SDSU volleyball storms back to beat New Mexico

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SDSU volleyball storms back to beat New Mexico

Meghan McCarron

Meghan McCarron

Meghan McCarron

by Mayer Pohlod, Staff Writer

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After dropping the first two sets, the San Diego State volleyball team came back with three wins in as many sets to beat the University of New Mexico 3-2.

The win was the Aztecs’ fourth in the Mountain West and seventh overall. It was the second time they had played the Lobos, with their other win coming against them in New Mexico on Sept. 24.

It leaves them with a record of 4-6 in conference and 7-15 overall, good enough for seventh place, tied with University of Nevada and San Jose State.

After handily defeating the Lobos 3-0 previously, it was a surprisingly rough start for SDSU, losing the first two sets 16-25. Those included a 11-2 run by the Lobos in the first set and an 8-1 run by UNM to close out the second one going into the half.

However, it was that halftime break that lit a fire under the Aztecs.

“We just talked about fighting and playing with heart. We can’t keep doing the same thing and getting the same results,” head coach Deitre Collins-Parker said. “It put (New Mexico) on their heels.”

Coming out of the locker room for the third set, SDSU seemed to have something different about them — more energy, focus and conviction.

“(It made New Mexico) more hesitant … they swung a lot at the beginning of match and they started tipping a little more later… as we became more confident, they become unsure,” Collins-Parker said.

After a dominant 25-15 victory in the third set, the fourth proved to be the most hard-fought of the match.

The lead changing three times during the set, SDSU and UNM routinely traded point after point, pushing the score to 12-12 and then 17-16 in favor of the Lobos. Four points later, the Lobos pull away even further to put the score at 20-17.

“We were really thinking about staying disciplined and focused on what we needed to do individually,” junior middle blocker Baylee Little said.

The Aztecs were able to do just that, going on an 8-3 run to tie the overall set score heading into the fifth and final, tie-breaking set.

After losing the first point, SDSU tied it up and took the lead on the ensuing play 2-1. From there on, the Aztecs never relinquished the lead and finished off the Lobos in commanding fashion 15-9, the crowd erupting in cheers after the referee signaled the winner.

“We did a good job of taking care of what we needed to do mentally and physically on the court,” Little said.

Little and freshman outside hitter Alexandra Psoma led the way with 17 and 14 kills respectively, while sophomore defensive specialist Danielle Bolden added 12.

Sophomore defensive specialist Devyn Pritchard and Psoma also contributed 17 and 13 digs respectively. Junior setter Hailey Jones added 33 assists.

As a team SDSU had 57 kills, 56 assists and 54 digs.

The Aztecs found themselves in the same situation and almost the same outcome against the Air Force Falcons, losing the first two sets and winning the next two. They were not however able to win the final set.

Up next for SDSU are away matches at Colorado State and University of Wyoming, who are currently ranked 38th and 48th in the country, respectively. The Aztecs lost both matches against both teams earlier this year at home.

“Right now we just take it each game at a time while wanting to see us play like how we did (against New Mexico),” Collins-Parker said. “If somebody beats you, they beat you but at least we’re going to go play like we did here while seeing our players get better and better.”

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