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The New Mexico State volleyball improved to 4-0 in Western Athletic Conference play after sweeping Texas-Arlington (25-17, 25-19, 25-19) in the Pan American Center, Saturday, Sept. 22.
The Aggies are now 10-3 overall after sophomore Meredith Hays led them to victory with a match-high 12 kills on 28 attempts with only one error. Hays finished with a .393 hitting percentage, although freshman Nathalie Castellanos had the most efficient afternoon with a .583 attack percentage. Castellanos marked eight kills on 12 attacks with an error.
Junior outside hitter also added eight kills and junior middle hitter posted seven to go along with six block assists. NM State ended the day with a .306 hitting percentage as a team and out-blocked the Mavericks 13-3. Junior Hannah Walker led the way defensively with a match-high 12 digs and junior Stephanie Ziegler added 10. Ziegler also added two service aces on the day.
"Nathalie is playing really well and hopefully she can keep it up," head coach Mike Jordan said. "We have to keep working on our issues and we are hungry to get better, but you have to credit UTA for coming out and playing tough today."
Hays led the Aggies in set one with five kills while the NM State defense held UTA to a .000 hitting percentage. There were six ties and six lead changes in the set before the Aggies went on a 4-0 scoring rally to take a 15-11 lead. Castellanos tallied her first two kills of the day to tally points 23 and 24 before Hays finished the set with a great kill to boost the Aggies to a 25-17 win.
NM State marked a .438 hitting percentage in set two as the Aggies won 25-19. Hays was huge in the set with five kills on 10 swings without marking an error. The set was tied six times from points 1-6 before NM State took control and jumped out to a six point lead at 12-6. Scott hammered down four kills and junior Lauren Loerch added three.
The third set started with NM State jumping out to a 3-0 lead before the Mavericks battled back and eventually took a 9-7 lead. A couple of UTA attack errors tied it up at 9-9. The Aggies fought through that and the Scott plowed down a kill in the middle to give her team a 14-11 lead, forcing the UTA coaching staff to call a timeout. Scott would be the Aggie to get the final point of the match as the Aggies won 25-19.
NM State heads to El Paso, Wednesday, Sept. 26 to take on I-10 Rival UTEP before jumping back into league play facing Utah State, Thursday, Oct. 4 and San Jose State, Saturday, Oct. 6. For more information on all Aggie sports go to www.NMStateSports.com.
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