The Daily Aggie :: 10/12/10

If you haven't done so yet, check out our fall check-in with Aggie softball coach Kathy Rodolph. The Aggies hosted the National Fastpitch All-Star team last week losing 10-1 (the one run being a highlight because not many college teams have scored on the All-Stars) and open up fall ball this weekend against some much easier competition.

Coach Rodolph's team also was recognized by the American Fastpitch Coaches Association for being outstanding in the classroom. The Aggies carried a team GPA of 3.305 and out of nine WAC programs, they were the only team to be honored. They also had 11 student athletes post at least a 3.50 GPA for the academic year of 2009-2010 earning the distinction as a Scholar Athlete. Very impressive stuff. Aggie I-10 rival UTEP also made the list and came in just slightly ahead of the Aggies with a 3.337 GPA, though they only had six players earn the Scholar Athlete distinction. UNM did not make the All-Academic Team list nor did they have any players on the Scholar Athlete list.

The Aggies have very high hopes for the 2011 season as they'll say goodbye to seven outstanding seniors who have helped take this program from being one of the worst programs in the country to one of the better programs in the country and certainly one of the most potent offenses in the country.

This could very well be the season that the Aggies make their first trip to the NCAA Regionals.

The Aggie football team will be back to work as they prepare to travel to Fresno State to take on the Bulldogs. The Aggies and Bulldogs have played a couple of close games over the course of their time together in the WAC. Two of the last three games have been decided by a touchdown and the Aggies' last visit to Fresno resulted in a 24-17 loss.

The good news for the Aggie defense is that they don't have to worry about Ryan Matthews running the ball, he's in San Diego playing for the Chargers. The bad news is the Bulldogs have a pretty good passing attack led by quarterback Ryan Colburn who has thrown 12 touchdowns and six interceptions and has 1250 passing yards on the season and is averaging 250 yards per game.

It'll be a good test for the Aggie defense who found life against New Mexico forcing four turnovers (again, the fifth turnover came on special teams) and getting their first two sacks of the season.

The big question offensively is who will start at quarterback. Andrew Manley's redshirt came off in the final drive against New Mexico and there is certainly a lot of support for the true freshman to earn the starting spot this week. While it's a very small sample set to go off of, Manley did move the Aggie offense on that final drive completing passes for 11 yards and 21 yards, the 21-yarder being a pass that we noted as one that we haven't seen thrown by an Aggie since the days of Chase Holbrook.

Regardless of who starts at quarterback (our vote is for Andrew Manley but of course our vote doesn't count) it will be a much stiffer test against a much better defense in Fresno State than the one the Aggies struggled against on Saturday when they faced New Mexico.

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bleedCrimson.net Coach Rodolph Interview :: Fall Ball Check-In

bleedCrimson.net: Last week your team was named an NFCA All-Academic Team, 40th in the country among Division I teams in GPA, you were the only WAC team to earn the honor and you had 11 girls named as Scholar Athletes.
Kathy Rodolph: I'm extremely proud of what our kids have done in the classroom. We place a high emphasis on their academics here and I feel like the kids have absolutely bought into that, they help each other. It's cool to do school. Along with being a Top 40 academic team, we also have about a 99 percent graduation rate. I'm very proud of the honor for all the hard work in the classroom.

bc.net: Last week you had a chance to host the National Fastpitch All-Star team and your team lost 10-1 but was able to score on them which only one other team had been able to do in the previous seven games.
KR: It was an honor to have the caliber of players in here as the NPF All-Star team. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for our kids and the community. Our kids were really excited about playing the best of the best.

One of the things we've been working on really hard with our kids this fall is to try to stay focused pitch-by-pitch no matter who we're playing not let it rattle us and just start playing to what we believe is our ability level and really trying to get better under pressure. We did give up 10 runs, five were earned and that was after eight days of practice. We didn't start practice right away because we didn't know whether the game was going to be approved or not and we only have the 30 day window that we can play in the fall. So as soon as the game got approved we had about eight days of practice. We're definitely not in our groove yet but that's to be expected because we definitely don't want to peak too early. But it was definitely an honor to have that caliber of player here and for the younger ones in Las Cruces to have an opportunity to see as well.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Aggie Softball Earns NFCA All-Academic Team Honors; Eleven Aggies Named Scholar Athletes

STARKVILLE, MS - The New Mexico State softball team has been named a National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Girls Got Game All-Academic Team for the 2009-2010 academic year.

The Aggies ranked 40th out of 132 Division I programs with a team GPA of 3.305 and were the only WAC team on the list.

Eleven Aggies were also individually honored as NFCA Scholar Athletes. Amber Olive, Ashley Maroda, Kandis Jones, Kristi Covarrubia, Kylie Randall, Lauren Morizi*, Sarah Byrne, Sydney Williard, Tehani Kaaihue, Teresa Conrad and Torrey Schroeder all earned individual honors with GPAs over 3.50 during the 2009-2010 academic year.

The Girls Got Game Academic Awards program honors both collegiate and high school teams for their submitted GPAs for the 2009-2010 academic year. As a second component of the program, all submitted student-athletes who achieved a 3.50 GPA during last academic year are named as girls got game/NFCA Scholar Athletes.

*Lauren Morizi has transferred to Long Island University

The Daily Aggie :: 10/11/10

Aggie teams win, the awards come pouring in. Kayleigh Giddens was named the WAC Volleyball Player of the Week for her performances last week against San Jose State and Fresno State. Giddens dominated the two California schools recording 45 kills, four service aces, 21 digs and four blocks in the two matches combined.

After the weekend the Aggies sit alone in second place behind Hawai'i. The Aggies have a chance to further distance themselves from the rest of the pack as they host the three teams directly behind them in the standings. Boise State visits on Thursday night with a conference record of 3-3, Idaho visits Saturday night with a conference record of 4-3 and then Nevada comes in on Sunday with a conference record of 3-2.

Idaho will face Louisiana Tech on Thursday night (most likely a win for the Vandals) while Nevada hosts Utah State on Friday night for what should be an outstanding conference battle.

The Aggie football team's victory over New Mexico netted a pair of awards for the Aggies as Donte Savage picked of the WAC Defensive Player of the Week award while Tyler Stampler earned WAC Special Teams player of the week.

Savage helped the Aggie defense break out of its funk recording nine tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles and two passes defended.

Tyler Stampler hit all three of his field goal attempts, a 39-yarder, 34-yarder and the game-winning 22-yarder.

This week's Defensive and Special Teams Player of the Week honors mark just the second time in school history that two Aggies have earned Player of the Week honors in the same week. The only other time it's happened was in 2004 when Buck Pierce and Dustin Sober were named Sun Belt Offensive and Defensive Players of the week respectively after a 44-10 victory over Middle Tennessee State in Las Cruces.

It'll be back to work this week for the Aggies as they'll be traveling to Fresno State this week to take on the Bulldogs. Fresno is coming off a 49-27 loss to Hawai'i this past weekend.

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Donte Savage Named WAC Defensive Player Of The Week; Tyler Stampler Named WAC Special Teams Player Of The Week

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

DENVER, CO - Junior defensive lineman Donte Savage and freshman place kicker Tyler Stampler have been named WAC Defensive Player of the Week and Special Teams Player of the Week, respectively as announced by the conference office Monday morning. This is the first WAC Player of the Week awards for the Aggies this season.

Savage, a native of Portland, Ore., had a career night for the Aggies in a 16-14 win over New Mexico. He led the team with nine tackles, while recording the Aggies’ first two sacks of the season. He also tallied four tackles for a loss of 33 yards and forced two fumbles, one of which gave NM State the ball back and led to the game-winning field goal. Savage also recorded two pass break-ups.

Stampler, from Lauderdale, Fla., hit three field goals in the Aggies’ win over New Mexico, 16-14. He recorded a long of 39 yards in the first quarter, followed by a 34 yarder late in the same quarter. Stampler would hit the game-winning field goal with just 1:56 left in the game, a 22-yard attempt. Stampler becomes the first Aggie kicker to hit three field goals in a game since Nov. 6, 2004.

The Aggies travel to Fresno, Calif., this week to take on the Fresno State Bulldogs beginning at 8:30 p.m. (MT). The game will be televised on ESPNU.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Kayleigh Giddens Named WAC Volleyball Player Of The Week

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

DENVER, CO - Senior outside hitter Kayleigh Giddens has been named Western Athletic Conference Volleyball Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 4-10. This is the second WAC Player of the Week honor of the season for Giddens and the fourth of her career.

The Lubbock, Texas, native led the Aggies to road wins at San Jose State and Fresno State. She hit .357 with 6.43 kills, 3.00 digs, 0.57 service aces and 7.50 points per set.

"We had a good week on the road and our team played well against two pretty good teams," Giddens said. "I am happy to receive the honor and I hope we can continue to play well."  Continue Reading This Post >>

Aggie Soccer Falls 4-1 At Idaho

The Aggie soccer team scored in the 2nd minute of their match with Idaho but a pair of goals by Idaho in the waning minutes of the first half were too much for the Aggies to overcome as they fell 4-1 to Idaho on Sunday afternoon. "We started very well and did a good job of sticking to what our gameplan was but then kind of got away from it in the last 10 minutes of the first half," said head coach Michael Needham after the match. "The last five minutes of the first half they [Idaho] put a lot of pressure on us and we made a couple of mistakes."

Lauren Cope put the Aggies on the board just a minute and fifty five seconds into the contest as she knocked in a rebound off a shot by Kristen Powers putting the Aggies ahead 1-0. It was Cope's second goal of the 2010 season and Powers' first assist of the season and it ended a nearly 193 minute scoreless drought by the Aggie offense.

The Aggies would hold on to the 1-0 lead until the 42nd minute when Idaho's Erica Hart found the back of the net. Idaho's Lauren Layton and Chelsea Small were credited with assists on the play as Layton threw in to Small who headed the ball to Hart.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 10/10/10

Tough Enough To Wear PinkOn a day of exciting football across the country, two winless teams provided one of the most entertaining games of the day and one of the most entertaining three point fourth quarters we can ever remember. It wasn't the prettiest football game played, seven combined turnovers, 16 combined penalties for nearly 200 yards. In fact, the Aggies had more penalty yards (75) than passing yards (38) and the Lobos had more penalty yards (115) than net rushing yards (114) but in the end, it was another classic Battle of I-25.

Saturday night was also the Tough Enough To Wear Pink game supporting breast cancer research. The Las Cruces community helped raise $506,939 in cash and in-kind donations for the Cowboys for Cancer Research foundation.

There are so many standout players for the Aggies in this game, it's nice to finally be able to point to great performances in a win instead fo pointing to good performances in a loss. The heros of the game. There are two who are obvious, Andrew Manley who came in off the bench cold and threw an amazing pass to Marcus Allen that got the Aggies down to the Lobo four yard line on the game-winning drive. No disrespect intended for the Aggie quarterbacks but we haven't seen that kind of pass from an Aggie since the Chase Holbrook days. And of course kicker Tyler Stampler who nailed three field goals on the night, including the pressure-packed game-winner. It's been a very long time since Aggie field goal kicking hasn't been an area of major concern, who knows, maybe even as far back as the Danny Villanueva days.

Robert Clay came out of virtually nowhere to make his presence felt in this game as well. He ran the ball nine times for 44 yards and was the Aggies' second leading rusher on the night. But more importantly, he was the player who came out of the scrum in the endzone with the ball that kept the Aggies in the game. To that point, the Aggies were treading water after falling behind 14-6 after grinding out a 6-0 lead. It was the only touchdown the Aggies scored but it was a huge boost heading into halftime.

Defensively, Donte Savage and Pierre Fils played like they had played all last season they both had their names called several times during the game for tackles, tackles for loss, sacks, particularly Donte Savage. The Aggies had five takeaways (forcing three fumbles and an interception, the fourth fumble came on special teams) and generated two sacks and six tackles for loss which is something that will no doubt please Coach Walker and Coach Lindsey who is calling defensive plays for the Aggies now.

The Aggies still have a long way to go, nobody's denying that, but at least they don't have to worry about a winless season (something that is a distinct possibility for UNM).

The Aggies now focus on the conference schedule. It's a wide open league from spots 4-9, Boise State, Nevada and Hawai'i are clearly the cream of the crop right now. Can the Aggies steal a game or two from Fresno State/Idaho/Nevada/Hawai'i? We'll see. Certainly the Aggies' most winnable games will be San Jose State/Utah State/Louisiana Tech. The good news is that two of those three are at home.

The Aggie soccer team is back in action today as they look to break through in the points column in conference play. The Aggies need to get some points as they try to qualify for the WAC tournament. Their task will not be easy today as they take on Idaho in Moscow. The Vandals are 11-3 on the season and are shooting for a school record 12th victory today.

It sounds easy but it probably isn't but the key to stopping Idaho is stopping Chelsea Small. She leads the Vandals in goals scored with 11. Nearly 60 percent of her shots are on goal and she has six game winning goals in 14 matches played. She leads the WAC in shots per game at 5.43 and haas naken 30 more shots than the next closest player in the WAC. She's also tied for the league lead in goals scored with 11.

The Vandals have scored 26 goals on the season while only allowing 14. Much like Boise State this past Friday, the Vandals have made their living scoring in the first half as 17 of their 26 goals have come in the first 45 minutes. Lauren Layton is the Vandals' most dangerous assist person with five.

Conference soccer is interesting in that, the Aggies can actually have a better outcome with a win and a loss this weekend than they would have with two ties. Since three points are awarded for a win, one point for a tie and none for a loss, the Aggies, if they're able to upset Idaho, would come away from the weekend with three points. Two ties would have given them just two. Just something to keep in mind.

Also, Idaho probably has a little extra motivation facing the Aggies. Last season the Aggies stunned Idaho 3-2 in Las Cruces. Idaho was up 2-0 after just 21 minutes of play but the Aggies stormed out of halftime scoring three goals. No doubt Idaho remembers that match and will be out for a little payback today.

The match is scheduled for a 2:00 p.m. MT start. There are no live stats or streaming video that we're away of. If we get scoring updates, we'll pass them along via our Twitter page (@AgsBleedCrimson).

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AggieVision :: NM State vs. UNM Game Highlights