Aggies Head to Idaho for Final Road Trip of the Year
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  11/08/2010

This week: The New Mexico State volleyball team heads to Idaho for two Western Athletic Conference matches this week.  The Aggies meet Idaho, Thursday, Nov. 11 at 8:00 p.m. (MT) before heading to Boise, Idaho, Saturday, Nov. 13 to face the Broncos.  That match begins at 7:00 p.m. (MT).  The Aggies sit in second place in the WAC standings heading into week 12 of the volleyball season and were victorious over both the Vandals and the Broncos, winning is five sets.  Go to each school's respective website for ticket information.

Radio Coverage: Both matches will be aired on the radio this week. With a total of 15 regular-season matches aired by the Aggie Sports Network on KSNM AM 570, these are the final two NM State volleyball matches scheduled for radio coverage during the regular season.  The matches in the WAC Tournament are tentatively scheduled to air over the radio waves and the schedule will be released once the bracket is posted. Kyle Doperalski will be giving the play-by-play action, that can be caught from anywhere around the world on the Internet by going to www.NMStateSports.com.  Just click on the live events link to access the coverage.

Television Coverage: With the success NM State volleyball and Aggie Vision have had in recent years, the Aggies played on TV seven times this season, including six matches produced by Aggie Vision and one by ESPNU.  NM State played on TV eight times in 2009 as well, which included the Western Athletic Conference championship on ESPNU.  The 2010 WAC Championship match is scheduled to air on ESPNU once again this season.

The match against Utah State, Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 7:00 p.m. (MT) will be produced by Aggie Vision and aired live throughout the state of New Mexico on Comcast, while it will be tape delayed on FSN-Arizona and Altitude Sports.  Check you local listings for airtimes.

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.

About NM State:  The Aggies are in their 37th season of play and return to the court with four 2009 first team All-WAC selections, including senior outside hitters Kayleigh Giddens and Whitney Woods.  They also bring back junior middle hitter Kelsey Brennan and AVCA All-America setter Jennah DeVries.

Head coach Mike Jordan, who has led his team to NCAA Tournament berths five times (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008), brings back Don Flora (second season) and Tricia Wright (eighth season) as his assistant coaches. Wright is in her second stint with NM State, as she was an assistant from 1998-2002.  She was the director of operations for the volleyball team the past two seasons.

The Aggies have six letter winners returning while also losing six letter winners from the 2009 team.  NM State is a young team with 11 newcomers, together with three transfers.  Junior middle hitter Michelle Kuester came in from Texas Tech, junior setter Madison Hardy transferred from Hawai'i-Pacific, and junior defensive specialist Chelsea Rose came in from Bakersfield Community College.  The Aggies have eight freshmen on the roster with more than half of them gaining valuable court experience.   Freshmen outside hitters Amanda Tonga, Rocio Gutierrez and middle hitter Desiree Scott have already made starts in the majority of the Aggies' matches.

Last Week: The New Mexico State volleyball team defeated the San Jose Spartans in four sets at the Pan American Center Saturday, Nov. 6.  Senior outside hitter Kayleigh Giddens posted her tenth double-double of the season, with a match-high 22 kills and 13 digs while junior setter Jennah DeVries earned her seventh double-double of the season with 51 assists and a match-high 15 digs.  Before that the Aggies defeated Fresno State 3-1 with Kayleigh Giddens posting a match-high 23 kills.

This Weeks Opponents:

Idaho: Idaho volleyball team sits third in WAC standings with a 7-5 record, 12-11 overall in the season. 

NM State defeated the Vandals in five sets earlier in the season at the Pan American Center on Oct. 16.  The Aggies 11-12 all-time against Idaho, winning the last nine of 10 matches.

Boise State: The Broncos play Louisiana Tech on Nov. 11 before taking on NM State on Nov. 13.  The Broncos have an overall record of 18-11, 5-8 in league play. 

The Aggies beat Boise State on Oct. 14 in five sets in front of their home crowd.  NM State is 16-8 all-time against BSU and has won 14 consecutive matches.  The last time NM State lost to the Broncos was Sept. 4, 2004 in Boise, losing 3-1.

Looking Ahead: NM State will finish the 2010 regular-season on Nov. 17, when they take on the Utah State Aggies at home in Las Cruces. The game starts at 7:00 pm and can be seen on Aggie Vision and ESPN3.com.  The Aggies will then head to the WAC tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada on Nov. 22-24. In last year's tournament, NM State lost to Hawai'i in the championship game. 

Aggies in the WAC: NM State comes in second to Hawai'i in three different statistical categories. The Aggies have a .243 hitting percentage this season and are averaging 12.85 assists and 13.63 kills per set. Individually, Kayleigh Giddens leads the WAC in kills posting 4.84 pet set. Jennah DeVries ranks first in assists. She is averaging 11 per set. Kelsey Brennan comes in third in the WAC with her .347 hitting percentage. Also in the top ten is Ellen Miks who has 268 digs this year averaging 2.98 per set, while Kelsi Phillips ranks No. 7 with 3.58 digs per set.

Double-Doubles: Kayleigh Giddens continues to rack up double-double performances and now has 11 on the year. Her latest came during the home win against San Jose State, Nov. 6. Giddens had 22 kills and 13 digs that evening. Jennah DeVries has seven double-doubles this season. The most recent was also in the San Jose State game. DeVries had 51 assists and 15 digs. Freshman Rocio Gutierrez has posted two double- doubles so far. Her latest came at Utah State on Oct. 23. Gutierrez had 12 kills and 10 digs.    

NCAA Rankings: Numerous Aggies continue to rank among the top in the nation. Setter Jennah DeVries ranks No. 29 in assists per set with 11.00. Kelsey Brennan sits at No. 64 in the country with a .347 hitting percentage. Kayleigh Giddens ranks highest for any Aggie at No. 6 in the nation in with 4.84 kills per set and is No. 8 nationally in points per set with 5.33 per.

Attendance: NM State fans continue to show support with an average attendance of 1,505,.  This ranks them No. 22 in the nation while Hawai'i continues to sit on top of the charts with an average attendance of 6,136.  The highest attended match this season came Sept. 29, when No. 6 Hawaii came to the Pan American Center.

AVCA Poll: The latest AVCA Division I Coaches Poll has Hawai'i at No. 3, moving up one spot from last week, while LSU also moved up from No. 16 to No. 15. Arizona moved up three spots to No. 20, while Florida State dropped out of the poll last week. North Carolina and Pepperdine continue to receive votes this week. The next poll comes out Nov. 15. The teams mentioned are NM State opponents during the 2010 season.

Player Notes:

Rocio Gutierrez: Freshman Rocio Gutierrez posted 10 kills and nine digs during the Aggies last game on Nov. 6 versus San Jose State. This brings her season totals to 133 kills and 184 digs. Gutierrez is one of three Aggies to post a double-double this season. The outside hitter has had two, with her latest coming at Utah State on Oct. 23. Gutierrez has played in 92 set this year.

Kelsey Brennan: Middle hitter Kelsey Brennan came up just one short of tying her season-high with 12 kills on Oct. 23 at Utah State. She had a .727 attack percentage against Cal State-Bakersfield, the highest of the season by any Aggie.  She had a match-high seven blocks against LSU on Sept. 11.  With a hitting percentage of  .347, Brennan is ranked No. 3 in the WAC, but sits No. 1 on the team. 

Kelsi Phillips: Phillips currently averages 3.54 digs per set, which puts her in the top 10 in the WAC.  She had a career-high 26 digs against Idaho on Oct. 16 in the Pan American Center.  

Ellen Miks: Sophomore Ellen Miks recently post a season-high four kills versus Fresno State on Nov. 4. This more than doubled her prior season total kills. She now has seven kills for the season. Miks is tenth in the WAC in digs per set with 2.98. She has played in 90 sets so far this season for the Aggies.

Madison Hardy: Junior Madison Hardy is in her first season with the Aggies after transferring from Hawai'i-Pacific. Versus the University of Hawai'I, Oct. 31, Hardy had 10 assists and four digs. Her season totals are 64 assists and 36 digs. She posted a season-high of 38 assists versus Louisiana Tech, Sept. 25. 

Michelle Kuester: Kuester has played 56 sets this season, and has 29 kills with a .247 hitting percentage.  She had a season-high of five kills and 11 attempts against Boise State earlier in the season.  The junior middle hitter has a total of 30 blocks on the season and posted six total blocks against San Jose State, Nov. 6. 

Whitney Woods: Senior Whitney Woods posted eight total blocks against Fresno State, which is a season-high for any Aggie this year. Her career-high is nine blocks versus Utah State, Sept. 24, 2009. She also posted 15 kills against the Bulldogs, which is her second best performance on the year. Woods has 226 kills and 66 blocks this year. She has played in 97 sets in 2010. 

Jennah DeVries: Junior setter Jennah DeVries leads the WAC currently averaging 11.00 assists per set in the 94 sets that she has competed in this season.  She also has a total of seven double-doubles during the 2010 season.  She is also posting 2.17 digs per set.  

Desiree Scott:  Freshman middle blocker Desiree Scott is averaging 1.21 kills per set and 0.71 blocks per set while competing in 85 sets.  She tallied her 100th kill of the year against Fresno State, Nov. 4 and now has 103 on the season.   

Amanda Tonga: Freshman Amanda Tonga brought her season total in kills to 61 with a six kill match against Fresno State on Nov. 4. Her season high was 10 kills against Boise State on Oct. 14. The Hawai'i native has played in 66 sets this year.

Deirdre Pajares: Freshman outside hitter Deirdre Pajares has played in 17 sets this year. Her season averages include .47 kills per set and .18 digs per set. 

Stephanie Ziegler: Sophomore Stephanie Ziegler, an up and coming player for the Aggies, will be sidelined with a season ending leg injury. She broke her fibula and tibia during the match against Rice, when falling on an opponents foot.  She was just starting to find her niche as she had a fantastic match against UTEP, Sept. 7. She finished that match with a .353 hitting percentage (7-1-17) in a sweep of the Miners. She played in 15 sets this season, in which she managed to accumulate 12 kills, five digs and two blocked shots.

Record Watch: Kayleigh Giddens had 22 kills against San Jose State, Nov. 6, her eighth 20-plus kill effort of the season. Giddens now has 469 kills on the season and with three regular season matches plus the WAC tournament coming up, Giddens could become the Aggies' single-season kill leader. She's currently fourth on the list having surpassed Lisa Roberson (461), Alane Pierce (455) and Lindsey Yon (453) last night with her 22-kill performance. Giddens could also become the first Aggie to ever record 500 or more kills in a season.

She is also on pace to destroy the career-kills per set record (and the single season record as well). Through Nov. 6, Giddens is averaging 4.43 kills per set in her career. She averaged 4.00 kills per set last year and is averaging 4.83 kills per set this season. Lindsey Yon holds the career record at 3.84 kills per set and Lisa Roberson holds the single season record at 4.23 kills per set.

CVU.com Top Performer: Senior outside hitter Kayleigh Giddens has been named a Top Performer by CVU.com three times this season. CVU.com (College Volleyball Update) is a website dedicated to NCAA volleyball.

Her first honor from CVU.com came for the week of Aug. 30-Sept. 5. That week Giddens led the way for the Aggies in that week's sweeps with 11 kills on 26 attempts against CSU-Bakersfield posting .308 hitting percentage. Giddens also led the way in digs along side sophomore libero Ellen Miks with 10 for the Aggies bringing team total digs to 39 for the match.  Giddens had an impressive 17 kills on 37 attempts against the UTEP Miners posting .351 hitting percentage.

Her second honor came Sept. 27, after she hit .513 while averaging 7.67 kills, 3.33 digs and 8.42 points per set in two sweeps over Louisiana Tech.  She also marked three aces and three total blocks in the two matches.  Giddens posted her seventh double-double of the season in the first match against LA Tech with a season-high 24 kills and 12 digs.

Giddens' most recent CVU.com honor came for her performance during the week of Oct. 4-10.  That week she hit .357 with 6.43 kills, 3.00 digs, 0.57 service aces and 7.50 points per set.  After posting two consecutive 20-plus kill matches to lead her team to consecutive road wins.

CVU.com top performers of the week consist of athletes who are finalist for the CVU.com weekly honor and athletes who stood out as having exceptional matches.

WAC Player of the Week: senior Kayleigh Giddens has been named Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week for the week Oct. 18-24.  This is the third Player of the Week honor of the season for Giddens and the fifth of her career. She now ties for the most conference player of the week honors in a career at NM State with former Aggie greats Amber Simpson (2004-08) and Jackie Godber (2000-03).  Godber's honors came while NM State was a part of the Sun Belt Conference.

Giddens led the Aggies to a pair of road wins as she helped the Aggies come back from being down 1-0 at Nevada, Oct. 21 and help her team sweep Utah State in Logan, Utah, Oct. 23.  In the seven sets, she averaged 5.71 kills, 2.14 digs and 0.71 blocks.  She started with a match-high 23 kills against the Wolf Pack, while she added nine digs and three blocks.  Giddens then tallied a match-high 17 kills against the Aggies of Utah State to go with six digs and two blocks. There are now six matches where Giddens has marked at least 20 kills and she has posted double-digit kill figures in 19 of the Aggies' 24 matches this season.  She also has seven double-doubles this season.

2010 WAC Volleyball Tickets On Sale: All-session tickets for the 2010 WAC Volleyball Tournament, which returns to the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas Nov. 22-24, are on sale now. All tickets are for general admission seating.

The 2010 WAC Volleyball Tournament will consist of five matches in three sessions. Ticket prices are as follows: All-Session - $45, Single-Session Adult - $20, Single-Session Students/Youth - $10, Kids 2 and under - Free.

All-session tickets are on sale now through each WAC member institution's ticket office and the Orleans Arena Box Office. Fans are strongly encouraged to purchase tickets from their member institutions to avoid service fees associated with ticket sales through the Orleans Arena site.

Single-session tickets will not be available for purchase until Nov. 22 and can only be purchased through the Orleans Arena. A single-session ticket allows access to one day's worth of matches.

Arizona Invitational All-Tournament Team: Senior outside hitter Kayleigh Giddens and junior setter Jennah DeVries were named to the all-tournament team for the Arizona Invitational held in Tucson, Sept. 17-18. Giddens lead the Aggies with 50 kills (5.00/set) and 26 digs (2.60/set) for the three game tournament. DeVries averaged 11.80 assists per set for a total of 118. She also had 20 digs. 

LSU Tiger Classic All-Tournament Team: Sophomore defensive specialist Ellen Miks was named to the All-Tournament after posting 5.91 digs per set in Baton Rouge, La.  She posted a career-high 31 digs against LSU. The last time an Aggie posted 31 digs in a match was Nov. 30, 2007, when Krystal Torres achieved the feat against LSU in the NCAA Tournament

Honors & Awards: The Aggies continued to pile up awards in 2009. NM State had an AVCA All-American in Jennah DeVries, who also collected first team All-WAC honors, Academic All-WAC honors and WAC All-Tournament team honors. Joining DeVries on the first team All-WAC and WAC All-Tournament team was Kelsey Brennan, Kayleigh Giddens and Whitney Woods. Brennan was also named to the WAC All-Tournament team and Academic All-WAC while Giddens was named WAC Player of the Week twice. She was also on the all-tournament team for the Mean Green Volleyball Classic. Woods garnered another award as well, being named to the all-tournament team at the Notre Dame/Adidas Invitational. Getting second team All-WAC honors was Erin Birmingham who was also named Academic All-WAC and academic all-region. Joining DeVries, Brennan, and Birmingham on the Academic All-WAC squad was Krista Altermatt and Kelli Goodan who both were also named Preseason All-WAC. Rounding out the awards, Altermatt was also named the Mean Green Volleyball Classic MVP and Kelsi Phillips was part of the Hotel Encanto Volleyball Invitational All-Tournament team.

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