Aggie Volleyball at Home for Three Matches This Week; Thursday's Match on AggieVision
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  09/17/2013

This week:  The New Mexico State volleyball team has three home matches this week starting with a match against Utah, Thursday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. (MT). NM State then co-hosts a tournament with UTEP, facing Hampton, Friday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. and South Dakota State, Saturday, Sept. 21 at 2 p.m.

Radio Coverage: The Aggie Sports Network is airing 15 matches over the radio waves this season with 13 on KSNM AM 570 and two on KGRT 103.9 FM with Jay Sanderson giving the play-by-play action.  The matches airing over the 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.

No matches this week are scheduled to air over the radio waves.

Television Coverage: Six matches are scheduled to be produced for television by the AggieVision Production team this year.  For a complete show times go to www.AggieVision.tv or call your local cable provider.  The first match scheduled to air on TV (produced by AggieVision) is against Utah, Thursday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. (MT).  Next week’s match against New Mexico on Sept. 23 is also scheduled to air on TV as a part of the AggieVision Productions.

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:  NM State is 3-6 heading into week four of play.  The Aggies went 2-1 during the NM State Tournament defeating Southern Utah and Northern Illinois, while falling to Arkansas-Little Rock.  The team got off to a slow start after taking on two top 10 teams and two PAC 12 opponents in the first two tournaments it participated in.

NM State went from hitting .188 after week three to hitting .195 heading into this week’s matches.  As a team, the Aggies are posting 12.15 kills per set which ranks fourth in the WAC.  Seniors Lauren Loerch and Desiree Scott are averaging at least 2.15 kills per set while Scott has a team-high .326 hitting percentage on the year. Senior Stephanie Ziegler has a team-high 124 digs on the year and is averaging 3.76 digs per set as Scott leads the way defensively at the net with 32 total blocks (0.97/set). The Aggies as a team are out-blocking their opponents 74-69.  Freshman Aleisha Coates leads the way at the service line with 12 service aces.

NM State returns five starters as well as a libero from the 2012 WAC Tournament Champion team.  Leading the way for the Aggies are 2012 All-WAC selections, seniors Desiree Scott (middle hitter) and Lauren Loerch (outside hitter).   NM State also returns senior libero/outside hitter Stephanie Ziegler who was named to the 2012 WAC all-tournament team. The Aggies finished the 2012 season with a 22-11 record while reaching the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in program history, all under head coach Mike Jordan.

This Weeks Opponents

Utah Utes:  The Utes are currently enjoying a 10-match win streak to open the 2013 season and are one of three unbeaten teams remaining in the PAC-12 Conference. The Utes will be visiting BYU before coming to Las Cruces where they try to even the all-time series between the two teams as NM State holds a slight 18-16 advantage. The first meeting between the two teams took place in 1974 where NM State took the victory 2-1. Most recent The Utes were victorious in Las Cruces on Sept. 7, 2008 winning by a final of 3-1.

The Utes are led by head coach Beth Launiere who has earned a 460-277 record in 24 seasons as head coach.  The match between NM State and Utah will begin at 7 p.m. and will be televised on Aggie Vision and also streamed live at nmstatesports.com.

Hampton: The Pirates enter Las Cruces for the first time ever on September 20, 2013 with a record of 4-5 on the season. The Hampton Pirates earned 19 wins last season and advanced to the semifinals of the MEAC Tournament lead by first year head coach Karen Weatherington were she has earned a record of 63-56 at the helm.

The lady Pirates are coming off of losses to Morehead State (3-1) and West Virginia (3-2) and will enter El Paso for a match between UTEP and South Dakota State before taking on NM State for the first matchup between the two schools.

South Dakota State: The Jackrabbits are 2-7 on the year after pulling off a victory to Tennessee-Chattanooga in straight sets, 3-0. SDSU will enter NM State for the third time in school history and are under the helm of second year head coach Phil McDaniel, who was formerly an assistant of head coach Mike Jordan.

The Jackrabbits are led by sophomore Wagner Larson who leads the team with 88 kills and 19 total blocks on the season. The Jackrabbits will come to Las Cruces after their matchups against UTEP and the Hampton Pirates. The Aggies are 2-0 all-time against SDSU. NM State most recently defeated the Jackrabbits on Sept. 15, 2006.

NM State All-Tournament Team: Seniors Lauren Loerch and Desiree Scott were named to the 2013 NM State All-Tournament Team after leading their team to a 2-1 record in the Pan American Center, Sept. 13-14. Loerch marked 3.58 kills in three matches last week as she earned her third all-tournament honor in as many weeks.  She had a team-high 43 kills on the week and added 2.67 digs per set with three service aces and nine total blocks.  Loerch opened the NM State Tournament with a match-high 15 kills and followed that with a season-high 18 kills in a 3-1 loss to UALR.  She finished the tournament with her second double-double of the year as she marked 10 kills and 13 digs in 3-1 win over Northern Illinois.

Scott posted 71 kills over the weekend averaging 2.15 per set while added 10 total blocks over the three matches (3 solo, 7 assists).  She tallied two consecutive 11-kill performances (v. Southern Utah and UALR) and finished the weekend with a seven kill, four block performance against Northern Illinois.

Hawaiian Airlines All-Tournament Team: Senior Lauren Loerch earned all-tournament team honors at the Wahine Classic after averaging 2.30 kills, 1.10 digs and 0.40 service aces per set. She marked four kills and three digs against No. 9 Hawai’i, and followed that with nine kills and a .368 hitting percentage with a service ace against No. 10 UCLA.  She finished the tournament with a team-high 10 kills and three service aces against Santa Clara.

Cal-Molten Classic All-Tournament Team:   Senior Lauren Loerch was the lone Aggie named to the Cal-Molten Classic all-tournament team during the first week of play.  She led the Aggies with 2.73 kills per set during the three matches while adding 2.00 digs per set on the defensive side of the net. She also tallied nine total blocks on the weekend.  Loerch marked a career-high .476 hitting percentage in a win over Nevada.  She marked 11 kills on 21 swings with just one error.

Record Watch: Senior Desiree Scoot is en route to etching her name in the NM State career-record blocks. She is currently tied for fourth in career hitting percentage at .321. She is now in the top 10 in career solo blocks with 60. Scott is tied with Alana Pierce (1984-88) and Karen Cross (1984-88).  Scott needs five more solo block to tie with Lisa Whitesell (1985-88) and Hillary Brown (1988-91), who tallied 65 solo block each in their careers.

Scott is currently No. 9 in the career-block assists list with 276, after she recently surpassed Anika Donaldson (1996-99) who tallied 255.

She also surpassed Kelsey Brenan (2008-11) and Whitney Woods (2007-10) earlier this season who tallied 319 total blocks on their careers. Most recently Scott moved into the No. 9 spot, jumping Mary Ellen Boom (1983-84) who marked 330 total blocks during her career.

The 6-2 Offense: NM State may run a 6-2 offense on occasion this season, using two setters.  Senior Ciara Brown and sophomore Taylor Livoti were a part of the 6-2 offense last year and combined for a total of 1,448 assists.  Brown tallied 5.94 assists per set and Livoti marked 4.88 assists per set. In the first week of play, Brown marked 63 assists (5.73/set) and Livoti posted 53 (4.82/set).

This season Brown is averaging 5.42 assists per set and Livoti is marking 4.70 assists per set.

Livoti has three double-doubles this season with her most recent coming against Southern Utah when she marked 21 assists and 14 digs in a 3-1 win. Her first of the season was on Aug. 31 as she marked 22 assists and 12 digs in a five-set loss to UC Santa Barbara.

Jordan Adds Assistant to Staff: New Mexico State volleyball head coach Mike Jordan announced on Tuesday, Aug. 6, that he has added Ben Wallis to his staff as an assistant coach starting immediately.

Wallis returns to NM State after coaching at the University of New Mexico for the past two years.  His primary responsibilities with the Aggies include scouting, defensive games plans while also assisting with recruiting, camps and on-court coaching. Wallis, who is now in his second stint with NM State, brings more than a decade of coaching experience with him to the program.  He was an assistant under Jordan from 2006-08.

Before Wallis helped UNM coach Jeff Nelson he was the head coach for Cleveland High School in Albuquerque from 2009-11. While there, he led his team to the state final in just his second year of the program’s existence.  Wallis also gained experience as a varsity assistant coach at El Paso Franklin High School, Rio Rancho High School and as a head coach at Gadsden High School in Anthony, New Mexico.

WAC Preseason Poll: The Western Athletic Conference office announced today that the league coaches have selected New Mexico State to win the WAC regular-season crown in 2013.  The Aggies received seven of the nine first-place votes from the conference coaches while two NM State players were selected to the 2013 Preseason All-WAC Team.

The Aggies earned 62 points, followed by Idaho who tallied 58.  Utah Valley was picked third and Seattle U was picked fourth.

WAC Preseason Team: Senior middle hitter Desiree Scott and senior outside hitter Lauren Loerch were selected to the WAC Preseason team as selected by the league’s coaches.  Scott, a 2012 all-WAC selection and a 2012 WAC all-tournament selection, played in all 124 sets during the 2012 season. She finished the season as the Aggies’ top blocker with 152 total blocks, including 27 solo blocks and 125 assisted blocks, all of which were tops on the NM State team.

Loerch, a 2012 second team all-WAC honoree, quickly became an integral part of NM State’s WAC championship team during her first season with the Aggies.  She was one of only four Aggies that participated in every set (124) during the 2012 season.  Loerch’s 316 total kills and 2.55 kills/set average were both good for second-best on the NM State team.

NM State Takes 2012 WAC Tournament Title: The Aggies went into the WAC Tournament as the No. 4 and defeated No. 2 seed Idaho in the tournament title match.  The Aggies became just the fourth team in the 15-year history of the event to win the title. Stephanie Ziegler was named to the all-tournament team.

Aggies in NCAA Tournament: NM State went to its sixth ever NCAA Tournament and first since 2008 last December. The Aggies fell to No. 16 Brigham Young in straight sets while Loerch led the way with seven kills.  Desiree Scott posted four blocks on the evening. The Aggies were held to a negative hitting percentage while BYU posted a .351 hitting percentage as a team.  NM State was defeated by a tough Cougar team that posted 12 total team blocks and marked only 11 attack errors.

NM State Seniors: The Aggies are stacked with seniors on the team as there are seven total this year (including redshirt seniors).  Leading the pack of seniors are Stephanie Ziegler, Desiree Scott, Lauren Loerch and Ciara Brown.  Ziegler posted a team-high 3.04 digs per set last year, while added 26 kills, 28 assists and 19 service aces.  Scott was among the leaders in the WAC in blocks (1.23/set) and hitting percentage (.369).  Loerch was a second team All-WAC selection and Brown was one of two setters used last year leading the team with 5.94 assists per set.  Senior Hannah Walker tallied 2.87 digs per set last year but may have to sit the season out due to an injury.  Red-shirt senior Shebli Goode will sit the 2013 season out due to NCAA transfer rules. 

2013 Aggie Schedule: The 2013 NM State volleyball schedule features 16 home matches, a home tournament and a trip to Honolulu.

The 16 matches at home are the second most ever played in Las Cruces, but is the highest number of matches played in the Pan American Center.  There were 17 home matches in 2006, although the majority of those matches were played in the Las Cruces High School Gym.

NM State immediately heads out on the road playing in two different tournaments.  Two of the six teams the Aggies play in those two weeks finished in the top 15 nationally in 2012 according to the AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll.

WAC Volleyball Tournament Tickets on Sale Now:  Tickets for the 2013 WAC Volleyball Tournament are on sale now at www.gcuarena.com. The tournament will be held Nov. 25-27 at Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix, Ariz.

All-session tickets are $23. An all-session ticket is general admission seating and gets you admission to all five matches. To purchase tickets, go to www.gcuarena.com.

Single session tickets go on sale Monday, Nov. 25, at the arena box office. 

2013 WAC Tournament Schedule

Monday, Nov. 25 (First Round)

Match 1 - No. 6 seed vs. No. 3 seed, 5 p.m.

Match 2 - No. 5 seed vs. No. 4 seed, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 20 (Semifinals)

Match 3 - Winner Match 1 vs. No. 2 seed, 5 p.m.

Match 4 - Winner Match 2 vs. No. 1 seed, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 21 (Championship)

Match 5 - Winner Match 3 vs. Winner Match 4, 5 p.m.

NM State Volleyball Tickets on Sale: Tickets can be purchased by going to the Pan American Center ticket office, calling the ticket office at (575)-646-1420 or by going online at www.NMStateSports.com and TicketMaster.com. Ticket prices are as follows:


General Admission: $49

Senior Citizen:  $44

Faculty Staff:  $44

Senior Citizens, Military and Faculty & Staff

General Admission: $44

 Single Game: $6

 Group Rate: $4

Kids 12 and Under: FREE

Student with a valid NMSU ID: FREE

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