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Volleyball: New Mexico State rebounds to win

The New Mexico State volleyball team continued the NM State SpringHill Suites Invitational with a match against Grambling State at the Pan American Center on Saturday. The Aggies defeated the Tigers 25-11, 25-14, 25-18 for the squad’s sixth sweep this season.

Box Score: NMSU 3, Grambling State 0

“We were able to give a lot of people an opportunity to play today,” head coach Mike Jordan said. “I was pretty happy with our defense but we need to set it better. Hopefully, we can keep improving.”

HOW IT HAPPENED

New Mexico State (7-1) jumped out to a hot start, holding 6-0 advantage over GSU (1-7) in the opening set. The Crimson and White continued to cruise and kill by Julianna Salanoa kept the Aggies ahead 17-5. The Tigers burned a timeout with New Mexico State leading 21-7 but the break did not stop the fiery offense and the NM State squad claimed the first set 25-11.

In the second set, the Aggies jumped out to a 10-5 lead after Savannah Davison served an ace. The team continued to dominate, scoring nine-straight points to hold the 21-8 advantage late in the set. A kill by Katie Birtcil brought New Mexico State to set point but the squad allowed three-straight points to the opposition following the play. Lia Mosher provided the much-needed kill for NM State, securing the 25-14 victory.

New Mexico State went point-for-point with the Tigers early in the third set but a kill by Brigette Lowe put the team ahead 14-10. The Crimson and White built on its advantage and Grambling State used a timeout with the Aggies in front 18-12. The Tigers rallied late, scoring four-straight points to shrink the NM State lead to 21-17. However, New Mexico State remained in control and took four of the final five points, securing the 25-18 victory.

BY THE NUMBERS

The Aggies posted 47 kills with a .375 hitting percentage in the victory. As a team NM State recorded 44 assists, 40 digs and 11 blocks. Davison led all players with 11 kills in the match. Natalie Mikels notched a team-high 19 assists while Salanoa tallied eight total blocks.

New Mexico State closes out the SpringHill Suites Invitational with a game against Lamar. First serve from the match against the Cardinals is set for at 6 p.m. MT.

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