EL PASO, Texas - The New Mexico State volleyball team (10-4) ended its 14-match winning streak against the UTEP Miners as the Aggies lost 3-2 (25-22, 14-25, 25-15, 20-25, 11-15) in the I-10 Rivalry match, Wednesday, Sept. 26 in Memorial Gym in El Paso, Texas.
The Aggies posted a .213 hitting percentage with 60 kills compared to a .260 hitting percentage and 61 kills by UTEP. The difference in the match could have been the blocking as NM State was out-blocked 11-6. The Aggies hadn't lost to UTEP since Sept. 28, 2004 when they fell 3-1 in Las Cruces.
Junior Desiree Scott posted a career-high 14 kills in the match and tallied a .550 hitting percentage, while sophomore Meredith Hays tallied a team-high 16 kills to go along with nine digs. Junior Stephanie Ziegler, who was at the libero position tonight, marked a match-high 18 digs, just one short of her career-high.
Junior setter Ciara Brown marked 27 assists on the evening and sophomore setter Maggi Jo Keffury added 23. Juniors Preslie Alexander and Lauren Loerch tallied seven kills each and junior Hannah Walker came up with 11 digs on the evening.
The Aggies won set one 25-22 hitting .300 as a team with Scott leading the way with five kills on a .571 hitting percentage. NM State jumped out to a 2-0 lead in a set that saw 10 tie scores and two lead changes. UTEP tied the set a 17-all when Ziegler posted a service error. The Aggies bounced back and scored the next three points before the Miners tied it at 20. NM State closed out the set with a kill by Scott in the middle.
Set two was completely different as the Aggies posted a negative attack percentage and fell 25-14. UTEP posted nine total team blocks in the set, while the Aggies didn't tally any. There were only two ties in the set as they came early on at 1-1 and 2-2. UTEP would never trail again although NM State got to within five points at 10-5 on a Castellanos kill.
NM State came out of the intermission on fire as they posted a .520 team-hitting percentage. Hays played well in the set posting five kills on seven attempts as she had a .571 attack percentage. Sophomore Maggi Jo Keffury dished out a set-high nine assists to lead the Aggies to the 25-15 set three win. There were four ties in the set with the last one coming at 6-6. NM State went on a 6-3 point run with Hays capping it off with a kill to force UTEP into a timeout. Two errors by the Miners ended the set to put the Aggies up two sets to one.
The Aggies fell behind 7-0 in set four but battled back and pulled to within two at 11-9. The Aggies couldn't get enough momentum and never gained the lead as they fell 25-20
Scott marked her career-high 13th kill to start set five before there were ties at one, two and three. UTEP pulled away but the Aggies got to within three at 12-9 on a UTEP error. The Miners got a quick side out to take a 13-9 lead but Hays tallied a kill to make it 13-10 but it wasn't enough as UTEP won 15-11.
The Aggies head back home to jump back into WAC play taking on Denver, Saturday, Sept. 29 at 12:00 p.m. (MT) in the Pan American Center. This will be the "Dig Pink Match," which is a part of the Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign and Aggie fans are encouraged to wear pink in support of Breast Cancer victims and survivors. For tickets call (575) 646-1420 or go online at www.NMStateSports.com.