(Per NMSU sports information staff)
LAS CRUCES – Sophomore Meredith Hays marked a career-high five service aces and junior middle hitter Desiree Scott hit .889 as the Aggies came from behind to win 3-1 (17-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-7) over Cincinnati on Friday, day one of the La Quinta Invitational, in the Pan American Center.
The Aggies (4-0) hit .246 as a team and held the Bearcats to a .219 hitting percentage while both teams posted seven total team blocks. Hays also posted a match-high 13 kills and junior outside hitter Lauren Loerch added nine. Scott finished the evening with eight kills on nine
“After the first set we started to pass the ball well and started to set our middles, which made a big difference,” assistant coach Keith Rubio said. “Cincinnati is a great team and made us work the entire match. It’s a great win for us.”
NM State ran a 6-2 offense once again Friday with junior Ciara Brown posting 20 assists and freshman Taylor Livoti marking 14. Junior libero tallied a match-high 11 digs as Livoti added nine.
NM State struggled in set one hitting negative .030 as the Bearcats tallied only two attack errors to finish the set with a .423 percentage. Cincinnati won the set 25-17, although the Aggies bounced back to gain momentum in set two winning 25-23. Scott hammered down four kills on four attempts and Hays tallied five kills as well.
The Aggies took an early 3-1 lead in set three but it was back-and-forth before Hays tied the set at 15 all on a kill that was set up by Ciara Brown. NM State battled to take a 23-17 lead and forced the Bearcats into a timeout before winning 25-18. The Aggies were just dominant in set four holding Cincinnati to a .000 hitting percentage and winning 25-7. NM State served the ball great marking eight service aces in the set.
NM State plays two matches on Saturday, taking on Drake at 12:30 p.m., and then wrapping up the tournament with a match against Northwestern at 7 p.m. Both matches are scheduled to air on the radio with Kyle Doperalski giving the play-by-play action on KSNM AM 570 in Las Cruces.