NM State Volleyball Opens Conference Play on the Road
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  09/11/2012

This week: The New Mexico State volleyball team opens WAC play this week with matches at Seattle U. and Idaho. NM State takes on Seattle, Thursday, Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. in Seattle, Wash., before facing the Vandals, Saturday, Sept. 15 in Moscow, Idaho at 8 p.m.

Radio Coverage: The Aggie Sports Network is producing 13 matches on KSNM AM 570 this season, along with any matches in the post season.  The matches this week were originally scheduled to air over the radio waves but are now cancelled. 

The matches airing over the radio waves produced by the Aggie Sports Network on KSNM AM 570 in Las Cruces can also be heard from anywhere around the world on the Internet by logging onto www.NMStateSports.com.  Just click on the live events link to access the coverage for a fee.

Television Coverage: The NM State volleyball team will have six matches on TV this year.  The AggieVision Production team has the following matches scheduled to air on TV: Louisiana Tech - Sept. 20; UTSA - Oct. 11; Texas State - Oct. 13; San Jose State - Nov. 1; Utah State - Nov. 3.

Matches produced by AggieVision will also air on ESPN3.com (free of charge) and fans should check local listings for airtimes in their area.  Fans can also go to www.AggieVision.tv for channel listings.

Live Stats on the Web:  Live stats will be available for fans at www.NMStateSports.com at no cost all season long.  Fans can click on the Live Events link at the top of the NMStateSports.com home page to access the live stats.

Twitter/Facebook:  Get all the updates of Aggie Athletics on Twitter and Facebook. Get in-game statistics and in-game updates on Twitter @NMStateAggies.  Find out about all Aggie Athletics promotions and events on Facebook (NMSU Athletics and The Aggie Student-Athlete).

About the Aggies: After finishing last year with a 23-10 record overall and 10-4 in WAC play, the Aggies were picked to win the WAC in the league preseason coaches' poll. The Aggies return starting outside hitters Meredith Hays and Stephanie Ziegler, while losing three-time honorable mention All-American setter Jennah DeVries and three-time All-WAC selection middle hitter Kelsey Brennan. NM State also lost libero Kelsi Phillips, who is in the top 10 in Aggie record books for digs per set in a season.

Head coach Mike Jordan, who is in his 15th season with NM State, is looking for improvement in all areas as the Aggies go into conference play.

NM State continues the 2012 season with a 6-3 record after the 2012 Rams Volleyball Classic held in Fort Collins, Colo. The Aggies struggled this weekend posting a .210 hitting percentage but are hitting .231 overall.  However, they did have 1.18 more kills per set than their opponents at 12.18. They were also down in blocks, averaging 2.27 per set, but are at 2.47 for the season. In the tournament, NM State improved in digs per set at 13.18, standing 13.11 for the season and also faired well at the service line. The Aggies started with a five game win streak and are now on their longest losing streak of the year with two losses. 

Aggies in the WAC: The Aggies start this week tied for second best record amongst WAC teams. They are NO. 1 in assists (12.34/set) and serving aces (1.51/set). NM State is second in hitting percentage (.231), blocks (2.47/set) and kills (13.43/set).

Sophomore Meredith Hays leads the WAC in points (5.31/set) and comes in second in kills (4.60/set) and serving aces (0.40/set).  She also ranks NO. 10 in hitting percentage (.264).  Junior Ciara Brown stands at NO. 10 in assists, averaging 5.77 per set.

Aggies vs. Seattle: This will be the first meeting between the two the teams meet.

Sarah Jaeckel currently leads the Redhawks with 3.47 kills per set. Kaytlyn Dill leads the way in digs with 2.20 per set. In assists, Jacquie Brice leads Seattle with 8.78 per set.

Aggies vs. Idaho: NM State in 14-13 all-time against the University of Idaho Vandals. The Aggies most recent win over Idaho happened in the WAC tournament, Nov. 22, 2011, when NM State won 3-0. NM State's last home game against the Vandals was Sept. 29, 2011, with the Aggies winning the match 3-1.

Allison Walker leads the Vandals with 4.65 kills per set. On the defensive side, Janelle Chow leads with 4.05 digs per set.

National Leader: Sophomore outside hitter Meredith Hays ranks 10 nationally in kills averaging 4.60 per set and is seventh nationally in points per set posting 5.31 per.  Hays finished the 2011 season with 500 kills in 113 sets played and already has 161 this season in 35 sets played.

CSU Ram's Classic All-Tournament Team: Sophomore Meredith Hays was named to 2012 Rams Volleyball Classic All-Tournament team after she averaged 4.45 kills and 2.09 digs per set in three matches.  Hays started the weekend with 11 kills as she led the Aggies to their first sweep of the year, defeating FIU on Friday, Sept. 7.  Hays then marked 22 kills on a .318 hitting percentage in a 3-1 loss to No. 12 Pepperdine before posting her fourth double-double of the season as she added 13 digs.  Hays heads into WAC play averaging 4.60 kills per set which is second in the league, but leads the conference in points per set with 5.31.

Scott on All-Tournament Team: Junior middle hitter Desiree Scott was named to the La Quinta Invitational Tournament after she marked 21 kills (1.75/set), a .389 hitting percentage and 13 total blocks.  Six of those blocks were solo.

Scott had a great offensive showing against Cincinnati, Aug. 31 as she tallied eight kills on nine swings without an error for a .889 hitting percentage.  In the very next match, against Drake, Scott did work on the defensive side of the net tallying seven total blocks, five of them solo.  She also added eight kills to lead the Aggies to their fifth consecutive win of the year.

NIU All-Tournament:  Sophomore Meredith Hays was named the NIU Tournament MVP, while juniors Desiree Scott and Preslie Alexander joined her on the all-tournament team. Scott finished the tournament with 18 kills and 16 total blocks while Alexander averaged 2.42 kills per set in 12 sets played.  This is Scott's third year with the Aggies, while Alexander is a transfer from Blinn Junior College.

WAC Preseason Poll: The WAC volleyball coaches selected NM State to win the WAC regular season title in 2012.  The Aggies received eight of the 10 first-place votes with Idaho earning the other two. The Aggies earned 79 total points, followed by Idaho with 67. UTSA was picked to finish third with 58 points, followed closely by Utah State in fourth with 57 points and Texas State in fifth with 52. Denver was picked sixth with 43 points, while San Jose State was selected seventh with 34 points. UT Arlington, Seattle U and Louisiana Tech rounded out the poll with 27, 18 and 15 points, respectively.

Preseason All-WAC:  NM State placed the most players on the preseason All-WAC team with three, including sophomore Meredith Hays as Preseason Player of the Year, while Idaho, UTSA and Utah State had two apiece.

Joining Hays on the preseason team are teammates Lauren Loerch and Desiree Scott, Idaho's Alex Sele and Allison Walker, UTSA's McKenzie Adams and Whitney Walls, Utah State's Shay Sorensen and Joselyn White, Denver's Faimie Kingsley, San Jose State's Alex Akana and Texas State's Amari Deardorff.

Hays, was a 2011 first team All-WAC member as a freshman and was also the 2011 Freshman of the Year.  She was only the second Aggie ever to earn that honor.  She led the WAC and ranked 18th in the nation in both kills per set (4.42) and points per set (4.94).  Hays also led the WAC with 500 kills on the season. Scott played in 98 sets as a sophomore last season, ranking second on the team in blocks per set (0.78) and third in total blocks (76). She was a perfect six kills on six attempts during a sweep of Utah State on Oct. 1, 2011. Loerch, a cousin of former Aggie great Stevi (Adams) Maytubby, comes to NM State as a transfer from California.  She was a part of the 2010 Bear team that reached the NCAA National Championship match against Penn State.

Returning Top Stats Leaders: The Aggies welcome back outside hitter Meredith Hays, who not only led her team but led the WAC with 4.42 kills per set.  Redshirt junior Stephanie Ziegler was third on the team in 2011 with 2.17 kills per set.  Unfortunately, NM State lost Kelsi Phillips who led the team in service aces (35) and digs (4.13/set) and will look to some newcomers to replace her.  Hays was third on the team last year in digs (2.53/set), while junior Desiree Scott was third in total blocks (76).

Jordan Back for 15th Season:  Head coach Mike Jordan enters his 15 year with NM State and heads into the weekend with a 314-140 overall record, and 89-21 in WAC play.  He earned WAC Coach of the Year honors in 2005, 2006 and 2008 and also earned Coach of the Year honors twice in the Sun Belt Conference (2003 and 2004).

Jordan is the only NM State volleyball head coach to lead his team to the NCAA Tournament, which he has done five times (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008).  He is also the only Aggie head coach to ever lead his team to a conference title as he led his team to titles in both the Sun Belt Conference and the WAC.  NM State is the first team to either share or hold the WAC regular-season title since BYU and Hawai'i shared the Pacific Division title in 1998.

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