn a 26-24 win.
“Seattle really pressured us today,” said head coach Mike Jordan. “Our defense wasn’t great in set one but it picked up as we continued through the match. The deciding factor could have been that we were able to spread the ball around. We made more plays and we found balance but we still need to find improvement, especially by finding people in system.”
Sophomore Taylor Livoti tallied her seventh double-double of the year with a team-high 27 assists and 10 digs. Sophomore libero Jordan Reifsteck led the Aggies with a team-high 13 digs. Red-shirt sophomore Gwen Murphy added six kills and five total blocks as senior middle hitter Desiree Scott posted eight kills and five total blocks.
The Aggies dominated sets two and three winning 25-15 and 25-14 respectively. NM State was almost flawless offensively in set three marking only two attack errors.
The Aggies jumped on top in the third set, 7-3, and continually extended their advantage throughout the set. The Redhawks closed the gap back to within four at 13-9 on a kill by Stoll, but New Mexico State went on a 7-2 scoring run, led by Scott with three kills. The home team would score five of the final six points of the set, with Lauren Loerch and Bradley Nash earning two kills apiece down the stretch.
Set four was an exciting one as there were six ties and five lead changes but the Aggies took advantage of Seattle’s .067 hitting percentage to win 25-21. Seattle U scored the first three points of the fourth set on two blocks by a middle hitter and a block and a kill from a Seattle outsider hitter, but the Aggies came right back with the next four points. Down 9-8, NM State scored four unanswered points to retake the lead, and then the Aggies held off a Redhawk rally when freshman Aleisha Coates collected a kill and a service ace. NM State would close out the set and the match with consecutive kills from Coates.
The Aggies head out for two road matches next week taking on Chicago State, Thursday, Oct. 10 and Kansas City, Saturday, Oct. 12. Both matches are scheduled to air on the radio with Thursday’s match on 103.9 FM and Saturday’s match on KSNM AM 570.