HONOLULU - The New Mexico State volleyball team fell 3-0 (25-15, 25-11, 25-23) to the No. 6 Hawai'i in front of more than 8,000 fans in the Stan Sherriff Center, Saturday, Nov. 12.
With the loss NM State goes to 21-8 overall and 10-4 in Western Athletic Conference play and will be the No. 3 seed in the WAC Tournament because of the tie-breaker scenario with Idaho. Hawai'i moves to 26-1 on the year and 14-0 in league play and will be the No. 1 seed in the WAC Tournament that starts on November 21.
Freshman Meredith Hays had a team-high nine kills on the night while sophomore Stephanie Ziegler contributed with six and senior Kelsey Brennan also marked six kills. Brennan finished with a .364 hitting percentage but the Aggies were held to a .135 attack percentage as a team. UH hit .290 on the night and out-blocked NM State 8-6.
Senior libero finished the WAC regular season with a match-high 13 digs and senior setter Jennah DeVries tallied a team-high 19 assists. This was the first time all season that she did not post at least 20 assists in a match.
"You have to give credit to their serving because they came out serving tough," head coach Mike Jordan said. "You can't expect to win when you pass the ball the way we did tonight."
The Rainbow Wahine finished the night with 11 service aces with Jane Croson of UH posting four.
The Aggies got off to a bad set in set one as UH tallied the first of three service aces on the opening serve. The Wahine took a six point lead at 10-4 but the Aggies went on a run to pull within two when Stephanie Ziegler posted her first kill of the night taking the score to 12-10. UH scored seven straight points after that and finished the set winning 25-15.
NM State continued to struggle in set two scoring only 11 points. NM State got to within three at 9-6 but couldn't do much more as UH tallied four consecutive aces to finish the set 25-11.
The Aggies came out in a 6-2 offense in set three and got the first two points of the set. NM State continued to play well and took a 9-4 lead to force UH into a timeout. The Wahine came out of the timeout to score five consecutive points and tie the set at nine all. It was back-and-fourth from there with ties at 10, 16, 17 and 18. A service ace from Phillips gave the Aggies a 19-18 lead but UH won a couple of long rallies and took a 21-19 lead. NM State fought back as Ziegler marked her sixth kill and DeVries posted a service ace to tie it at 22-22. Hays tallied her ninth kill of the night to tie the set at 23 all but that wasn't enough as the Aggies lost 25-23.
NM State now looks ahead to the WAC Tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada, Nov. 21-23. The Aggies face No. 6 seed San Jose State in round one. All matches in the WAC Tournament will be broadcast on the radio with Kyle Doperalski giving the play-by-play action on KSNM AM 570.