The Daily Aggie :: 10/04/09

As great as last weekend was for Aggie fans, Saturday was equally as tough. The Aggie football and volleyball teams both lost tough competitions on Saturday night, both teams were in position to win but both teams ended up with losing with finals scores that were not indicative of the closeness of the game.

Coach WalkerThe football team once again dominated their opponent on Saturday in the first half but once again found themselves trailing heading into halftime. The Aggie defense was outstanding and held the Aztecs without an offensive touchdown in the first half. The Aggie offense had scored one touchdown in the half and SDSU had scored one field goal and a defensive touchdown off an Aggie fumble by Seth Smith. The Aggie offense had started to move the ball late in the first quarter and capped off an 11 play 70 yard drive with a touchdown to start the 2nd quarter. Then after forcing another SDSU punt, the Aggie offense had begun another drive when a Seth Smith fumble was recovered by SDSU and run in for a touchdown. The entire complexion of the game changed on that play. The Aggies and Aztecs traded punts on the next two possessions and then the Aggies would turn the ball over on downs at the SDSU 35. The Aztecs marched down the field to the Aggie six yard line but the Aggies held them to a field goal. The Aggies again turned the ball over on downs this time on the SDSU 31 yard line as time expired in the half.

The third quarter saw most of the scoring action as SDSU's offense came alive. The Aztecs scored a touchdown on a three play 76 yard drive to take a 17-7 lead. The Aggies answered on the next drive with a field goal to cut the lead to 17-10. After forcing a punt from SDSU, the Aggies drove down for a touchdwon to tie the game up at 17 with 12:22 left to play in the game. SDSU answered with a touchdown of their own to retake the lead at 24-17. Then when the Aggies got the ball back, the wheels came off for the Aggies. A fumbled snap on a punt resulted in a SDSU field goal and a 27-17 lead. Then on the very next drive the Aggies threw an interception that the Aztecs returned to the Aggie five yard line. Two plays later the Aztecs were in the end zone and the game was pretty much over at 34-17 with 2:07 remaining. The Aggies went three and out on their next possession and SDSU ran out the clock to end the game.

This was a very winnable game for the Aggies but what prevented them from winning was their turnovers. San Diego State scored 17 points off of three Aggie turnovers and of course 17 points was the final margin of victory. "You can't turn the ball over 4 times and win a football game," said Coach Walker after the game.

The Aggie volleyball team fell 3-1 to No. 4 Hawai'i on Saturday night in front of 4,289 fans. Hawai'i jumped out to an early five point lead in the first set before the Aggies rallied to within two points at 20-18 however they could not close the gap any further and Hawai'i went on to win the set 25-21. The second set was dominated by the Aggies as they crush Hawai'i 25-15 and hit .423 in the process to send the match into intermission tied 1-1. UH again jumped out to an early lead in set three but the Aggies tied the match several times and held a 22-21 lead before UH rallied to take the set 25-22. And set four, much like the Aggie football game, the wheels came flying off for the Aggies and UH crushed the Aggies 25-11 to end the match. Hawai'i hit .571 in the set to the Aggies' .061. The Aggies had eight hitting errors in the fourth set while UH had none.

Kayleigh GiddensThis was a match that we felt the Aggies very easily could have won if a couple of bounces of the ball had gone their way. After the quick five point lead in the first set by Hawai'i at 8-3, the Aggies played UH even the rest of the way and when they'd closed the gap to 20-18 there was a feeling that the Aggies' might be able to pull off another come from behind set victory but it was not to be. The third set hung in the balance all the way through and the Aggies had their chances to win that set as well.

Hawai'i was led by Kanani Danielson who finished with a match high 21 kills on 41 swings with just five hitting errors for a .390 hitting percentage. The Aggies countered with Kayleigh Giddens who had another fine match and finished with 18 kills on 42 switngs with just four hitting errors for a .333 hitting percentage. Stephanie Ferrell finished with 11 kills on 23 swings with three hitting errors for the Wahine while Krista Altermatt had by far her best match of the season with 14 kills on 35 swings with just six hitting errors. The Wahine outdug the Aggies 48-37 and outblocked the Aggies 12 to seven. One area of concern for the Aggies that turned out to be a non-factor was the service game. The Wahine had just one service ace on the night and five service errors. The Aggies had three service aces and five service errors.

The Aggie soccer team is back in action today as they take on WAC opponent Idaho. The Vandals are fresh off their stunning 1-0 victory over Louisiana Tech in the final seconds of double overtime while the Aggies are riding a three match winning streak and are coming off their 1-0 overtime victory over Boise State.

The Aggies' goal keeper Katie Graul was outstanding in goal on Friday night and the Aggies will need another strong performance this afternoon. "Katie is an outstanding goal keeper. She makes saves that'll keep you in games," said Coach Needham of his goal keeper. "You talk a lot about goal keepers not losing games for you but I think Katie Graul can win games for you. She'll put you in a position to win a game that you might not have won otherwise."

Coach Michael NeedhamCoach Needham expects more of a soccer match today than a physical battle which suits him and the Aggies just fine. "It'll be a soccer game again which is always refreshing for me. It's not always an athletic battle where people kick the you know what out of each other." Coach Needham knows his team will have to execute if they want to score against Idaho's goal keeper, Anna Sandman. "Their goal keeper is like 6'1", big strong kid. you don't score cheap ones against her. You've got to beat her and we've got the kids to do it."

Where will the Aggie scoring come from today and will we see a 10th different Aggie score a goal? On Friday it was Lauren Cope notching her first career goal. "She's [Cope] had some good chances, last night she was in the right place at the right time on a ball that got knocked down in front of the goal off of a corner."

When we asked him about whether he'd talked to his kids about the possibility of an opening weekend sweep and what kind of message that would send to the WAC he said he wants his kids to focus on one match at a time. "Our approach to this year is one step at a time and not to look back at any steps behind you," said Coach Needham. "We talked a little bit about a staircase this morning and we took one step closer to where we want to be last night [Friday]." He added, "You know I'd love to have six points at the end of the weekend, that'd be two wins."

Today's match gets underway at 1:00 p.m. MT and streaming video will be available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

On to today's links...

Aggie Football recaps yesterday's loss.

The Associated Press recaps the Aggies' 34-17 loss.

The NM State athletic website recaps the Aggies' loss to SDSU.

Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun-News recaps the Aggies' tough loss.

The Sports Network recaps the Aggies' 34-17 defeat. shares photos from yesterday's game.

The San Diego State athletic website has photo from yesterday's game. Gallery One, Gallery Two

Aggie Volleyball
The NM State athletic website recaps the Aggies' 3-1 loss to No. 4 Hawai'i.

Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News recaps the Aggies' loss.

The Honolulu Star Bulletin recaps the Aggie loss.

The Honolulu Advertiser recaps the Aggies' loss.

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