LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The New Mexico State volleyball team defeated North Dakota State during the first match of the NM State Tournament on Thursday night inside the Pan American Center. The Aggies won in four sets, 25-15, 25-21, 21-25, 25-23, to even their record at 2-2 on the young season.
Freshman outside hitter Jordan Abalos and junior setter Taylor Livoti each notched their second double-double of the season. Abalos led the way on the Aggie frontcourt with 12 kills while also adding 12 digs. Livoti, meanwhile, had a team-high 25 assists and also had 11 digs.
Junior Bradley Nash also hit double-figure kills, finishing with 11, while freshman setter Ashley Brown was right behind Livoti with 19 assists and also added 10 digs for her first double-double of her Aggie career. Libero Hannah Walker led the team with 13 digs.
NM State got off to a hot start, easily winning the first set by 10 points. After also taking the second set, it seemed the Aggies were well on their way to their second sweep of the season.
But the Bison fought back and took advantage of some NM State attacking errors to take set three, 25-21.
The Aggies jumped out to an early lead in the final set, but once again saw North Dakota State keep itself in the match. NM State seemed to have the match in hand after going up 24-19, one point away from victory.
The Bison, however, made one last valiant effort to stave off defeat, getting to within 24-23 after marking five-straight points. Aggie junior Gwen Murphy would finally put a stop to the run and the match with a big kill to give NM State its first home victory of the season.
The Aggies now play Radford on Friday during the second day of the NM State Tournament. The match is set for a 7 p.m. (MT) start time inside the Pan Am. It will be the second match of the day for Radford as they start out Friday’s play by meeting California at 10 a.m. Cal will also play North Dakota State at 4:30 p.m. before the Aggie match.