San Jose-Hanah Blume led the Spartans with 15 kills, and Alex Akana reached a blocking milestone Saturday night as the San Jose State volleyball lost a tough-fought Western Athletic Conference match to New Mexico State, 3-1 (25-21, 25-20, 23-25, 25-23).
Blume led all hitters with her 15 kills and recorded her 10th double-double of the season with 10 digs. Samantha O'Connell added 13 kills on 34 attempts and was one dig short of her third double-double of the season with nine digs.
Akana is now 10th all-time in block assists with her three block assists in the match. She now has 229 for her career, passing Tanya Hart at 227. Akana now needs just two to move into ninth place and 50 to reach eighth. She finished the night hitting .333 with eight kills and two solo blocks.
Mary Alice O'Reilly led the Spartan block as she tied her career high with nine blocks, two solo and seven assists. Her only other match this season with nine blocks came against Oral Roberts. O'Reilly had 10 kills on 27 attempts in the match.
The Spartans outblocked the Aggies, 14.5-9.0. The 14.5 blocks is the second-highest total of the season, after the 17 against Oral Roberts to start the year. The team has recorded double-digit blocks in four matches this season.
Setter Michaela Leonard recorded 46 assists in the match. She led the team's serving attack with a season-best five aces. Leonard also had a season-high five block assists.
After dropping the first two sets, the Spartans battled in the third set to win 25-23. The team was down 20-16 and forced to take a timeout. The team then slowly chipped away at the lead with an ace by Kiely Pieper, two kills and an ace by O'Connell and three kills including the set-winner by Blume to take the set. The team tied the set at 23-23 on an O'Connell kill, took the lead on an O'Connell ace and the Blume kill.
"We played a good match and battled hard," said Spartan head coach Oscar Crespo. "There were streaks where we played better than the results showed. Our blocking was on for us tonight which is nice to see especially against New Mexico State. Our outside hitters performed at a high level tonight. We have to focus better on our defense."
San Jose State is now 8-10 on the season and 4-4 in the WAC. The team goes back on the road next week for a single match at Utah State next Saturday, October 13, at 7 p.m. MDT.
New Mexico State def. San Jose State 3-1 (25-21, 25-20, 23-25, 25-23).
Kills - New Mexico State - Meredith Hays 14, Lauren Loerch 11, Preslie Alexander 10, Desiree Scott 10.
San Jose State - Hanah Blume 15, Samantha O'Connell 13, Mary Alice O'Reilly 10.
Records - New Mexico State 12-5, 6-1; San Jose State 8-10, 4-4.# #