LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The Seattle University volleyball team was swept, 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-21) on Saturday in Western Athletic Conference action as it fell to conference leader NM State.
Sofia Sanchez led the Seattle U (10-14, 1-9 WAC) attack as she hit a team-best .176 with six kills. Julia Queiroz followed with five. Eve Kerschenbaum also tallied five kills while notching a season-best four aces. Tijana Milojevic also registered a team-best with 12 digs.
The Redhawks held a 6-3 advantage in service aces. Seattle U however were held to .000 hitting with 25 kills, while NM State hit an efficient .303 with 44 kills. The Aggies also held a 13-2 margin in blocks.
Seattle U will return action on Thursday, Oct. 31 when it hosts Grand Canyon at the Redhawk Center. First serve is slated for 6 pm and fans who wear their Halloween costume to the match are eligible for $1 general admission tickets.
The Seattle U attack struggled to find its rhythm in the opening set, hitting .053 in the stanza. The Redhawks fell into a 5-2 deficit early and were unable to recover as the Aggies utilized back-to-back points to quickly push the margin to 16-8. Carter and Sanchez trimmed the deficit to six with consecutive kills, but Seattle U was unable to build off it as the Aggies pulled away behind a 8-1. Trailing 24-11, the Redhawks put together a late push rattling off a 5-0 run as Kerschenbaum and Carr each posted a kill and assisted block. The rally however fell short as NM State won the first set, 25-16.
Trailing 8-4 early in the second, Seattle U rally midway through to piece together a 7-1 run to claim its first lead of the match, 11-10. Kerschenbaum fueled the rally as her back-to-back strikes narrowed the deficit to 9-7, before recording an ace to pull the Redhawks level at 10-all. The SU advantage though short-lived as it was then bull rushed with a 14-3 run by NM State, as the Aggies took the frame 25-16.
A 2-0 and 3-0 spurt helped the Redhawks open the third with a 5-3 advantage. After NM State tied it at 5-5, Sanchez landed another kill pushing Seattle U back out front. Aly Borje-Bonkowski then added to the cause with an ace to make it 8-5. NM State though battled back with a 6-1 run, taking a 14-12 lead. The Redhawks trailed by as much as seven, 23-16, down the stretch. Kerschenbaum added to her kill to make it 23-17 before SU benefitted from a pair of Aggie errors. Kerschenbaum then hit back-to-back aces, cutting the SU deficit to three, 24-21. The late push though fell short as NM State registered its final point to complete the sweep.