Nov. 25, 2005
RENO, Nev. - Zuzana Cernianska and Erin Graybill each recorded a match-high 16 kills to lead second-seeded Utah State to a come-from-behind five-game win (24-30, 30-24, 27-30, 30-25, 15-13) against third-seeded New Mexico State in the semi-finals of the 2005 Western Athletic Conference Volleyball Tournament here Friday evening.
With the win, Utah State (21-11) advances to the championship match of the WAC Tournament and will play either top-seeded Hawai'i (24-6) or fourth-seeded Nevada (18-11) on Sat., Nov. 26 at 6 p.m. (MT). The championship match will be televised live by College Sports TV.
New Mexico State opened the match with 19 kills and a .244 hitting percentage in game one to record the 30-24 win, as it held Utah State to a .194 hitting percentage on 12 kills. USU responded in game two with 20 kills to notch the 30-24 victory and tie the match at one game apiece. In the second game, USU out-hit NMSU .226-to-.163.
Despite recording three more kills (16-13) and out-hitting New Mexico State .212-to-.097, Utah State lost game three 30-27. In a must-win situation, USU responded with a five-point win in game four (30-25) as it recorded four more kills (17-13) in the game and hit .167 as compared to a .114 hitting percentage for NMSU.
In the fifth and final game, Utah State rallied from an early two-point deficit and recorded the 15-13 win as it hit .235 in the game and held New Mexico State to a.095 hitting percentage.
Along with her 16 kills, Graybill hit a team-high .364 in the match and added five blocks. Carolyn Forbush recorded her fifth double-double in the last six matches for Utah State as she had 15 kills and 12 digs, while Ingrid Roth added 12 kills and nine blocks. Beth Hodge just missed her first-ever triple-double for Utah State as she posted nine kills, 14 digs, and a career-high 11 blocks.
Tanya Allen led New Mexico State with 15 kills and 13 digs, while Amber Simpson added 13 kills and eight blocks.
Overall, Utah State out-hit New Mexico State .203-to-.150 in the match, and the northern Aggies also recorded six more kills (72-66), eight more digs (68-60), four more team blocks (19-15), and four fewer hitting errors (39-35).
Utah State 3, New Mexico State 2 USU 24 30 27 30 15 NMSU 30 24 30 25 13