This week: The New Mexico State volleyball team hits the road this week playing two Western Athletic Conference matches. NM State takes on UT-Arlington, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. (MT) in Arlington, Texas and Louisiana Tech, Oct. 20 at 1 p.m. in Ruston, La.
Radio Coverage: The Aggie Sports Network is producing 13 matches on KSNM AM 570 this season, along with any matches in the post season. Thursday's match will not be aired, but Saturday's match will air over the radio waves in Las Cruces. Jay Sanderson is the new play-by-play announcer for NM State volleyball, replacing Kyle Doperalski.
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. Neither match this week is scheduled to air on TV with Jay Sanderson and Keith Leupold as the announcers.
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: The Aggies are 13-6 after sweeping UTSA (26-24, 25-19, 25-21) last Thursday, but fell to Texas State, which was their second WAC loss. NM State lost to the Bobcats in five sets on Saturday (26-24, 17-25, 25-15, 24-26, 11-15). Meredith Hays had a match-high of 11 kills against the Roadrunners. Against Texas State, Hays posted her eighth double-double of the season with a match-high 18 kills along with 10 digs. Lauren Loerch had 13 kills, while Desiree Scott finished with 12 kills, hitting .647. Hays leads the Aggies in kills (4.01/set) and points (4.55/set), while Scott leads the team defensively with 1.19 blocks per set, totaling 89 for the season with 19 solo and 70 assisted blocks. Juniors Stephanie Ziegler and Hannah Walker have done plenty of work in the back row this season as Ziegler has 218 digs (2.91/set) and Walker has 198 (2.64/set) on the year. Hays also has 158 digs (2.11/set) so far this year.
The Aggies head into this week's matches out-hitting their opponent .224-.173 with middle blocker Desiree Scott leading the way with a .347 hitting percentage. NM State runs a 6-2 offense using two setters with junior Ciara Brown marking 5.74 assists per set and freshman Taylor Livoti posting 4.70 per set. Sophomore Maggi Jo Keffury has been seeing more playing time during the past three weeks and is averaging 3.87 assists per set.
Aggies in the WAC: NM State heads into the weekend second in the WAC standings at 7-2 on the year, while it is 13-6 overall on the season. After last week's road trip, NM State is now 96-23 all-time in WAC play.
NM State currently ranks second in the WAC in hitting percentage (.224), is third in assists (11.99/set), kills (13.11/set), blocks (2.45/set), opponent hitting percentage (.173), and is fourth in service aces (1.24/set).
Individually, Hays ranks second in the WAC and 48th in the nation in points (4.55/set) and kills (4.01/set). Scott heads into the weekend ranking third in the league in hitting percentage (.347) and fifth in blocks (1.19/set), while Taylor Livoti is seventh in service aces (0.26/set) and Hannah Walker is ninth with 0.27/set.
Aggies in the Nation: Out of 250 players ranked nationally, Meredith Hays is 48th nationally in points (4.55/set) and kills (4.01/set). Arkansas-Little Rock's Edina Begic leads the nation in kills (5.36/set) and points (6.08/set).
Desiree Scott is 77th in blocks (1.19/set) and is 67th in hitting percentage (.347). Denver's Faimie Kingsley leads the nation in blocks (1.69/set) and Wichita State's Chelsey Feekin leads the country in hitting percentage (.472).
As a team, the Aggies rank in the top 100 (328 teams ranked) in three categories. NM State is 52nd in blocks (2.45/set), 93rd in hitting percentage (.224) and 56th in win-loss percentage (.684).
NM State Ranks Nationally in Attendance: NM State currently ranks 22th nationally in attendance with an average of 1,688 fans per match. The Aggies have ranked in the top 25 in attendance every year since joining the WAC in 2005. NM State's highest ranking as a member of the WAC came in 2005, when the Aggies were 11th with an average attendance of 2,075.
Aggies vs. UT-Arlington: NM State is 4-2 all-time against UTA. The Aggies played the UTA Mavericks earlier this year on Sept. 22, 2012 for the first time since 1986, where they beat UTA 3-1. NM State swept Texas-Arlington (25-17, 25-19, 25-19).
Sophomore Meredith Hays led them to victory with a match-high of 12 kills on 28 attempts with only one error. Hays finished with a .393 hitting percentage, although freshman Nathalie Castellanos had the most efficient afternoon with a .583 attack percentage. Castellanos marked eight kills on 12 attacks with an error.
Junior outside hitter Lauren Loerch also added eight kills and junior middle hitter Desiree Scott posted seven to go along with six block assists. NM State ended the day with a .306 hitting percentage as a team and out-blocked the Mavericks 13-3. Junior Hannah Walker led the way defensively with a match-high 12 digs and junior Stephanie Ziegler added 10. Ziegler also added two service aces on the day.
Taylor Gross leads the Mavericks in hitting percentage with .253 for the season. In assists, Amanda Welsh leads UTA with 9.85 per set. Ashley Bennett leads in blocks per set with 0.97.
Aggies vs. Louisiana Tech: The Aggies are 16-1 all-time against Louisiana Tech. NM State played the Lady Techsters on Sept. 20, 2012 and after losing the first set, they came back to win the next three and ultimately won the match against Louisiana Tech in four sets, (23-25, 26-24, 25-12, 25-21).
The Aggies were led by sophomore outside hitter Meredith Hays who had a team-high 17 kills on the night to go along with 10 digs. The double-double was Hays' team-leading sixth of the year. Junior outside hitter Lauren Loerch and junior middle blocker Preslie Alexander also finished with double-digit kills, Loerch with 11 and Alexander with 10. Junior Hannah Walker led NM State with 12 digs while junior setter Ciara Brown led the team with 26 assists. Junior middle blocker had another productive night, leading the team in hitting percentage (.467) and blocks (5) while barely missing a double-digit kill night with nine.
Leading the Techsters in kills per set is Clara Vido with 2.37 per set. Caitlin Germany leads Louisiana Tech with 0.90 blocks per set. Stephany Salas leads the way in digs with 3.60 per set and in service aces per set with 0.22.
Record Watch: Sophomore Meredith Hays has 801 kills on her career and still needs 382 more to jump into the top 10 for kills in a career. Former Aggie Alice Borden is No. 10 on the all-time list with 1,183 kills in her career (2003-06). Hays is averaging 4.29 kills per set on her career which is a top the all-time kills per set list at NM State.
Junior Desiree Scott has 241 career-total blocks heading into this week's play. She needs 78 more total blocks to enter the top 10 at NM State. Former Aggies Kelsey Brennan (2008-11) and Whitney Woods (2007-10) are tied for 10th in career-total blocks with 319.