The Daily Aggie :: 09/12/10

The Aggie football team dropped their season opener against San Diego State 41-21 on Saturday night. The 20 point loss was not entirely indicative of the entire game as the Aggies were within six points early in the fourth quarter. Much like last year's meeting between the two teams when the Aggies and Aztecs were tied at 17 heading into the fourth quarter, SDSU just made a few more plays than the Aggies did down the stretch.

The good news for the Aggies is that the passing game appears to be in much better shape than last season. Matt Christian flashed some of his ability throughout the night and the Aggie had several 20-plus yard pass completions, including a 58 yard touchdown strike to Marcus Allen.

We were a bit disappointed in the running game for the Aggies. It was a strength last season for the team but against SDSU could only must 105 yards, half of those belonging to quarterback Matt Christian. Junior college transfer Kenny Turner did score the season's first touchdown on an 18-yard scamper around the right side which is something that we'll hopefully see more of as the season progresses.

Defensively, it was not a good night for the Aggies. They gave up 563 yards of total offense and four rushing touchdowns to Ronnie Hillman who finished the game with 150 yards on 22 carries (6.8 yards/attempt).

There were plenty of positives to take away from the game last night, most of all the Aggies were in position in the fourth quarter to win the game.

The Aggie volleyball team played two matches yesterday an early match against North Carolina in which the Aggies looked not so good. The evening match was against No. 21 LSU and the Aggies looked much much better for the final three and a half sets. The Aggies fell behind in the match 2-0 as LSU won the first two sets. However, the Aggies dominated the next two sets winning 25-22 and 25-15 and then after falling behind 5-1 in the fifth and deciding set, the Aggies rallied to force extra points before falling 17-15.

Ellen Miks was named to the All-Tournament team. She was the only Aggie named to the Tiger Classic All-Tournament team. Miks had a career-high 31 digs against No. 21 LSU and finished the weekend with 63 digs.

It was an encouraging performance for the Aggies and should provide an excellent springboard into the next four matches which will all be on the road. On Tuesday the Aggies invade Johnson Gym to take on in-state rival New Mexico before heading to Tucson for a tournament at the University of Arizona against three very quality teams.

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NM State vs. San Diego State Game Photos

NM State vs. San Diego State Game Photos

Aggies Drop Season Opener 41-21 To San Diego State

Kenny TurnerThe Aggie football team dropped their 2010 season opener 41-21 to San Diego State in front of 16,891 fans on Saturday night in Aggie Memorial Stadium.

The Aggies debuted a brand new offense and the Aggies marched down the field on their opening drive as junior college transfer Matt Christian completed his first pass, a 27 yard completion to Marcus Allen on second and seven giving the Aggies a first down at the 50 yard line. Christian would complete a 20 yard pass to Todd Lee on third and 11 that gave the Aggies a first down at the San Diego State 26. The Aggie drive would stall and junior college transfer Tyler Stampler missed a 37 yard field goal.

The Aztecs would take over on their own 20 and after converting a third and 2 at their own 28 the Aztecs would go for it on fourth and one at the 40. Aggie linebacker Boyblue Aoelua met Davon Brown head on at the line of scrimmage for no gain and giving the Aggies the ball and plenty of momentum.

With momentum and the ball on the SDSU 42, Matt Christian completed a pass to Darrius Preston for 22 yards down to the SDSU 2. Two plays later Christian would pitch the ball to Kenny Turner who turned the corner and raced 18 yards down the right sideline diving in for the first touchdown of his Aggie career and the first touchdown of the 2010 season. Stampler would tack on the extra point giving the Aggies a 7-0 lead.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Aggie Rally Falls Just Short At No. 21 LSU

Ellen MiksThe Aggie volleyball team lost a heartbreaker to No. 21 LSU in Baton Rouge, LA on Saturday night as the Aggies rallied from down two sets to none to force five sets against the Tigers. The Aggies were manhandled in the first set 25-19 but improved their play in set two falling 25-23. The Aggies then dominated set three before hanging on for a 25-22 victory and then continued their domination in set four winning 25-15. The Aggies fell behind 5-1 in the fifth set but rallied and forced extra points before falling 17-15.

Kayleigh Giddens tied for match-high honors with 22 kills. Ellen Miks recorded a match-high 31 digs.

The first set was dominated by LSU as they jumped out to an early 10-4 lead. The Aggies would trim the lead down to four points at 12-8 on a setter dump by Jennah DeVries but the Tigers would respond with a 5-1 run to push their lead to 17-9. The Aggies would cut the lead down to five points at 20-15 after LSU's Brittney Johnson committed an attack error but LSU would score the next three points to push their lead back out to eight at 23-15. They would finish off the set winning 25-19 on a kill by Desiree Elliot.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Aggie Volleyball Swept By North Carolina 3-0

The Aggie volleyball team suffered their first sweep of the 2010 season as they fell 3-0 to North Carolina in day two of the Tiger Classic in Baton Rouge, LA. The Tar Heels won the three sets by scores of 25-15, 25-17 and 25-16.

The Aggies struggled offensively versus the North Carolina block as the Tar Heels outblocked the Aggies 9-1 in the match.

Set one saw the Aggies fall behind early 9-2 as an overpass by the Aggies on the match's first serve set the tone for the remainder of the match. The Aggies would call a timeout at 7-1, however, they could not cut into the deficit falling behind 17-9 after a kill by Shelbey Bleke. The Aggies would cut the Tar Heels' lead to seven at 19-12 after back-to-back kills by freshman Rocio Gutierrez. The Aggies would get to within six points at 20-14 after a Kelsey Brennan block, however, the Tar Heels would win five of the final six points to take the set 25-15 as freshman defensive specialist Shelby Tamura was called for a double contact on set point.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 09/11/10

Happy Gameday everyone! We'd like to first start off by wishing a very speedy recovery to Aggie volleyball player Stephanie Ziegler who suffered a season-ending injury yesterday in the first set of the Aggies' 3-0 victory over Rice. She has been battling freshman Rocio Gutierrez for the second left outside hitter position and had been playing very well as of late. It's a tough loss for the Aggies and for Ziegler. Fortunately the Aggies should have no problems getting her a medical redshirt for this season and Coach Jordan fully expects her to be back and better than ever next season.

The Aggies are back in action today at 11:30 a.m. MT when they take on North Carolina. The Tar Heels are 4-4 on the season after being swept 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-15) by host LSU yesterday evening. The first two sets of the match were very close with 11 ties and four lead changes in the first set and 10 ties and two lead changes in the second.

The Aggies will play two matches today, after their match against North Carolina, they'll take on LSU at 6:00 p.m. MT.

One interesting statistic from the LSU/North Carolina battle, the two teams combined for 15 service errors and just one service ace.

It appears that the Tar Heels use a 6-2 system (two setters) and at least in yesterday's match, their middles, Christine Vaughen and Shelbey Bleke were very effective finishing with a combined 12 kills and a .435 hitting percentage. LSU was able to limit UNC's outside and right-side attack to just 12 kills on 68 swings and forced them into seven hitting errors. If the Aggies can manage to do likewise, they'll put themselves in a good position to win the match.

Against LSU later tonight, the Aggies will have their hands full as the No. 21 ranked Tigers feature outside hitter Angela Bensend who had 18 kills against LSU and hit .306. They'll also need to contend with another very offensive minded setter in Brittney Johnson who also played right side for the Tigers last year in addition to her setter duties. Johnson had seven kills on 11 attacks against the Tar Heels and committed no attack errors. Having just played UTEP in back-to-back matches could be of some assistance as UTEP's setter, Patty Jarmoc, is also very offensive minded.

Both matches can be seen online via the LSU athletic website (subscription required). They've been having some issues with Live Stats this weekend so we can't say with any certainty that Live Stats will be available for either of the matches. Both matches can be heard on the radio on KSNM AM 570 in Las Cruces, however, the UNC match will air at 4:00 p.m. (tape delayed) and the LSU match will be aired immediately following that match and will be live. Streaming audio will be available via Aggie Access, though we're not sure if the UNC match will be live.

We will try to provide scoring updates via Twitter (follow us: @AgsBleedCrimson). You can also follow the UNC Volleyball twitter feed (@UNCVolleyball for updates and the LSU Volleyball twitter feed (@LSUVolleyball) for updates on tonight's match).

The Aggie football team finally takes to the gridiron in 2010 as they open up at home against San Diego State tonight at 6:00 p.m. in Aggie Memorial Stadium. The Aggies open as a two touchdown underdog against an Aztec team that shut out FCS foe Nicholls State 47-0 last week in their home opener.

If you didn't read it yesterday, be sure to check out our Know The Foe Q&M with the San Diego Union-Tribune's Brent Schrotenboer to find out what to expect from SDSU on offense and defense as well as a couple of players to watch for.

Tonight will also be the debut for new offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar, starting quarterback Matt Christian and the much anticipated debute for running back Kenny Turner. Coach Walker told us this week in our weekly interview that he expects the offense to be night and day difference from last season's abysmal offense. Much of that will depend on the Aggies' ability to throw the ball effectively although, we expect a heavy dose of Seth Smith and Kenny Turner early tonight as Matt Christian gets his feet wet at the FBS level.

We're also excited to see the Aggies' defense under year two of Coach Walker's tutelage. The Aggies were very strong against the pass last year and will need to be again tonight as SDSU features quarterback Ryan Lindley and wide receiver Demarco Sampson who caught seven passes for a school record 179 yards last week. The Aztecs also have a stable of runners and they combined for 218 yards on the ground last week.

Both teams should be improved over last year's squads that met in San Diego and despite the Aggies' struggles on offense, this was a 17-17 game in the fourth quarter.

We don't do score predictions because, frankly, we're terrible at it. We expect it to be a close game and we expect the Aggies to come out strong and we're looking for a season opening victory.

Tonight's game is scheduled to kick off at 6:00 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN3.com (where available) and will also be aired on ESPN Game Plan, Altitude2 and live on AggieVision in Albuquerque, Gallup and Santa Fe and tape delayed in Las Cruces and tape delayed on Fox Sports Arizona (tomorrow at 4:30 p.m.).

Streaming audio and video will also be available via Aggie Access (subscription required) and we will also be providing scoring updates via Twitter (follow us: @AgsBleedCrimson).

The Aggie soccer team notched their third victory of the season last night as they shut out North Dakota 1-0. Crystal Burns scored her first goal of the season in the 9th minute of play.

Coach Needham was pleased with the outcome but acknowledged that it was not his kids' best effort and that the team needs to get back to basics this coming week after a couple of days off from practice today and tomorrow.

It says a lot about the ability and potential of the Aggie soccer team when they can come out, not play their best, and still come out with a victory. Obviously they don't want to get into a habit of doing that, nor do we expect them to fall into that habit, however, you don't always bring your "A" game to the field and when you do, you've got to be able to (as Tiger Woods says), "grind it out". The Aggies did that last night and were able to come away with a victory to improve to 3-1-2 on the season.

Be sure to check out the photos from yesterday game as well.

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NM State vs. North Dakota Game Photos

NM State vs. North Dakota Game Photos

Aggie Soccer Team Shuts Out North Dakota 1-0

Crystal BurnsThe Aggie soccer team defeated North Dakota 1-0 on Friday night at Aggie Memorial Stadium to improve to 3-1-2 on the season.

"It's a good win. We got North Dakota's best effort," said Coach Needam. "I don't think we played our best game yet which is a little bit disappointing. Every game to this point we've taken a step forward, I don't think we took a step back but they're [North Dakota] a good attacking team and I don't think we did enough in the attacking third to put the game away when we could have."

The Aggies got an early goal from sophomore midfielder Crystal Burns in the 9th minute of the match as freshman Dani De La Vina had possession on the right side and found Burns wide open in the middle of the field from about 20 yards out. Burns fired the shot and it found the back of the net for Burns' first goal of the season. "Crystal scored a great goal and she's been needing that," said Coach Needham. "For her to get that one, it changed the way she played and she picked up her energy level. I thought she did really well."

Redshirt freshman goal keeper Mikaela Bitner and the Aggie defense withstood seven corner kicks by the Fighting Sioux and Bitner was credited with nine saves, four in the second half. North Dakota's best chance to score came in the 75th minute hit the post. "She made a couple big saves. It was funny, the first two saves she made in the first half weren't really saves because they called offsides, but those were two massive saves that she made," said Coach Needham. "She's doing a really good job. I'm happy with the way she's been playing and she absolutely deserves to get a shutout. She's worked hard."  Continue Reading This Post >>

Aggie Volleyball Sweeps Rice; Ziegler Suffers Season-Ending Injury

Rocio GutierrezThe Aggie volleyball team swept Rice 3-0 in the first game of the Tiger Classic in Baton Rouge, LA on Friday afternoon. The victory did not come without a price as sophomore outside hitter Stephanie Ziegler went down with an injury late in the first set with the Aggies leading 19-13. Ziegler had to be taken off the floor on a stretcher and official word from the Aggie coaching staff is that she suffered a broken tibea and broken fibea near her right ankle and will miss the remainder of the season.

Aggie freshman Rocio Gutierrez came into the match for the Aggies to replace the injured Ziegler who had been playing well to that point. The Owls went right after Gutierrez on serve and she struggled passing the ball and Rice took advantage cutting the Aggies' lead to 21-19. "When she first came into the match she was real nervous and passed really bad serve-receive," said Coach Jordan. After a timeout by the Aggies, Gutierrez settled down and the Aggies would take the set 25-19 on four straight hitting errors by the Owls. "They went right at her [Rocio] when she first came in but out of the timeout she came out and three passed three or four balls in a row and we sided out efficiently."

Gutierrez and the Aggies showed no ill effects of seeing their teammate go down as they would take the second set 25-22. Gutierrez displayed her tremendous talent as the Aggies would rally from a 5-2 deficit behind three consecutive kills by the freshman to tie the set at 5-5. Gutierrez's fourth kill of the set gave the Aggies their first lead of the set at 7-6. With the set tied 8-8, the Aggies would reel off three consecutive points to take an 11-8 lead. The Aggies would maintain the three point lead at 13-10 but the Owls would score five of the next eight points to tie the set at 15-15. Rice would take a two point lead at 18-16 forcing the Aggies to take a timeout.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 09/10/10

The Aggie volleyball team is back in action today as they'll take on Rice in the Tiger Volleyball Classic. The Owls are 3-3 on the season but have dropped two of their last three with losses to Pepperdine, Missouri and victory over Eastern Washington. Offensively Rice is led by junior outside hitter Ashleigh McCord who leads the team with 90 kills and is averaging 4.5 kills per set and She has reached double-digit kills in all six matches in 2010.

The Aggies are led by Kayleigh Giddens who has 94 kills and is averaging 4.7 kills per set.

First serve is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. MT and Live Stats will be available via the LSU athletic website and streaming video will be available via the LSU athletic website as well (subscription required).

Today's match can also be heard on KSNM AM 570 and streaming audio will be available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

On a side note, the Rice Owls are famous for one other thing... the MOB. Check out this video to find out what we're talking about (you won't be disappointed).

The Aggie soccer team is back in action tonight as they host North Dakota. The Fighting Sioux are 0-4 and looking for their first victory of the season. The Fighting Sioux have scored just five goals and all five have been scored by different players.

By comparison, the Aggies' Yolanda McMillion has scored six goals by herself and the Aggies have scored 12 goals (though, eight of those goals came in one game).

The Aggies have been much more offensively minded this season and as we discussed with Coach Needham in this week's interview, the Aggies have done a much better job of controlling possession this season.

Today's game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. MT start and streaming video will be available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

The Aggie football team is just ONE day away from opening the 2010 season. That means its time for the third season of Know The Foe. This week we have enlisted the help of the San Diego Union-Tribune's Brent Schrotenboer to give Aggie fans a quick look at the Aztecs.

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