This week: The New Mexico State volleyball team takes on I-10 Rival UTEP, Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. at Memorial Gym in El Paso, Texas. The Aggies return home, jumping back into league play, hosting Denver, Saturday, Sept. 29 at noon in the Pan American Center.
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 match, Wednesday, Sept. 26 against UTEP will begin with a pre-match show at 6:45 p.m. Jay Sanderson is the new play-by-play announcer for Aggie volleyball.
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).
"DIG PINK" Match: This Saturday is the "DIG PINK" is coordination with the TOUGH ENOUGH TO WEAR PINK CAMPAIGN. All fans are encouraged to wear pink on Saturday to support those affected by breast cancer.
About the Aggies: The Aggies are 10-3 for the season with their only losses coming from No. 14 Pepperdine, Colorado State and Northwestern (both receiving votes this wee). Overall, the Aggies are hitting .234 over their opponents (.167) and are out digging their opponents 674-654. The Aggies average 12.96 digs per set. NM State also leads their opponents 138.5-126.5 in total blocks, while averaging 2.66 per set. The Aggies trail in service aces 71-72 against opposing teams.
NM State dominates in kills per set at home posting 14.30 compared to its opponents 11.70, although the Aggies struggle in away games with 11.30 kills per set to 11.40. The Aggies also out-block their opponents at home games (46.5-42), away games (60.5-44) and in conference play (52-38.5). They have struggled with service aces in away and conference games tallying 20-25 and 18-25, respectively. At home, the Aggies lead their opponents in service aces 27-21. NM State out-digs its opponents 215-223 in conference games, and out-dig their opponents at home 243-232.
Hays is posting 4.11 kills per set in home and away games, but in conference play she averages 4.06 kills per set. Scott is averaging 1.56 blocks per set at away games, 1.53 blocks per set in conference play but only 1.26 at home. Castellanos is hitting well in conference play with .333, but only hits .243 in away games. Alexander is averaging almost one block per set in conference play while blocking just over 0.5 at home and away. Brown tallies .
Aggies in the WAC: The Aggies head into the week as the only undefeated team in league play at 4-0. Utah State is currently 3-1, while this week's conference opponent, Denver, is 2-2. NM State ranks second in hitting percentage at .234 on the year, just behind Denver who is hitting .249. The Aggies rank third in opponent hitting percentage (.167), assists (12.10/set), and kills (13.23/set). NM State ranks second in blocks (2.66/set) and is tied for first in service aces (1.37/set). The Aggies are towards the bottom of the list in digs (12.96/set) with Seattle the only team below them.
Indvidually, Meredith Hays leads the league in kills (4.42/set) and points (5.08/set). Junior middle blocker Desiree Scott is fourth in the WAC in blocks (1.19/set) and seventh in hitting percentage (.277). Although, NM State runs a 6-2 offense, which utilizes two setters during a match, junior Ciara Brown is still in the top ten in assists (5.72/set).
National Statistics: Sophomore outside hitter Meredith Hays ranks 19th nationally in kills averaging 4.42 per set and is 15th nationally in points per set posting 5.08 per. Hays finished the 2011 season with 500 kills in 113 sets played and already has 161 this season in 35 sets played.
Desiree Scott is No. 75 (out of 250 ranked players) in blocks per set averaging 1.19.
As a team, the Aggies are ranked in the top 100 (out of 328 ranked) for aces (No. 99), blocks (No. 29), and hitting percentage (No. 77).
NM State Ranks Nationally: New Mexico State currently ranks 16th nationally in attendance with an average of 1,778 fans per match. Meanwhile, Texas State ranks 71st (666).
Count Down To 100: Head coach Mike Jordan has 93 WAC wins under his belt, needing just seven more to get to 100. He can potentially pick up WAC-win No. 100 by Oct. 20 against Louisiana Tech.
Great Start: The last time the Aggies started 10-3 was in 2011. The Aggies started 19-3 in 2007 before their next loss. When the Aggies won the WAC in 2008, they finished the season at 26-9 but were 7-6 early on.
Aggies versus UTEP: The Aggies are 55-21-1 all-time against UTEP. The last time the Aggies won, they took they swept the Miners in Las Cruces, Sept. 13, 2011.
Jeane Horton leads the Miners in hitting with .345 and 4.44 kills per set. Malia Patterson is currently tallying 10.86 assists per set. In blocks, Cassandra Burruel leads the way with 1.32 blocks per set. Horton and Patterson earned C-USA athletes of the week last week.
Aggies versus Denver: Rhe Aggies are 8-2 all-time against Denver. NM State's last win was in Denver on Oct. 31, 2004, 2-0. The Aggies won their last home game against the Pioneers sweeping them on Oct. 8, 2004.
Colleen King leads Denver in kills per set with 2.98. Faimie Kingsley leads the Pioneers in blocks with 1.61 per set and in hitting percentage with .385. Frances Carroll leads in assists with 8.05 per set.
Outside Hitter Meredith Hays: After posting 29 kills in two matches last week, Hays now has 230 kills on the year and ranks first in the WAC. She has posted 69 kills in league play and has 264 points in the 2012 season, averaging 5.08 per set to lead the league.
Outside Hitter Nathalie Castellanos: Freshman Nathalie Castellanos has seen more playing time as of late and is averaging 1.37 kills per set. She has earned 46 points this season, including 17 in two matches last week. She is hitting .333 in conference play and is tied for seventh in the WAC in that category. Castellanos is a native of Vado, N.M. which is located between El Paso and Las Cruces.
Middle Blocker Desiree Scott: Scott is averaging 1.19 blocks per set (62 total) this season and ranks fourth in the WAC. Her 1.53 blocks in WAC play also ranks fourth in the league. She tallied 11 total blocks in two matches last week, while averaging 2.29 kills on a .423 hitting percentage.
Middle Blocker Preslie Alexander: Junior transfer Preslie Alexander set a new career-high for total blocks when she posted seven total blocks against UT-Arlington, Sept. 22. She has 27 total blocks on the year and is third on the team in kills with 105. She is averaging 2.02 kills per set and 0.52 blocks.
Setter Ciara Brown: Junior transfer Ciara Brown is one of the setters used by head coach Mike Jordan when running the 6-2 offense. She ranks tenth in the WAC for her 5.72 assists per set she averages and is ninth in league play as she is posting 5.65 assists per set when taking WAC opponents. She averaged 7.43 assists in two matches last week.
Defensive Specialists Stephanie Ziegler: Ziegler is a versatile player as she has seen time at both the defensive specialist position as well as the outside hitter position. She is averaging 2.48 digs per set (129 total) and is second on the team in that category. She now has six service aces on the year with three of them coming last week.
WAC TOURNAMENT TICKETS ON SALE NOW: Tickets for the 2012 WAC Volleyball Tournament are on sale now. The tournament will be held Nov. 19-21 at the Convocation Center in San Antonio, Texas, on the campus of UTSA. The 2012 tournament will consist of seven matches in three sessions (one session per day). Ticket prices are as follows: All-Session: $21 Single-Session Adult: $10 Single-Session Senior/Youth: $7 Single-Session WAC Students: $5 Children two and under do not need a ticket. Tickets can be purchased online at goutsa.com or by calling (210) 458-UTSA.
2012 WAC TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE:
Monday, Nov. 19 (Quarterfinals)
Match 1 - No. 6 seed vs. No. 3 seed, noon
Match 2 - No. 7 seed vs. No. 2 seed, 2:30 p.m.
Match 3 - No. 5 seed vs. No. 4 seed, 5 p.m.
Match 4 - No. 8 seed vs. No. 1 seed, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 20 (Semifinals)
Match 5 - Winner Match 1 vs. Winner Match 2, 4 p.m.
Match 6 - Winner Match 3 vs. Winner Match 4, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 21 (Championship)
Match 7 - Winner Match 5 vs. Winner Match 6, 4 p.m. (ESPNU)