This week: The New Mexico State volleyball team continues to play on the road this week starting with a non-conference match against in-state rival New Mexico, Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. (MT) in Albuquerque. The Aggies then travel to Denver for a Western Athletic Conference match-up against the Pioneers, Saturday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. (MT) in Hamilton Gymnasium.
Radio Coverage: The Aggie Sports Network is producing 11 matches on KSNM AM 570 this season, along with any matches in the post season. Tuesday's match against UNM has been canceled but Saturday's league match-up in Denver is still scheduled to air over the radio waves. 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 14-7 overall and 8-3 in Western Athletic Conference play heading into week 10 of the 2012 season. The Aggies are hitting .223 as a team, while holding their opponents to a .167 hitting percentage. Four different Aggies have posted at least 150 kills this season with sophomore Meredith Hays leading the way with 333 on the year (4.01/set).
NM State runs a 6-2 offense, rotating setters throughout the match, with junior Ciara Brown leading the way with 5.78 assists per set in 78 sets played. Freshman Taylor Livoti has seen action in 58 sets this year and is posting 4.69 assists per set. Sophomore Maggi Jo Keffury has gotten in the lineup in 43 sets this year and averages 3.86 assists per set.
Juniors Stephanie Ziegler and Hannah Walker have been taking on the defensive specialist duties this year with Ziegler leading the team posting 2.93 digs per set. Walker is second on the team with 2.83 digs per set. Scott leads the team defensively at the net with 106 total blocks on the year, averaging 1.28 per set. Sophomore Gwen Murphy is closest to Scott with 50 total blocks on the season. The Aggies as a team tally 2.52 blocks per set.
Looking Back: The Aggies went 1-1 on the road last week, falling 3-1 at UT-Arlington, Thursday, before bouncing back to defeat Louisiana Tech, 3-1 on Saturday. NM State dropped the match to UTA by scores of 23-25, 25-12, 23-25, 25-27. NM State had more kills (54-48) than the Mavericks and a better hitting percentage (.140-.086) but it was not enough to earn a victory away from the Pan American Center.
The Aggies bounced back from its loss on Thursday with a 3-1 win (25-10, 18-25, 25-16, 25-18) over Louisiana Tech in the Thomas Assembly Center in Ruston, La. The Aggies used a .328 team hitting percentage with junior Desiree Scott leading the way to the win. Scott played very efficient offense finishing the match with a .684 hitting percentage as she put down 13 kills on 19 swings. She also tallied nine block assists on the afternoon. Sophomore Meredith hays tallied a match-high 16 kills and added eight digs, while the setting duties were split between junior Ciara Brown and freshman Taylor Livoti. Brown posted 25 assists and nine digs as Livoti came up with 19 assists and three digs.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS
Aggies vs. New Mexico: NM State is 42-27 all-time against the Lobos. The Aggies defeated UNM 3-1 last season in Las Cruces, after falling to the Lobos 3-2 in 2010 and 3-0 in 2009. The first meeting between the two teams came on Nov. 8, 1974 with UNM winning 2-0. The Aggies won 16-consecutive matches from 1975-81. NM State won 10-straight from 2003-08.
Last season's match was a highly-contested one that went back-and-forth, but ended with the Aggies winning the first two sets and eventually the match 3-1 (25-22, 25-18, 22-25, 25-17) in front of 1,669 fans. Outside hitter Meredith Hays led the way as she finished with a match-high 20 kills. Hays, however, was not alone in defeating the Lobos. Then-senior Jennah DeVries finished with her eighth double-double as she posted 45 assists and 11 digs. Former Aggies Michelle Kuester was instrumental in keeping the Aggies in helping the Aggies win the first set and finished the evening with seven kills, while former Aggie middle hitter Kelsey Brennan added 10 kills.
UNM is 18-5 on the year and 5-3 in Mountain West Conference play. The Lobos defeated Colorado State in five sets earlier this season, a team NM State fell to. Chantale Riddle leads the Lobos offensively averaging 4.17 kills per set. UNM runs a 6-2 offense with Hannah Johnson and Jordan Russel splitting the setting duties.
Aggies vs. Denver: The Aggies are 9-2 all-time against Denver after sweeping the Pioneers in Las Cruces, Sept. 29. Denver won the first two meetings, but the Aggies have since won nine straight.
The Aggies swept Denver by scores of 25-22, 25-19, 25-16 in the Pan American Center, Saturday, Sept. 29. The Aggies hit .321 as a team with junior Preslie Alexander leading the charge posting a match-high 13 kills on a career-high .706 hitting percentage. Junior middle blocker Desiree Scott was also very efficient as she marked a .538 hitting percentage to go along with eight kills and two total blocks. Sophomore Meredith Hays tallied seven kills on the afternoon and led the Aggies on the defensive side of the net with a match-high 12 digs. Junior Stephanie Ziegler, who was at the libero position today, tallied 11 digs, while freshman setter Taylor Livoti posted seven digs to go along with a match-high 21 assists.
Denver is 6-5 in WAC play and 12-9 overall. The Pioneers head into the week sitting in fifth place. Famie Kingsley leads the WAC with a .392 hitting percentage and also leads the league with 1.72 blocks per set. Colleen King ranks seventh in the WAC with 3.08 kills per set.
Looking Ahead: The Aggies have three home matches next week. NM State hosts Seattle, Monday, Oct. 29, San Jose State, Thursday, Nov. 1 and Utah State, Saturday, Nov. 3 with all three matches starting at 7 p.m. (MT). The matches against San Jose State and Utah State will be televised as a part of the AggieVision Productions. Those two matches will be available on ESPN3.
Aggies in the WAC: NM State heads into the weekend tied for second with Idaho in the WAC standings at 8-3 on the year. After last week's road trip, NM State is now 97-24 all-time in WAC play.
NM State currently ranks second in the WAC in hitting percentage (.223), is third in assists (12.01/set), kills (13.12/set), blocks (2.52/set), opponent hitting percentage (.167), and is fifth in service aces (1.16/set).
Individually, Hays is tied for second in kills (4.01/set) and points (4.53/set) with UTSA's McKenzie Adams. Scott heads into the week ranking second in the league in hitting percentage (.363) and fourth in blocks (1.28/set), while Taylor Livoti is tied for eighth with Hannah Walker in service aces (0.24/set).
Aggies in the Nation: Out of 250 players ranked nationally, Meredith Hays is 59th nationally in points (4.53/set) and 52nd kills (4.01/set). Arkansas-Little Rock's Edina Begic leads the nation in points (5.86/set) and Tulsa's Tyler Henderson leads the nation in kills (5.24/set).
Desiree Scott is 51st in blocks (1.28/set) and is 47th in hitting percentage (.363). Denver's Faimie Kingsley leads the nation in blocks (1.72/set) and Wichita State's Chelsey Feekin leads the country in hitting percentage (.462).
As a team, the Aggies rank in the top 100 (328 teams ranked) in three categories. NM State is 48th in blocks (2.52/set), 93rd in hitting percentage (.223) and 70th in win-loss percentage (.667).
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.
Record Watch: Sophomore Meredith Hays has 833 kills on her career and still needs 350 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 4.25 kills per set on her career which is a top the all-time kills per set list at NM State.
Junior Desiree Scott has 258 career-total blocks heading into this week's play. She needs 61 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.
WAC Tournanment Tickets Now on Sale: 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:
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)
CSU Ram's Classic All-Tournament Team: Sophomore Meredith Hays was named to 2012 Rams Volleyball Classic All-Tournament team after she averaged 4.45 kills and 2.09 digs per set in three matches. Hays started the weekend with 11 kills as she led the Aggies to their first sweep of the year, defeating FIU on Friday, Sept. 7. Hays then marked 22 kills on a .318 hitting percentage in a 3-1 loss to No. 12 Pepperdine before posting her fourth double-double of the season as she added 13 digs. Hays heads into WAC play averaging 4.60 kills per set which is second in the league, but leads the conference in points per set with 5.31.
Scott on All-Tournament Team: Junior middle hitter Desiree Scott was named to the La Quinta Invitational Tournament after she marked 21 kills (1.75/set), a .389 hitting percentage and 13 total blocks. Six of those blocks were solo.
Scott had a great offensive showing against Cincinnati, Aug. 31 as she tallied eight kills on nine swings without an error for a .889 hitting percentage. In the very next match, against Drake, Scott did work on the defensive side of the net tallying seven total blocks, five of them solo. She also added eight kills to lead the Aggies to their fifth consecutive win of the year.
NIU All-Tournament: Sophomore Meredith Hays was named the NIU Tournament MVP, while juniors Desiree Scott and Preslie Alexander joined her on the all-tournament team. Scott finished the tournament with 18 kills and 16 total blocks while Alexander averaged 2.42 kills per set in 12 sets played. This is Scott's third year with the Aggies, while Alexander is a transfer from Blinn Junior College.
WAC Preseason Poll: The WAC volleyball coaches selected NM State to win the WAC regular season title in 2012. The Aggies received eight of the 10 first-place votes with Idaho earning the other two. The Aggies earned 79 total points, followed by Idaho with 67. UTSA was picked to finish third with 58 points, followed closely by Utah State in fourth with 57 points and Texas State in fifth with 52. Denver was picked sixth with 43 points, while San Jose State was selected seventh with 34 points. UT Arlington, Seattle U and Louisiana Tech rounded out the poll with 27, 18 and 15 points, respectively.
Preseason All-WAC: NM State placed the most players on the preseason All-WAC team with three, including sophomore Meredith Hays as Preseason Player of the Year, while Idaho, UTSA and Utah State had two apiece. Joining Hays on the preseason team are teammates Lauren Loerch and Desiree Scott, Idaho's Alex Sele and Allison Walker, UTSA's McKenzie Adams and Whitney Walls, Utah State's Shay Sorensen and Joselyn White, Denver's Faimie Kingsley, San Jose State's Alex Akana and Texas State's Amari Deardorff.
Hays, was a 2011 first team All-WAC member as a freshman and was also the 2011 Freshman of the Year. She was only the second Aggie ever to earn that honor. She led the WAC and ranked 18th in the nation in both kills per set (4.42) and points per set (4.94). Hays also led the WAC with 500 kills on the season. Scott played in 98 sets as a sophomore last season, ranking second on the team in blocks per set (0.78) and third in total blocks (76). She was a perfect six kills on six attempts during a sweep of Utah State on Oct. 1, 2011.
Loerch, a cousin of former Aggie great Stevi (Adams) Maytubby, comes to NM State as a transfer from California. She was a part of the 2010 Bear team that reached the NCAA National Championship match against Penn State.
Returning Top Stats Leaders: The Aggies welcome back outside hitter Meredith Hays, who not only led her team but led the WAC with 4.42 kills per set. Redshirt junior Stephanie Ziegler was third on the team in 2011 with 2.17 kills per set. Unfortunately, NM State lost Kelsi Phillips who led the team in service aces (35) and digs (4.13/set) and will look to some newcomers to replace her. Hays was third on the team last year in digs (2.53/set), while junior Desiree Scott was third in total blocks (76).
Jordan Back for 15th Season: Head coach Mike Jordan enters his 15 year with NM State and heads into the weekend with a 322-145 overall record, and 97-24 in WAC play. He earned WAC Coach of the Year honors in 2005, 2006 and 2008 and also earned Coach of the Year honors twice in the Sun Belt Conference (2003 and 2004).
Jordan is the only NM State volleyball head coach to lead his team to the NCAA Tournament, which he has done five times (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008). He is also the only Aggie head coach to ever lead his team to a conference title as he led his team to titles in both the Sun Belt Conference and the WAC. NM State is the first team to either share or hold the WAC regular-season title since BYU and Hawai'i shared the Pacific Division title in 1998.