San Jose-After a sluggish start to the match Thursday night, the San Jose State volleyball team rallied to win the third set against New Mexico State and fought hard in the fourth set. However, the Spartans fell to the Aggies, 11-25, 16-25, 25-19, 23-25, Thursday night in a Western Athletic Conference meet in Spartan Gym.
After falling in the first two sets of the match, the Spartans came out of the 10-minute break with a new enthusiasm in set three and jumped out to an early 8-4 lead. The Spartans never looked back, increasing the lead to as many as nine points at 20-11 before winning 25-19 on a Taylor Japhet kill.
In the fourth set, San Jose State again jumped out to a big early lead at 11-4. The team had a 22-16 lead before a service error gave the ball back to the Aggies. New Mexico State then scored nine of the 10 final points of the match.
Alex Akana led the Spartans with 12 kills, hit .280 for the match and had two block assists. Japhet had nine kills, while Kristal Tsukano and Kylie Miraldi each recorded six kills. Tsukano added 10 digs and two aces, while Miraldi had a block and a dig. Krista Miller
For the fifth consecutive match, Caitlin Andrade recorded a double-double for San Jose State. She had 33 assists and 16 digs in the match. She added two aces, one kill and one block.
Others contributing included Thao Pham with 15 digs and three digs. Asia Casino had three assists and two digs, while Katie Turner recorded six digs and two kills. Courtney Zellmer had one dig.
"I am very proud of how we competed and played after the 10-minute break," said San Jose State head coach Oscar Crespo. "We just needed to keep the ball in play and not make serving or hitting errors like we did in the first two sets. We got our confidence in the third set and ran our middles nicely. Once we got that part of our offense going, our outsides were able to get going as well."
San Jose State plays the final home match of the week against Louisiana Tech this Saturday night. First serve is set for 7 p.m., at Spartan Gym, located on the corner of Fourth and San Carlos Streets.
New Mexico State def. San Jose State - 25-11, 25-16, 19-25, 25-23.
Kills - New Mexico State - Kayleigh Giddens 13, Erin Birmingham 12, Kelsey Brennan 11.
San Jose State - Alex Akana 12.
Records - New Mexico State 11-6, 6-1; San Jose State 0-16, 0-5.
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