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Volleyball: Aggies top Grand Canyon; UNM is next

LAS CRUCES  – The New Mexico State volleyball team took down Grand Canyon in four sets on Saturday. The Aggies rallied to defeat the Lopes 19-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-18 for their ninth straight win at the Pan American Center.

If the Aggies are to make it 10 in a row at home, they’ll have to beat rival New Mexico. The Aggies and Lobos play Monday at 6 p.m.

 “I’m really proud of a few players that played their hearts out today. But, I’m also very angry with the way we started the match,” head coach Mike Jordan said after the win over Grand Canyon. “We didn’t follow the game plan at all. There were a ton of missed assignments and bad execution. Championship teams don’t play that way and this team better figure that out fast. We’re going to keep pushing, working and grinding and if we have to win ugly, we’ll win ugly.”

 How It Happened

 NMSU (13-7, 5-2 WAC) gave up a seven-point run to GCU (5-14, 0-7 WAC) to fall behind 16-9 in set one on the way to a 25-19 loss.

In set two, New Mexico State led 15-10 at the media timeout. GCU charged back, cutting the Aggies lead to a point late in the set. New Mexico State closed out the second set with a block by Sasha-Lee Thomas to win 25-22.

 In set three, NMSU overcame a 19-18 deficit to win 25-22.

In set four, NMSU closed the set by scoring the final two points to win 25-18.

 By the Numbers

 New Mexico State posted 58 kills while hitting .196 in the match. The Aggies recorded 56 assists and 62 digs as a team. Kassandra Tohm tallied 21 kills to lead all players. Natalie Mikels posted a team-high 27 assists while Briana Ainsworth recorded 25. Senior libero Ariadnne Sierra recorded a match-high 21 digs.

Box score: NMSU 3, Grand Canyon 1