ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The University of New Mexico volleyball team recorded it's 11th sweep of the season and fourth in Mountain West play, topping Utah State in straight sets (27-25, 25-18, 25-22) on Saturday afternoon in front of 1,317 fans in the Johnson Center.
UNM improved to 20-5 overall and 10-4 in MW play while Utah State dropped to 16-9 overall and 9-5 in conference contests.
New Mexico topped the Aggies in kills (46-37) hitting percentage (.217-.161) and digs (53-31).
Middle blocker Skye Gullatt added six kills and four block assists. Gullatt and Ross' efforts in the middle were key to UNM's win.
"This is a team that blocks one-on-one in the middle," head coach Jeff Nelson said. "In game two we started going to our middles more and both Lexi and Skye responded."
Senior Lena Skipper reached double-digits in digs for the first time this season, tallying 11.
"Miquella had an amazing match," Nelson said. "She passed nearly a perfect game and provided solid leadership for us. She really kept people focused and in check.
"Hannah Johnson gave us exceptional leadership today as well and played a good match."
Set One - Lobos 27, Utah State 25
Utah State took a slight lead, 10-7, early in set one, due in large part to errors by the Lobos. New Mexico responded with a 10-0 run to claim a 17-10 advantage. House, Riddle and Gullatt each played a big role in the scoring spree with kills and blocks.
Lobos sat on set point, 24-19, but the Aggies fought back and sent the set to extra points. Utah State rallied off five-straight points and sparred back and forth with UNM until a kill by Riddle followed by a kill by Ross ended it, 27-25.
The Lobos were held to .026 hitting, getting 14 kills on 38 attacks and committing 13 errors.
Utah State hit .095 with 11 kills and seven errors on 42 total attempts.
Set Two - Lobos 25, Utah State 18
Gullatt kill, stuff by Riddle-Gullatt and kill by House...error by Aggies pushed the Lobos to a 10-6 lead.
New Mexico continued to roll getting some big-time digs from Lovato followed by solid distribution from Johnson and putaways by Ross, Riddle and Sours.
The Lobos closed out the set, 25-18, on a Gullatt-Riddle stuff on the outside.
New Mexico hit much better in set two, getting 14 kills on 31 swings and committing seven errors (.226).
Set Three - Lobos 25, Utah State 22
The Lobos came out with a lot of energy in the third set and took a 5-2 lead off a razor-sharp kill by Riddle. Several long rallies highlighted set three and thanks to the digging efforts of Lovato and Mayfield, the Lobos were able to catch the Aggies out of system a number of times.
New Mexico had an 11-6 lead before the Aggies fought back to tie things up at 14-all.
The teams swapped points with each side coming up with big plays. An attack error by the Aggies followed by a kill from Riddle pushed UNM ahead, 21-19.
The Aggies used two kills from Rachel Brainard and a kill from Tumua Etimani to tie the Lobos at 22-all a few plays later, but a serve into the net by the Aggies put UNM up by one before an ace by Riddle gave the Lobos set point. A bang off the block by Sours ended the set, 25-22, and match, 3-0.
New Mexico hit .405 in the third set, committing just three errors at the net while tallying 18 kills on 37 swings.
Notes: With her 15 digs, Miquella Lovato has reached the Lobo volleyball program's single-season top-10 list for digs for the second time of her career. She has 433 on the year, which ranks her tied for eighth on the list. Gayle Tripp had a total of 433 in 2006. Lovato had 465 digs last season, which ranks her No. 3 on the program's single-season list.