SAN ANTONIO, Texas — The No. 4 seed New Mexico State volleyball team won the 2012 Western Athletic Conference Tournament title by defeating No. 2 seed Idaho, 3-1 (25-20, 20-25, 27-25, 25-19) in the Convocation Center, Wednesday, Nov. 21.
The Aggies get an automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Tournament and will find out where they play when the selection show airs at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 25 on ESPNU. The NCAA Tournament begins, Thursday, Nov. 29 in various locations around the country.
“I am really proud of the team and how they played. It’s just a great feeling,” head coach Mike Jordan said. “It is nice to get back into the tournament and we invite everyone out in Las Cruces to join us for the selection show. ”
The watch party is planned for The Game Sports Bar & Grill in Las Cruces at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
NM State had four players with double-digit kill figures with sophomore Meredith Hays and junior Preslie Alexander marking a team-high 13 kills each. Red shirt freshman Bradley Nash and junior middle hitter Desiree Scott added 11 kills a piece. Hays was named WAC Tournament MVP while Scott and Ziegler were named to the all-tournament team.
The Aggies out-blocked Idaho 10-7 with Alexander leading the way with five block assists. Nash marked her first career double-double as she added 14 digs on the evening and Ziegler had a career-high 27 digs against the Vandals.
The Aggies took set one 25-20 out playing Idaho in almost aspect of the match, posting more kills (18-14), more blocks (3-1) and more digs (18-12). Nash led the way marking five kills in the set while the Aggies scored seven of the last nine points to go up one set to zero.
NM State took an 11-5 lead in set two but fell 25-20. The Aggies allowed Idaho to hit .385 with 19 kills while NM State tallied only 13 kills. In a set that had eight ties and three lead changes, Idaho scored the last three points to close out the one set it won.
Set three was very close all the way through with 14 ties and six lead changes. Idaho had more kills than the Aggies (20-16) but also had more errors (7-2) giving the Aggies the points they needed to win. NM State was down 23-20 before going on a 4-1 run to tie it at 24-24. After a 25-25 tie, the Vandals committed two straight errors to win 27-25.
The Aggies served tough in set four posting three service aces and tallied 16 kills compared to Idaho’s 11 to win the set 25-19. The Aggies took a 4-3 lead after a Scott-kill and would not relinquish that lead. NM State extended its lead by as many as five on a service ace by Hays to make it 18-13 before winning and earning it’s first ever WAC Tournament title.
The Aggies are the lowest seed to ever win a WAC tournament title as Utah State won it two years ago as a No. 3 seed.