2007 NCAA Volleyball First Round results: LSU 3, New Mexico State 2
AUSTIN, Texas -- LSU posted a hard-fought 3-2 win over New Mexico State University in first round action of the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship Friday evening at Gregory Gymnasium on the campus of The University of Texas. The triumph was the first for LSU (25-7) at the NCAA Tournament since 1992.
LSU used four blocks in the fifth game to post a 15-13. The final game featured 11 ties and neither team led by more than two points, but with the score tied at 13-13 freshman Tania Schatow put down a kill for the Tigers and a bad set by NMSU’s Krista Altermatt ended the match.
The Tigers were led by freshman Angela Bensend with 16 kills and a .429 attack percentage. Juniors Kyna Washington and Marina Skender chipped in with 15 and 12 kills, respectively. Martinez logged her 21st 20-dig match of the season, ending the contest with 25. Washington turned in a double-double with 15 digs to go with her 15 kills. Freshman Brittney Johnson had 34 assists for LSU.
New Mexico State was paced by senior Kim Oguh with 15 kills and a .278 attack percentage. Freshman Whitney Phillips posted her first career double-double with a career-high 15 kills and 11 digs. Junior Amber Simpson tallied 13 kills and a .290 attack percentage. Junior Alyssa Gintant registered a double-double with 31 assists and 10 digs.
The Tigers pounced on the Aggies early, winning the first game 30-25. With the score tied 5-5, LSU went on an 11-3 run, buoyed by three blocks and service aces by Martinez and Skender, to take a 16-8 lead. New Mexico State closed to within four points at 19-15, but the Tigers inflated the cushion back to eight at 26-18. Trailing 28-20, the Aggies went on a 5-1 run to close the gap to 29-25, before junior Washington’s kill ended the game.
The Aggies evened the match with a 30-21 win in the second game. The game was tightly contested early with eight ties, with the last one coming at 16-16. But NMSU closed out the game on a 15-5 run, sparked by nine kills, including two apiece by Oguh, Phillips and Simpson. After hitting just .000 in the opening game, the Aggies rebounded to hold a .279-.133 edge in the second game. Oguh put away five kills in nine attempts for a .556 attack percentage in the game. Skender logged six kills and two errors to lead the Tigers’ attack.
New Mexico State wrestled control of the match with a 30-21 win in the third game. Nursing a 6-5 lead, the Aggies went on an 11-3 run, sparked by six kills, including two apiece by Phillips and Simpson, to inflate the cushion to 17-8. NMSU pushed the lead to 10 points at 23-13 before coasting to the nine-point win. The Aggies hit .536 in the third game with 16 kills and just one error in 28 attack attempts. Phillips and Simpson combined for 11 kills and just one error on 17 attempts for a .588 attack percentage. Washington and Bensend led LSU with five and four kills, respectively, in the third game.
LSU forced a fifth game with a 30-27 triumph in the fourth game. Once again, the game was tight early with the score equaled on 13 occasions leading up to a 17-17 tie. The Tigers created separation with an 8-3 run to take a 25-20. The Aggies were able to knot the game one last time at 27-27, but LSU closed out the match scoring three consecutive points with the last two coming on a solo block by Johnson and a block assist by Johnson and Schatow. The Tigers were powered by six blocks in the game, including two solo and one assist by Schatow. Bensend added five kills for the Purple and Gold. Oguh, Phillips and Simpson each had four kills for NMSU.
Both teams kept the fifth game close as they swapped leads. The game was tied nine different times before LSU took match point, 14-13, behind a kill by Schatow. LSU won the game, 15-13, after a bad pass by New Mexico State went out of bounds.
LSU returns to action Saturday, Dec. 1 to face the winner of Friday’s first round match between host Texas and Texas State University. First serve is slated for 6:30 p.m. Central.
New Mexico State:
On the last time LSU played Texas in the NCAA Tournament: I remember that we didn’t ball control very well. We were not very true to our game plan against them and we didn’t execute on our side. We felt like we matched up very well, but we were not consistent with the way we played. We walked out of that match very disappointed—we felt like we didn’t execute as we expected in preparation.”
On the possibility of playing Texas in the second round: I think this is a more difficult matchup. Texas is a bigger, more physical team, now than they were 2 years ago. They have Destinee Hooker on the outside who is an impressive player. They also have a bunch of seniors who are playing in their last NCAA tournament, and that is a lot of pressure and pride. I stood in those shoes a long time ago and I know what that means for them. They’ve put a lot of effort in, and I think they’re going to very prepared. This is going to be a difficult matchup for my young team, so what a great experience. If we choose to step up, we’ll be able to stay with them.
JUNIOR OUTSIDE HITTER KYNA WASHINGTON
On tomorrow’s match: We need to continue to play the way LSU plays and I think we’ll do fine.
SENIOR DEFENSIVE SPECIALIST MICHELLE HENSGENS
On tomorrow’s match up: I feel that we play best when we play together and when we put all the pieces together, then we’re fully prepared and being the best team we can be.”
On regrouping after NMSU came back to tie the fourth game: They are a good team; we did not expect to blow them out. The game was tied up because they are a good team and both teams can put the ball away. We talked about valuing every contact and not letting the ball get away from you.
NEW MEXICO STATE HEAD COACH MIKE JORDAN
On if there was one particular weakness: I think it was just execution. We passed and serve/received pretty well. We started off game five doubled at five, but then we had a couple of attack errors, and that really hurt us. Whitney Phillips played a really good match as a freshman and did a good job stepping in for Krista Altermatt, who got injured in the Hawaii match. I won’t take anything away from Whitney, I think she player her heart out. She tightened up a bit at the end of game four, but once we got back into it, I felt like we were in control.
SENIOR MIDDLE HITTER KIM OGUH
Junior Libero Krystal Torres: I think overall they just out-played us and we beat ourselves. We didn’t do the things that we prepared for. We’ve been over this, but it just came down to us not making the plays.
JUNIOR OUTSIDE HITTER LINDSEY YOU