Aztecs Fall at New Mexico in Five Sets
Oct. 10, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Playing without one of its offensive leaders, the San Diego State volleyball team extended New Mexico to five sets before falling to the Lobos by scores of 27-25, 23-25, 22-25, 25-22, 15-4 Thursday evening at the Johnson Center in Albuquerque. With the loss the Aztecs saw their record drop to 8-7 overall and 3-2 in the Mountain West.
With senior outside hitter Summer Nash absent due to a possible back problem, Michelle Waber stepped up to lead SDSU with 16 kills. The junior from Wildomar, Calif., also recorded season-highs with eight digs and three blocks.
Freshman Baylee Little turned in the best performance of her young Aztec career as she notched (or tied) her SDSU highs in every category including 13 kills, four blocks, three digs, two assists and an ace to go along with a .346 hitting percentage and a total of 16.5 points.
New Mexico's Chantale Riddle, who leads the conference in kills, finished with 19 on the night to lead all players with teammate Julia Warren contributing 15.
The match was a close affair from the outset with the opening set seeing the score knotted at 20-20. San Diego State eventually went up 24-22, but could not convert on either of its match-point opportunities. It had one more chance as it led 25-24 before New Mexico (14-2, 5-1 MW) scored three straight points on two kills by Riddle and one by Warren to claim the opening contest.
Things didn't look good for the Aztecs in the second set as they found themselves tailing 17-12 before putting together a 9-2 run to take a 21-19 lead. The Lobos got back to within a point at 24-23, but SDSU's Justin Ricigliano was able to secure the set with a game-winning kill.
Set number three continued the theme of parity as the squads battled to a 20-20 tie. From there SDSU tallied five of the next seven points on three kills by Waber and a pair of UNM attack errors to take the set go up 2-1 in the match.
In the fourth set, San Diego State found itself down 18-11 and mounted a furious comeback that saw them pull to within a point a 23-22. But the rally stalled as the Lobos got back-to-back kills to take the set and even the match at 2-2.
The fourth-set rally appeared to take something out of SDSU as UNM raced out to a 5-2 lead in the fifth and deciding set before rattling off seven points in a row to take a commanding 12-2 lead. The teams then traded points as the Lobos went on to the convincing 15-4 set win to secure the match victory.
San Diego State will now make its way to Colorado Springs where it will take on Air Force on Saturday, Oct. 12, at 6:00 p.m. (MT) in the Cadets' East Gym.