Written by NMSU Media Relations
LAS CRUCES, N.M. –The New Mexico State volleyball team fell to No. 6 Hawai’i in three sets at the Pan American Center on Wed., Sept. 29.
Senior Kayleigh Giddens led the Aggies with 12 kills for the game, followed by seniors Whitney Woods and Kelsey Brennan with six apiece. Jennah DeVries added 27 assists to her season total. DeVries and freshman Rocio Gutierrez each finished with six digs to lead the team.
“Hawai’i is a very good team,” head coach Mike Jordan said. “Kayleigh played pretty well and she did a pretty good job of attacking the ball tonight.”
The Aggies had trouble stopping middle hitter Brittany Hewitt, who finished with 11 kills and a season-high .917 kill percentage. Hawai’i setter Dani Mafua led her team with 36 assists.
Hawai’i took the first set from NM State 25-16. Despite holding a lead at three points during the first set, NM State was not able to overcome Hawaii’s defense. NM State had 12 more attacks during the first set, but Hawaii’s defense did not allow NM State to convert their attacks into kills. NM State was held to a .105 kill percentage while Hawaii posted a .346 kill percentage. Seniors Whitney Woods and Giddens led the court with 13 attacks apiece, and Giddens led the Aggies with four kills. DeVries led the court in the first set with 11 assists.
Hawai’i continued to attack NM State in the second set, winning 25-14. NM State came out strong in the second set with a kill by Giddens to give the Aggies the first point of the set. NM State continued to fight strong, earning a 4-2 lead, the highest lead for the Aggies for the match. Hawaii began to apply the pressure, scoring six straight to bring the score to 8-4. The Wahine became more efficient, posting a kill percentage of .435 and their defense became more effective, lowering NM State’s kill percentage to .032. Giddens added three more kills to her game total, and DeVries had nine assists.
NM State held tough, but fell to the Wahine 25-14 in the third set. The NM State defense improved during the third set, reducing Hawaii’s kill percentage from .435 to .375. The Aggies were able to improve their kill percentage from .032 to .088. NM State was never able to get a lead in the third set, but kept it close to a 5-4 score. Hawaii soon pulled away, increasing their lead to 10-4.
The Aggies play again, Sunday, Oct. 3 against Arizona in the Pan American Center with first serve at 5:30 p.m. (MT). The match will be broadcast on TV by the AggieVision Production Team. The game will be live on FSN-Arizona and Comcast around the state of New Mexico. Check your local listings for showtimes.