LAS CRUCES, New Mexico – Normal would be the word least likely to be used to describe the previous 24 hours for the New Mexico state volleyball team.
Thankfully, the Aggies regained some semblance of normalcy Thursday night with the thing that has been a constant on the program – a Western Athletic Conference win.
With the head coach Mike Jordan Off duty after testing positive for COVID-19, NM State mixed things up on the bench and used strong play streak to secure a 3-0 victory over Seattle U.
]SET ONE | New Mexico State 25, Seattle U 22
• A lead was a hard commodity for the Aggies to find at the start of the first set. Seattle U opened up a four-point lead twice before NM State found its place in attack.
• After Seattle U took down one of his 12 kills in the set, Katie birtcil made an attack error to disadvantage hosts 15-11. Beginning with a termination courtesy of Birtcil, the Aggies took off on an 8-1 run to wrest control from the Redhawks.
• NM State took their first lead of the game when the freshman passer Alana Embry dropped out on his second kill of the night to make things 16-15. One of the Redhawks’ eight attacking errors in the set ended the Aggies’ wave of set change and increased the hosts’ lead to 19-16.
• Although Seattle U closed at one point, 22-21, a disruption from Birtcil coupled with a pair of offensive errors by the Redhawks’ Sam Hayward propelled a 3-1 NM state run to close the set. .
• Helping the Redhawks gain the upper hand for a brief period were three of the Aggies’ five serve errors in the game.
SET TWO | New Mexico State 25, Seattle U 18
• With an offensive click, the Aggies made up for lost time. Three terminations courtesy of Husband Sharp and one each from Birtcil, Lindsay Blakey and Kelly Cat represented much of the Aggies’ 9-2 run to start the middle frame.
• Showing no signs of slackening, the NM State’s lead climbed to 21-8 after a 7-1 push halfway through the frame. Shaney lip comb hammered a pair of kills while Blakey and Sharp each contributed one throughout the streak.
• Extending the start of the third set, Seattle U took off on a 10-3 streak after the Aggies opened their lead by 13 points. The Redhawks ‘scoring push only delayed the inevitable, as the set visitors’ service error alone provided the deciding points for the best in the WAC.
• A total of 18 of the Aggies’ 49 kills came in the second quarter. NM State hit 0.308 in the set and limited the Redhawks to an offensive clip of 0.188.
SET THREE | New Mexico State 25, Seattle U 20
• As the Aggie tried to replicate their hot-punching ways, Lipscomb and Lia mosher beat two eliminations each thanks to a 9-3 NM start to the tie-breaker.
• Seattle U’s response came in the form of an 8-1. Trailing 11-6, the Redhawks took their first lead since the first set thanks in part to four direct attack errors from the Aggies.
• Trailing 14-12, NM State won five of the next six points to regain the lead. Seattle U committed one serve error as well as two attacking errors during the race.
• The Redhawks tied the game one last time when a kill and ball handling error from NM State went 17-all.
• Fortunately, NM State made all the right choices throughout the course. Lipscomb struck for three kills and teamed up with Mosher for the last of their team’s 5.0 blocks on the night as part of an 8-3 Aggie to wrap up the game.
• The NM State defense played its best set of the night in the third, limiting the Redhawks to just 0.098 attacking percentage in frame.
MAIN STAKEHOLDERS / RATING STATISTICS
• NM State earned their ninth consecutive victory, bringing their WAC winners tally to 12 games.
• The Aggies also raised their WAC record to 3-0, making them the only team in the league to have three conference wins so far.
• NM State extended their winning streak against Seattle U to 14 appearances. The Aggies have now won 21 straight sets against the Redhawks since September 27, 2018.
• Lipscomb (11 kills) and Birtcil (10 kills) propelled the Aggies’ offense, none of them hitting less than 0.300 overnight. Sharp added eight kills while Blakey and Mosher added seven each. Lipscomb finished the night with a better hitting percentage of 0.471.
• Embry had a good all-around game, finishing with a double-double consisting of 16 assists and 10 digs. Carly Aigner Swesey distributed 22 assists and added one of the Aggies’ three serving aces.
• Eve Kerschenbaum helped Seattle U try to keep pace with the Aggies, scoring for the team’s top 10 assists.
TO BE CONTINUED
• NM State is putting the finishing touches to its two home games at the WAC Saturday afternoon at 1:00 pm by hosting California Baptist.
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