LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Senior middle blocker Shantell Durrant had 10 kills and eight blocks to lead Utah State to a three-set sweep (25-21, 25-19, 25-20) against New Mexico State here Wednesday night in both team’s regular season finale. Utah State wrapped up the regular season by winning six of its final seven matches to finish in third-place in the Western Athletic Conference with a 9-7 league mark. Overall, USU improves to 21-8 with the win, and those 21 victories are tied for the eighth-most in school history with the 2005 team. New Mexico State ends its regular season with an 18-12 record, including a 12-4 mark in WAC play. Utah State’s victory against New Mexico State was its first since it defeated the Southern Aggies in five sets in the semifinals of the 2005 WAC Tournament as USU had lost nine straight matches in the series. Durrant (American Fork, Utah) added two blocks for Utah State to go along with her 10 kills and eight blocks, and hit .444 (10-2-18) in the match. Junior outside hitter Liz McArthur (St. George, Utah) added 10 kills and 12 digs for the 13th double-double of her career, and sophomore libero Laurel Bodily (Idaho Falls, Idaho) added 10 digs for the 18th double-figure dig performance of her career. Kayleigh Giddens had 14 kills and Whitney Woods added nine for New Mexico State. Utah State scored six straight points in the opening set to lead 15-13 only to see New Mexico State go on a 6-1 run to lead 19-16. USU then finished the set on a 9-2 run to post the four-point win. Utah State hit .094 (10-7-32) in the first set and New Mexico State hit .045 (14-12-44). Durrant and McArthur each had three kills in the first set to lead USU. Utah State raced out to a quick 8-2 lead in the second set and never trailed as it posted the six-point win. USU hit .182 (13-7-33) here and NMSU hit negative .028 (8-9-36). McArthur led USU with four kills in the second set. In the third and final set, Utah State held an early 7-3 lead before New Mexico State rallied to take a 12-10 advantage. With the set tied at 13, USU went on a 5-1 run and never looked back as it posted the five-point win and three-sets sweep. Durrant led USU in the final set with four kills. Utah State finished the match with a .167 (36-18-108) hitting percentage and New Mexico State hit .040 (36-31-125). USU also had seven more team blocks (15-8) in the match, while NMSU had three more digs (49-46). Both teams had just one service ace in the match, while the Southern Aggies had one more service error (5-4). Utah State returns to action on Monday, Nov. 22 when it travels to Las Vegas, Nev., to compete in the 2010 WAC Tournament at the Orleans Arena. -USU-
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