This week: The New Mexico State volleyball team enters the Western Athletic Conference Tournament as the No. 3 seed. The Aggies face No. 6 seed San Jose State in the first round, Monday, Nov. 21 at 6pm (MT). If the Aggies defeat the Spartans they will face No. 2 seed Idaho, Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 6pm (MT). The Championship Match is set for Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 7pm (MT).
Radio Coverage: The Aggie Sports Network will produce all matches the Aggies play in the WAC Tournament with Kyle Doperalski giving the play-by-play action. The matches will air over the radio waves by the Aggie Sports Network on KSNM AM 570 in Las Cruces. Fans can also listen in 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 for a fee. Any post-season matches the Aggies play will also air on the radio.
The match with Colorado State, Nov. 26 at 12pm, (MT) in the Pan American Center is the final regular-season match scheduled to air on the radio.
Television Coverage: The WAC Championship, Nov. 23 at 7pm (MT) scheduled to air on ESPNU nationwide.
NM State had five matches produced by AggieVision this year and went 5-0 when AggieVision did the television production. NM State faced nationally ranked Hawaii on ESPNU, Oct. 12 and took the Wahine to five sets, losing 3-2. Matches that were produced by AggieVision were also available free of charge on the Internet at ESPN3.com.
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 Aggie volleyball team finished the WAC regular season as the No. 3 seed with a 10-4 record in league play.
The Aggies took this season's series with Louisiana Tech, Nevada, Fresno State and San Jose State. NM State split the series with Idaho and Utah State, while it was swept by nationally ranked Hawai'i. The Aggies went 9-1 in three-set matches during league play, 1-1 in four-set matches and 0-2 when a match went five sets.
The Aggies hit .234 as a team during WAC play and held league opponents to a .168 hitting percentage. NM State finished the WAC season second in hitting percentage (.234), second in assists (12.38/set) and second in kills (13.52/set). The Aggies posted 70 kills at Utah State, Oct. 27, which is the second most number of kills by a team in any conference match this year.
Senior Kelsey Brennan finished with the second best hitting percentage in league play at .354 and freshman Meredith Hays finished second in the league in kills (4.29/set) during conference play.
With a 21-8 overall record on the year the Aggies have now posted at least 20 wins in nine out of the last ten seasons.
NM State is 6-4 in the last ten matches played with all six of those victories coming as sweeps. The Aggies have the most success in three-set matches this season going 16-3 in sweeps. Duquense and Northwestern swept the Aggies in the Wildcat Classic hosted by Northwestern, Oct. 16-17, while being swept on Senior Night in Honolulu against nationally ranked Hawaii.
The Aggies have posted two six-match winning streaks with the most recent (Sept. 24-Oct. 8) including wins over Louisiana Tech, Idaho, Utah State, UNM, Nevada and Fresno State. The first streak was from September 9 through September 16, and included wins over Louisiana-Lafayette, Houston Baptist, Northwestern State, Texas State, UTEP and Colgate.
The Aggies are averaging 13.69 kills per set this season and is hitting .218 as a team this year, which is second best in the WAC. NM State holding opponents to a .155 hitting percentage, which also ranks second in the league.
The highest hitting percentage for a single match this year is .392, which came, Oct. 15 against San Jose State when the Aggies posted 48 kills on 97 attempts with only 10 errors. The Aggies tallied a season-high 71 kills against Utah State two weeks ago (10/27), however, NM State fell 3-2. The second highest number of kills the Aggies have tallied this season is 65 kills against Hawai'i, Oct. 12. NM State also posted a season-high 65 assists against USU, Oct. 27, and a season-high 87 digs against Northwestern State in San Marcos, Texas, Sept. 10. The Aggies put up a season-high nine service aces against Louisiana Tech, Sept. 24 and a season-high 13 total team blocks twice. This first time it happened was against New Mexico, Oct. 4 and the second-time happened against Fresno State, Oct. 8.
Senior Kelsey Brennan posted the highest hitting percentage (min. 12 kills) this season when she marked 16 kills on 24 attempts without committing an error for a .667 percentage against Northwestern State, Sept. 10.
Fifteen days after marking 22 kills against No. 5 Hawai'i (10/12), freshman Meredith Hays marked a career-high 25 kills against Utah State (10/27) in Logan, Utah. That is the most number of kills by any Aggie this year. Before that she tallied three matches with at least 21 kills and the first time she did it was against Houston Baptist, Sept. 9. Hays did it again the following day against Texas State. The last time she posted 21 kills was Sept. 16 against Colgate.
Senior setter Jennah DeVries tallied a team season-high 60 assists against Utah State (10/27) although NM State lost in five sets in Logan, Utah. The 30 digs that senior libero Kelsi Phillips posted against Idaho (9/29) was not only a career-high for her but was also the most digs tallied by any Aggie this season.
This is NM State's 38th season of play and its seventh season in the WAC.
Why the Aggies are the No. 3 Seed: The Rainbow Wahine clinched their 16th WAC regular-season title in as many seasons with a perfect 14-0 mark in conference play and will be the top seed in next week's WAC Tournament. UH has gone undefeated in WAC play 12 times.
Idaho and New Mexico State both posted 10-4 records in WAC play, but Idaho won the tiebreaker for the No. 2 seed by virtue of its record against Utah State. Fresno State and Utah State both posted 7-7 marks in the conference, but Utah State earned the No. 4 seed due to its record against New Mexico State. San Jose State rounds out the field as the No. 6 seed.
NM State in the WAC Tournament: NM State is 8-6 all-time in the WAC tournament. NM State appeared in the finals of the tournament four years in a row from the years of 2006-2009. The Aggies faced Hawai'i all four times and came up short each time. The Aggies hosted the 2007 WAC tournament where they faced Hawai'i in the finals and lost in sets. In 2005 and 2010 NM State made it to the semifinals where they lost to Utah State in both of those seasons. NM State was also the WAC regular season champions in 2008.
Aggies in the WAC: NM State heads into the week with a 10-4 record in WAC play and 21-8 overall. The Aggies are second in WAC play to Hawaii in hitting percentage at .217, assists (12.67/set) and kills with 13.68. In overall matches, the Aggies are first in the WAC in opponent hitting percentage with .155.
Freshman Meredith leads the league in kills at 4.29 per set and points averaging 4.78 per set. Senior Kelsey Brennan is second in the WAC in hitting percentage with a .359 attack percentage and is tenth in the league in points with 3.18 per set. Senior setter Jennah DeVries ranks third in the conference in assists (10.69/set), senior libero Kelsi Phillips is third in the league in digs (4.06/set) and senior Michelle Kuester is fourth in the WAC in blocks (1.21/set). Hays and Phillips are also in the top ten for service aces.
Aggies in the Nation: NM State is No. 57 in the nation in assists per set with 12.67 and is also ranked 79th in blocks with 2.31 per set. The Aggies rank 53rd in the nation in kills with 13.68 per set and are also ranked 52nd in the nation for match win-lose percentage with .724.
Senior libero Kelsi Phillips is ranked No. 191 in aces (0.30/set) and she is also ranked No. 188 in the nation for digs (4.06/set). Senior setter Jennah DeVries is ranked 58th in the nation in assists (10.69/set). Senior middle blocker Michelle Kuester is ranked 45th in the nation in blocks (1.21/set) and is also ranked 246th for hitting percentage (.288). Freshmen Meredith Hays ranks in three different categories in the nation. Hays is ranked 222nd in aces (0.29/set), 26th in points (4.79/set) and ranked 22nd in the nation in kills (4.29/set).
San Jose State: New Mexico State defeated San Jose last week 25-23, 27-25, 25-26 in Spartan Gym in San Jose, Calif. The Aggies are 3-0 against the Spartans in the WAC tournament all-time and has swept San Jose in every match since1994.
Meredith Hays finished the match, Nov. 14 with 14 kills. Senior Kelsey Brennan was close behind with eight kills on 16 attempts.
The Spartans are 12-16 overall with two matches left for the season. Savanah Leaf is high on the charts leading the team at number one with 2.95 kills per set. Taylor Japhet is in second with 2.37.
NM State v SJSU in WAC Tournament
Nov. 24, 2005 - NM State 3, SJSU 1
Nov. 16, 2007 - NM State 3, SJSU 0
Nov. 21, 2008 - NM State 3, SJSU 0
Idaho: New Mexico State was 1-1 this season against the Vandals losing the most recent match-up on October 29.
Idaho is 16-11 overall and 10-4 in the conference. New Mexico State has not seen the Vandals in the WAC tournament since 2006.
Allison Walker leads Idaho with 4.18 kills per set. Alicia Milo is in second 3.69. The Vandals have a hitting percentage of .216.
NM State v Idaho in WAC Tournament
Nov. 23, 2006 - NM State 3, Idaho 0
No.6 Hawaii: The Aggies played Hawaii Nov. 12 and fell 3-0. New Mexico State is 2-32 all-time against Hawaii.
The Aggies have played against Hawaii four times in the WAC tournament with a record of 0-4. The last time the Aggies played Hawai'i in the tournament was in 2009. Hawai'i was number three in the nation at the time.
The Rainbow Wahine stand at No. 6 nationally with an overall record of 26-1 and 14-0 in the conference. Hawai'i's only loss this season came at the hands of UCLA.
NM State v Hawai'i in WAC Tournament
Nov. 24, 2006 - NM State 1, Hawai'i 3
Nov. 17, 2007 - NM State 2, Hawai'i 3
Nov. 22, 2008 - NM State 1, Hawai'i 3
Nov. 25, 2009 - NM State 0, Hawai'i 3
Head Coach Mike Jordan: Jordan is in 14th year coaching at NM State. He is the all-time winningest coach in the programs history with a record of 306-136 giving him a winning percentage of .694. He has been named coach of the year five times while at NM State, twice in the Sun Belt and three times in the WAC. Before coming to NM State, Jordan spent time as an assistant at both Cameron and Utah State.
Jordan's Aggies have made it to the NCAA Tournament five times in the past eight seasons. In the 2008 tournament, The Aggies defeated St. Mary's College 3-1 to advance to the second round of the tournament for the first time in school history.
Jordan picked up career win No. 300 when the Aggies swept Nevada in Reno, Thursday, Oct. 6. He led his team to 20-plus win seasons nine out of the last ten years (2002: 26-7; 2003: 30-5; 2004: 30-3; 2005: 20-7; 2006: 33-4; 2007: 26-6; 2008: 26-9; 2009:20-9; 2010: 18-13; 2011: 21-8).
Record Watch: After posting 1,070 assists this season, senior setter Jennah DeVries now has 3,903 assists all-time, which has her ahead of former Aggie Temre Kuester for fourth on the all-time assist list at NM State. Kuester tallied 3,092 assists for the Aggies from 1987-90.
DeVries needs 198 more assists to catch former Aggie setter Jackie Choi (2004-06), who is third on the all-time assist list with 4,101. Former setter Christine Jinbo (1993-96) holds the NM State career-record with 4,294. DeVries needs just 97 assists to reach 4,000.
Senior libero Kelsi Phillips posted a career-high 30 digs against Idaho, Sept. 29, which is in the top five for digs in a four-set match. She heads into this week's play with 1,022 career-digs and is now in the top-10 all-time at NM State. Phillips surpassed former Aggie Lisa Roberson (1985-88) and tallied 1,000 digs, Nov. 10 in San Jose State.
Former All-American libero Krystal Torres (2005-08) holds the all-time record for digs with 1,942.
Senior Kesley Brennan has 312 total blocks on her career and could move into the top 10 in the Aggie record books with seven more total blocks this year. Former Aggie Whitney Woods (2007-10) holds the No. 10 spot on the all-time total blocks list with 319, while former All-American Amber Simpson (2005-08) owns the Aggie record with 515.
Double-Doubles: The Aggies have posted 24 double-doubles this season with 12 from Jennah DeVries, 10 from Meredith Hays, one from Brynja Rodgers and one from Stephanie Ziegler. DeVries marked the first one, Aug. 26 against Nebraska when she had 40 assists and 17 digs.
DeVries has the most recent double-double marking 36 assists and 10 digs in a sweep over Fresno State, Nov. 3. She also did posted the previous double-double marking 38 assists and 12 digs in a four-set loss at Idaho, Oct. 29. DeVries joined Hays as each tallied a double-double three weeks ago against Louisiana Tech in Ruston, La. DeVries posted 29 assists and 14 digs, while Hays added 13 kills and 12 digs. Before that DeVries marked 48 assists and 20 digs against No. 8 Hawai'i. Ziegler joined DeVries on Oct. 12 when she tallied her first-career double-double against the Wahine with 14 kills and 12 digs.
Hays' markerd her first double-double, Sept. 3 against LSU with 14 kills and 11 digs and also added a double-double against UNM when she put up 20 and 13 digs. Senior Brynja Rodgers has one double-double this season, Sept. 17 against Duquesne with 12 assists and 10 digs.
Looking Ahead: Saturday Nov.26 New Mexico State plays Colorado in Las Cruces. The game against the rams will be the last home game of the season. The match will air on the radio KSNM AM 570.
Aggies Versus Ranked Opponents: NM State is 10-138 against opponents ranked in the top 25 and 1-80 against top 10 opponents after falling 3-2 to Nebraska, who was ranked No. 5 at the start of the season and to Hawaii, who was ranked No. 8, Oct. 12. The Aggies were swept by the Rainbow Wahine on Nov. 12 in Honolulu and have not defeated a ranked team beating Hawai'i when it was ranked No. 6, Oct. 12, 2008.
AVCA Poll: Hawai'i stays at No. 6 nationally and has only one loss on the year. The Wahine sit behind No. 1 USC, No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 California, No. 4 Nebraska and No. 5 Stanford. Each of those teams have at least three losses, while Stanford has five losses. The Aggies face Colorado State later this season, although the Rams have dropped out of the top-25 this week after being ranked No. 23 last week.
Nebraska dropped from No. 1 in the nation two weeks ago and is now sitting in the No. 2 spot at 20-2 on the year. The Aggies took Nebraska to five sets in the opening match of the season.
Jene Coppedge: Sophomore Jene Coppedge has played in 68 sets this volleyball season. One of her best performances this season was against Louisiana Tech where she marked two assists, one service ace and four digs. Another season-high was against USU where she posted three service aces. Coppedge has six service aces on the year per set and .43 digs per set.
Brynja Rodgers: Senior Brynja Rodgers is listed as setter for the Aggies but has been playing defensive specialist for the majority of the year. Her best game was against Duquesne (9/17) where she marked 12 assists with 46 total attempted. That game Rodgers also had two kills and 10 digs. Rodgers tied her career high when she marked 13 digs against Colgate (9/16). The last time she marked 13 digs was Sept.18, 2009 against Ole Miss when she was at University of Florida. Rodgers has made appearances in 89 sets and averages 1.98 digs per set and .92 assists per set.
Meredith Hays: Freshman Meredith Hays leads the WAC with 4.29 kills per set and 4.78 points per set. She marked a career-high 25 kills against Utah State (10/27) and has marked at least 20 kills in six matches. Hays has tallied double-digit kill figures in 24 matches.
Hays is in the top 10 in the WAC for aces and has a total of 29 aces on the year. She marked three aces in three different matches including the two matches with Fresno State. If Hays keeps up the pace at 4.29 kills per set, that would put her at No. 2 in the Aggie record books for kills per set in a season.
Maggi Jo Keffury: Freshman Maggie Jo has made appearances in seven sets. Her best game was against Grambling State (9/2) when she posted four assists and two digs. For the season Keffury averages .29 digs per set and 1.00 assists per set.
Kelsey Brennan: Senior Kesley Brennan has played in 97 sets for NM State this season and is second in the league with a .360 hitting percentage. She is also in the top ten for points per set at 3.18, while coming up with 75 total blocks this year. Brennan marked the highest hitting percentage of any Aggie when she tallied a .667 hitting percentage against Northwestern State (9/10). During her four years at NM State, Brennan has posted 312 kills and 777 kills.
Kelsi Phillips: Senior Kelsi Phillips has played in 100 sets heading into the WAC Tournament and is third in the league with 4.06 digs per set. She reached 1,000 career-digs, Nov. 10 against San Jose State and also jumped into the top 10 all-time at NM State that day. With 1,022 career digs heading into the tournament, Phillips needs 27 to tie former Aggie Christine Jinbo (1993-96) for the No. 9 spot and 40 to tie Briana Akrie (2004-07) for the No. 8 spot. She has posted double-digit dig figures in 23 matches and has posted 20 or more digs in three matches this year. Phillips also leads the team with 30 service aces and is only the 10th player to reach 1,000 digs in a career.
Shelby Tamura: Shelby Tamura is in her second year as a defensive specialist for the Aggies. Against the University of South Florida she tallied a season high of 5 digs. She also marked one assist against Houston Baptist (9/9). Tamura has played in 31 sets for the Aggies this season. She averages .32 digs per set.
Jennah DeVries: Senior setter Jennah DeVries is one of three players to play in 100 sets heading into the WAC Tournament. She has 12 double-doubles on the year and has 1,070 assists and 267 digs on the year. DeVries has posted at least 20 assists in all but one match this year and has posted at least 30 assists in 23 matches.
She tallied a season-high 60 assists against Utah State (10/27) and has marked 50-plus assists in three matches.
Michelle Kuester: Senior Michelle Kuester has played 94 sets in her second year with the Aggies. She is fourth in the WAC in blocks per set and leads the Aggies with 110 total blocks. She averages 1.51 kills per set and marked a career-high three times this season with eight kills against USU, Colgate and Northwestern State. Another career-high she posted was with eight blocks against University of New Mexico and Northwestern State.
Desiree Scott: Middle hitter Desiree Scott has played in 85 sets for NM State this season. She was one of three sophomores and one of three Aggies to be named 2011 preseason all-WAC team selection. Scott's posted a career-high 12 kills against Colgate (9/16). She was perfect against Utah State (10/1) in Las Cruces when she marked six kills on six attempts. Scott is averaging 1.44 kills and 0.81 blocks per set.
Stephanie Ziegler: Outside hitter Stephanie Ziegler has played in 99 sets this 2011 volleyball season. She tallied a career-high 17 kills against San Jose State (11/10) and heads into the tournament with 203 kills on the season. She averages 2.05 kills per set and has marked double-digit kill figures in five matches this year. Her only double-double came against Hawai'i (10/12) when she tallied 14 kills and 12 digs.
Kiley Mansfield: Freshman Kiley Mansfield has seen playing time in 21 sets this season as a setter for NM State. She averages .14 digs per set and .48 kills per set. Her best game this season was against Louisiana Tech (9/24). That game she tallied one kill, one service ace and two digs.
Deirdre Pajares: Sophomore Deirdre Pajares plays as an outside hitter for the Aggies. Against University of South Florida she had a career high of nine kills and three assisted blocks. Another stand out game for Pajares was against Northwestern State where she posted six kills with 25 attempted and seven assisted blocks. Pajares has made appearances in 49 sets this volleyball season and averages 1.35 kills per set and .59 blocks per set.
Jocelyn Leichner: Freshman Jocelyn Leichner has made appearances in 32 sets this volleyball season. Her best game this season was against Grambling State. She played in all three sets and marked seven kills, two service aces and three digs. As an outside hitter Leichner averages .88 kills per set and .22 blocks per set.
WAC Player of the Week: New Mexico State senior libero Kelsi Phillips was named Western Athletic Conference Volleyball Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 26-Oct. 1. That was the first-ever WAC Player of the Week honor for Phillips.
Phillips, a native of Scottsdale, Ariz. averaged 6.29 digs per set on the week as the Aggies defeated Idaho and Utah State to go to 3-0 in WAC play. Phillips got off to a good start on the week as she marked a career-high 30 digs against Idaho, Sept. 29 then followed that with a 14-dig performance against defending WAC Tournament champions Utah State. The 30 digs is the conference high in WAC matches this season.
WAC Player of the Week: New Mexico State senior setter Jennah DeVries was named Western Athletic Conference Volleyball Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 5-11. That was the first-ever WAC Player of the Week honor for DeVries.
The Sedalia, Colo. native earned CenturyLink Premier Tournament MVP honors after leading New Mexico State to the tournament title by defeating four teams in two days. DeVries tallied two double-doubles, averaged 12.07 assists and 2.93 digs and set her team to a .246 hitting percentage over the four matches. Her first double-double came in a four-set win over Northwestern State when she posted 47 assists, 12 digs and four kills. She followed that up with her second double-double of the weekend against host Texas State, when she tallied a season-high 51 assists while adding 15 digs and four kills.
CVU.com Top Performer: On September 13, Jennah DeVries was also named a College Volleyball Update (CVU.com) Top Performer, which includes 12 players each week from across the country.
Wildcat Classic All-Tournament: Senior Setter Jennah DeVries was named to the Wildcat Classic All-Tournament team marking 9.90 assists and 1.40 digs per set. She tallied a season-high .625 hitting percentage in the win over Colgate (9/16) and also had a season-high 52 assists against the Raiders. She had a season-low 20 assists and thee digs against Duquesne and added 26 assists, six digs and three block assists versus Northwestern.
Aggies in the Preseason Polls: The Western Athletic Conference office released its preseason poll August 5, with the volleyball coaches selecting New Mexico State to finish second in the WAC regular season, while Hawai'i was picked to win its 16th-straight regular-season title.Along with the second-place prediction by the league's coaches, the Aggies had three student-athletes on the 2011 WAC Preseason team, while Hawaii had the most with four selections. Senior middle hitter Kelsey Brennan and senior setter Jennah DeVries join sophomore middle hitter Desiree Scott on the preseason team along with three players from Utah State and one from Fresno State and Idaho.
Hawai'i earned 49 total points followed by the Aggies with 41. Utah State was picked to finish third with 34 points, followed closely by Idaho in fourth with 33 points. Fresno State was picked fifth with 25 points, while Nevada was selected sixth with 20 points. San Jose State and Louisiana Tech rounded out the poll with 14 and eight points, respectively.
2010 Honors & Awards: The Aggies continued to pile up awards in 2010. NM State had an AVCA All-American (honorable mention) in Jennah DeVries, who also collected first team All-WAC honors and Academic All-WAC honors.
Also returning for NM State is Kelsey Brennan, who was a 2010 first team All-WAC selection and a Florida State Invitational all-tournament team honoree.