Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State volleyball head coach Mike Jordan announced the Aggies' 2009 schedule, Thursday, May 28. The schedule features three tournaments and a match versus national powerhouse Texas, Sept. 10 in Austin, Texas.
The Aggies have 13 home matches and faces four teams that reached the 2008 NCAA Tournament, including Texas, who was a final four participant. The Longhorns reached the semifinals and fell in five sets to national runner-up Stanford. The other teams to reach the NCAA tournament were Illinois, Hawai'i and Colorado State.
"It's obviously a very competitive schedule and we are going to learn a lot about ourselves as the season goes on," Jordan said. "It will toughen us up for conference play that is for sure. It benefited us in the long run last season with how tough the schedule was, so we wanted something similar this year."
NM State opens the season with the annual Alumni Match, Aug. 22 before heading to Denton, Texas for the University of North Texas Tournament, Aug. 28-29, where it faces Southern Methodist University, Northern Colorado and North Texas.
The Aggies then return home to host their own tournament, Sept. 4-5. The 2009 NM State Tournament will bring in Oral Roberts, Florida State and Illinois. The Illini made the NCAA Tournament last season and fell to California in the third round, a round after the Aggies lost to the Golden Bears.
"We are really excited about the teams coming to the tournament," Jordan said. "Illinois will be top-10 team next season and Florida State is a favorite to win the ACC. It's a very strong tournament and fans can look forward to some quality and competitive volleyball."
After the NM State tournament, the Aggies welcome their first rival of the season as UTEP comes to Las Cruces for a match, Sept. 8. Two days later, NM State travels to Austin, Texas to face the Longhorns.
The Aggies will play in their third tournament of the year when they head out for the Notre Dame Tournament, Sept. 12-13. NM State faces Wisconsin in the first match of the tournament and Notre Dame in match No. 2.
After nine days off, the Aggies head to El Paso, Texas to take on UTEP in the second match of the season versus the I-10 rivals, Sept. 22.
NM State opens Western Athletic Conference play Sept. 24 against Utah State in the Pan American Center, before making its first conference road trip to Ruston, La. to take on Louisiana Tech, Sept. 27. Continuing WAC play, the Aggies host Nevada, Oct. 1, before taking on Hawai'i in the Pan American Center, Oct. 3.
The Aggies head back out on the road taking on Boise State in Boise, Idaho, Oct. 8, then return home to face Louisiana Tech for the second time. The Aggies follow that with a match against in-state rival New Mexico at the Pan Am Center, Oct. 13.
NM State heads out on the road for two more road matches. The Aggies take on San Jose State for the first time, Oct. 15, then travel to Honolulu, Oct. 17, to take on the Wahine for the second time in the season. The team returns home for a match against Fresno State Oct. 22, and follows that with its second match in 10 days against the Spartans of San Jose State, Oct. 24.
Idaho has its first match of the season with the Aggies, Oct. 29 in Moscow, Id. The Aggies then head to Logan, Utah, Oct. 31 for a match with the other Aggies of the conference.
NM State has its two final home matches of the year Nov. 5 and 7, taking on Boise State and Idaho respectively, before wrapping up the conference-regular season, Nov. 12 and 14 at Nevada and at Fresno State respectively.
The 2009 WAC Tournament will be held in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 23-25 with the top six teams making the tournament.
After the WAC Tournament, the Aggies have one final regular season match against Colorado State in Fort Collins, Colo., Nov. 28. The Rams were 2008 NCAA Tournament participants.
Volleyball season tickets will go on sale soon. Please visit www.NMStateSports.com or call the Pan American Center Box Office at (575) 646-1420 for more information.