Aztec Rally To Defeat New Mexico In Five Sets
Oct. 18, 2012
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - For the ninth time this season, San Diego State went to five sets and recorded its seventh win in those contests as it rallied to defeat New Mexico 25-18, 23-25, 26-28, 25-15, 17-15 Thursday night on Aztec court in Peterson Gym. With the win SDSU improved to 14-7 overall and 5-3 in the Mountain West as it maintained its perfect record (8-0) in Peterson Gym in 2012.
Senior middle blocker Andrea Hannasch led the Aztecs, especially in the late going, as she finished the evening with19 kills to tie her season high and fall just one shy of her career best. She also contributed five blocks and added seven digs and a service ace to her final stat line.
Raegan Shelton had another excellent outing as she tallied 16 kills plus two blocks, three digs and a service ace. Michelle Waber and Emily Harris also finished in double figures in kills with 11 apiece and Harris tacked on a match-high eight blocks.
Aztec junior setter Johnna Fouch ended the night with 49 assists along with three blocks, two kills and six digs while defensive specialist Courtney Vaccarello chipped in with a career-high 16 digs and two service aces.
Chantale Riddle set the pace for New Mexico (17-5, 4-3 MW) as she led all players with 22 kills on the night. She was backed up by teammates Alijah Gunsaulus and Lena Skipper who notched 12 and 10 kills respectively.
The opening set was a close affair over the first half of the contest with the teams tied as 12-12. San Diego State then went on a four-point run on three kills by Hannasch and one by Waber to take a lead it would not relinquish. The Lobos could only get as close as three the rest of the way as the Aztecs went on to claim the seven-point victory. Hannasch accounted for 8 of SDSU's 17 kills in the set as her team hit .359 compared to just .121 for the visitors.
In the second set, San Diego State fell behind 13-12 and trailed by as many as four at 18-14 before fighting its way back to knot the score at 23-23. An Aztec hitting error, however, combined with a kill by Gunsaulus handed the Lobos the win to even the match at one game apiece. Riddle led all players with five kills while Hannasch and Waber had four apiece for SDSU.
Set number three was another close contest and the Aztecs found themselves facing two set points as New Mexico took a late 24-22 lead. But a Lobo service error and kill by Harris tied the score at 24-all. The Aztecs, however, were unable to gain the lead and fought off two further se4t points before kills by Skipper and Gunsaulus gave the Lobos the two-point win and a 2-1 lead in the match.
The fourth set turned into the most one-sided of the evening after an even start to the contest. SDSU took the lead for good at 10-9 and built their advantage over the remainder of the set en route to the 10-point win. Shelton led all players with five kills in the set with Waber contributing four.
In the fifth and deciding set, San Diego State jumped out to an 8-4 lead midway through the contest and looked to be heading toward victory, but the Lobos had other ideas and mounted a comeback that eventually tied the score at 11-11. New Mexico then scored three of the ensuing four points and had a pair of match point chances with a 14-12 lead.
But a kill by Hannasch plus a UNM hitting error allowed SDSU to even the score at 14-all. After each side scored a point to make it 15-15, San Diego State got a combination block by Hannasch and Fouch followed by another Lobo attack error to clinch the set and match victory.
The Aztecs will now have a week to prepare for their next match which comes up next Thursday, Oct. 25, when Colorado State visits Aztec Court in Peterson Gym for a 7:00 p.m. contest.