NM State volleyball defeats Kansas City, keeps hope of regular season title alive


Cassidy Kuester

The Aggies defeated Kansas City Thursday night.

The New Mexico State volleyball team defeated UMKC in a five-set thriller (18-25, 25-22, 25-22, 23-25, 15-10) that was crucial to the Aggies’ WAC standing.

The Aggies (21-7, 11-4 WAC) are now tied for second place in the Western Athletic Conference with the Kansas City Roos.

“[The Roos] are very good,”NM State head coach Mike Jordan said. “They’ve got three outstanding offensive players. They’re maybe the best passing team in the league… And they’re hungry.”

The first set saw a cold start from the Aggies, as Kansas City outscored them 11-2. The Aggies regained some life once they went on an 10-2 scoring run of their own. The Aggies seemed to stomp on the brakes as the ‘Roos cruised on by using a 9-2 scoring run that put them in position to win the set 25-18.

“You’re really susceptible to the other team going on point runs if you can’t put pressure on them on the first contact,” said Jordan. “We just failed to do that too often and it comes back to bite us.”

Both teams fought for the lead early in the second as neither team could pull ahead. Aggies’ freshman Halle Razo kept a play alive that led to a well-placed Megan Hart kill that sparked the team. The Aggies went on some short scoring runs that put them up 18-13. From there, NM State kept their lead until winning the set 25-22 after a strong kill from Tatyana Battle.

Battle stayed hot to start the third set, having three straight kills that pushed the Aggies to an early lead. Savannah Davison contributed to the Aggies momentum with two-straight service aces calling for a Kansas City timeout. Tatyana ended another set for the Aggies 25-22 with powerful kill.

The Aggies played hot-and-cold in the fourth set, and the Roos maintained consistent play. Late in the set, NM State let up four points with a few errors and mishaps. On the ropes, the Aggies went on a promising 4-0 run to tie the set 23-23. The Roos stopped the hopes of an Aggie comeback with two straight to win the set 25-23.

In a deciding fifth set. both teams traded scoring runs that led to a 7-7 tie. Frequent kills from Davison and Battle pushed the Aggies to a lead and an eventual win 15-10.

Tatyana Battle reached a new season-high with 27 kills, only one kills away from her career high. Pairing with 12 digs, Battle earned her league-leading 16th double-double. Davison earned a double-double of her own with 17 kills and 10 digs. Briana Ainsworth also posted a double-double with 23 assists and 13 digs.

“In situations that my team need me to come through, I have to do it, especially as a senior,” Battle said. “I have to find a way to come through for them.”

The Aggies close the regular season with a home game on Saturday, Nov. 17 against Chicago State.

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