NMSU drops Wolverine spikers in four sets

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Service errors hurt UVU in loss

Kyle McDonald | Sports writer | @kylesportsbias

Las Cruces, NM — Tatyana Battle had a match-high 15 kills to help league-leading New Mexico State defeat Utah Valley 3-1 (25-19, 15-25, 25-12, 25-22) Thursday night in Western Athletic Conference volleyball action at the Pan American Center.

The Aggies remain perfect in league play with a 6-0 record and 16-5 overall, while the loss drops the Wolverines to 8-10 overall and 4-2 in league play.

With the first set at 20-17, New Mexico State went on a 5-2 run to take the first set 25-19.

The second set saw UVU jump out to an early 4-1 lead but New Mexico State chipped away and brought it to within two at 7-5.  However, the Wolverines went out a 7-1 run from that point on to really pull away in the second set.  Setter Sierra Starley finished off the game for the Wolverines with back-to-back-to back service aces to win the set 25-15.WVB 8-25-15 by GC -5520

It was as if the Wolverines awoke a sleeping giant with their victory in the second set as the Aggies came out firing on all cylinders in the third set.  They jumped out to an 8-2 lead and after UVU pulled it close at 8-6, the Aggies went on an a 7-2 run to really put the game away.  They also went on an 8-1 run and were aided by four attack errors by the Wolverines to take the third set 25-12.

It was a competitive fourth set that saw each team jockey back and forth for the advantage.  The biggest lead anyone had was two when New Mexico State took a 12-10 lead.  UVU took the lead back at 17-15 but couldn’t close out the set.  The Aggies went on a 6-1 run to make it match point at 24-20 before UVU reeled off two straight points that forced the Aggies to take a timeout.  NMSU scored immediately out of the timeout on a kill by Gwen Murphy to win the fourth set and the match.

Abby Jensen tallied 13 kills for UVU with Lauren Bakker recording eight and Lexi Thompson with seven.  Sierra Starley had 32 saves for the Wolverines and freshman Madison Dennison led UVU with seven blocks on the night.

Utah Valley looks to bounce back when they take on UTRGV in Edinburg, Texas on Saturday afternoon at 11 a.m.