The Daily Aggie :: 09/07/10

The Aggie volleyball team heads to El Paso today to take on the UTEP Miners in round two of the Battle of I-10. Round one went decisively to the Aggies as they won in a sweep. We expect UTEP's Memorial Gym to be rocking tonight as the Miners are hoping to pack the gym with orange to counterbalance the wave of crimson that usually comes down from Las Cruces.

Much like Friday night's match, we expect the Aggie middles to be very successful against the Miner defense. We also expect that the Aggies will be ready for the setter dump from UTEP's Patty Jarmoc, something that Coach Jordan wasn't entirely thrilled with after the match on Friday night. This is the first of four matches the Aggies will play this week as they'll head to Baton Rouge, LA where they'll face No. 21 LSU, Rice and North Carolina.

Tonight's match against UTEP is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. first serve and can be heard on the radio in Las Cruces on KSNM AM 570 with Kyle Doperalski calling the action. Streaming audio will be available via Aggie Access (subscription required). Live Stats and streaming video will also be available via the UTEP athletic website (live video for a fee).

Be sure to check out our feature on the Aggie cross country program if you didn't visit the site yesterday because of the holiday (which we won't hold against you!)

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The Daily Aggie :: 09/06/10

As we promised last week, we've got another feature on the Aggie cross country team. On an editorial note, if you read the article earlier today, we had one bit of misinformation in the article which we'd like to point out. The Schultz sisters, Courtney and Camille, are from Cloudcroft, N.M. not Ruidoso, N.M. We apologize for the mixup and thanks to reader David for pointing it out to us. As always, if you have any questions, comments, rants, story leads, etc. that you'd like to share or if you just want to say hello, use the Contact form.

The Aggie soccer team improved to 2-1-2 this season as they tied Northern Arizona yesterday afternoon. The Aggies were inches from pulling out the victory but a shot from Yolanda McMillion was just a little high and hit the crossbar and came back out. Coach Needham was happy with the result, particularly since the Aggies had to play the final 15 minutes of overtime a man down as Nina Yanes received her second yellow card of the game (two yellows = one red) and was sent off the field. We believe that Yanes may be the first Aggie player to receive two yellow cards in a match. We can't remember anyone getting ejected last season on the player side, Coach Needham was ejected halfway through a match in the early part of last season.

Up next for the Aggies is home game against North Dakota on Friday. It's their lone match of the week.

The Aggie football team kicks off their season this Saturday against San Diego State! We'll have more throughout the week on the Aggies' season opener.

On a WAC related note, Boise State takes on Virginia Tech tonight at FedEx Field. Could this be the final season that the WAC has a legitimate shot at a BCS bowl? The chances certainly take a hit after the 2011 season when Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada are all no longer on the WAC schedule.

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Family Matters :: Aggie Cross Country Feels Like Home

A quick scan of the Aggie cross country roster reveals three things, one there are four sets of siblings on the men's and women's teams, the Ruybalid brothers, the Hart brothers, Schultz sisters and the brother and sister combination of Marcus and Carly Porter. Two, the cross country coaches Paul and Meaghan Harkins are married. And three, the overwhelming majority of athletes are from in-state.

So what makes such a unique situation possible? Cross country coach Paul Harkins, who married women's cross country coach Meaghan Gregory last summer, says it's part genetics, part luck and a lot of hard work. For the Aggies, the family atmosphere starts at the top. "My wife and I are both coaching here and we have a family atmosphere with us [as coaches]."

So aside from a family atmosphere, which is something all teams strive for, how does one cross country program end up with three sets of siblings? "Distance running talent is genetic a lot of the time," says Coach Harkins. "If you get one kid and they have a sibling who is looking up their older brother or older sister, you treat them [the older sibling] well and they're doing good things and they're showing improvement, they [younger sibling] may want to follow them, especially if they're having some success," Harkins explained. Harkins chuckled a bit as he added one caveat, "As long as they have a good relationship with their sibling."  Continue Reading This Post >>

NM State vs. Northern Arizona Game Photos

NM State vs. Northern Arizona Game Photos

Aggie Soccer Plays To 1-1 Draw With Northern Arizona

Yolanda McMillionThe Aggie soccer team nearly pulled out a victory on Sunday afternoon against Northern Arizona but settled for the 1-1 tie. The Aggies went into halftime trailing 1-0 after NAU's Carolyn Savage scored with just 15 seconds remaining in the first half. Kristi Andreassen was credited with the assist and it was Savage's first goal of the season. "It was a good game. We played very well in the first half and gave up an unfortunate goal there on a free kick," said Coach Needham. "We didn't do a good job of tracking that player running through the box and they scored. Good for them. For them to steal a goal was very important for them because we were all over them. That breathed some life into them and made it a better soccer game."

The score remained 1-0 when in the 65th minute, Crystal Burns found Yolanda McMillion on the right side and McMillion put the ball over the goal keeper's head and into the back of the net knotting the game at 1-1. "It was a good goal and it's not just the goal, the setup was good," said Coach Needham. "Yollie is a good athlete, she can get behind people. We played a good pass and she got ahold of it."

Coach Needham was also pleased with the team's offensive play overall, "The important thing for me on that goal was yeah, it went in and she hit a a good shot in the top corner but it was also the number of players that we had committed getting into the box. Yollie could have very easily have crossed that and if she had laid it across the front of the goal someone else would have scored easily as well. Great goal by Yollie but even moreso we're really starting to buy into committing numbers into the box and trying to really attack people and that's really encouraging going forward."  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 09/05/10

With the first weekend of college football nearly in the books and the Aggies sitting at home with the week off, there were some interesting results to first games for the Aggies' opponents. Next week's opponent, San Diego State, rolled to a 47-0 victory over Nicholls State. You might think, eh, no big deal, but it actually is kind of a big deal for SDSU. They haven't beaten an opponent that badly in a while.

The Aggies' week two opponent, UTEP, pulled away from Arkansas-Pine Bluff 31-10 (they only led 14-10 at halftime). The biggest shocker of the weekend came via the Aggies' week three opponent, Kansas. The Jayhawks lost at home to FCS foe North Dakota State 6-3 (that game suddenly no longer looks a lot more winnable).

New Mexico got absolutely throttled by No. 11 Oregon losing 72-0. A couple other surprising results from the weekend included Utah State taking the fight to Oklahoma and losing by just a touchdown and Hawai'i playing USC tough, if you watched that game on Thursday night, you'll probably agree that if Hawai'i had even played marginally decent defense, they would have upset the Trojans.

Idaho looked pretty good in their season opener coming off their 2009 bowl season and Fresno State upset Cincinnati 28-14 (although, we wouldn't really consider this an upset, the Bulldogs nearly won last season as well).

The Aggie soccer team is back in action today against Northern Arizona at Aggie Memorial. As we mentioned yesterday, NAU is a very good team and will be coming in a little grumpy after losing a lead in the 89th minute on Friday night against Arizona.

The Lady Lumberjacks have scored four goals this season while giving up six. They've been outshot 53-36, however, they have a .556 shots on goal percentage. NAU has had an 18-11 corner kick advantage over their opponents this season.

Kristi Andreassen leads NAU with two goals while Sam Monahan leads the team with three assists. NAU, like the Aggies, has used two goal keepers, with Lauren Weaver having played two full games and Tori Rocke playing one.

The game can be heard on KSNM AM 570 and streaming audio and video is available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

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The Daily Aggie :: 09/04/10

It was a pretty good night for New Mexico State as two of the teams took on rivals. The Aggie volleyball team extended their winning streak on the court to 12 matches as the Aggies handled the Miners with relative ease. The Miners gave the Aggies a challenge in set two as the Aggies won 25-23 but sets one and three were dominated by the Aggies as they won 25-15 and 25-13 respectively.

Kayleigh Giddens had 17 kills for the Aggies and through five matches she's recorded three 15-plus kill matches. As expected, the Aggie middles had very good nights against the Miners. Kelsey Brennan finished with eight kills and hit .429 and had two solo blocks and two block assists. Freshman middle Desiree Scott had a very good Battle of I-10 debut as she had seven kills and hit .455 for the match. Unfortunately for the Aggies she landed awkwardly on a play in the third set and had to leave the match. Her status for the rematch on Tuesday is unknown (although, she was hanging out after the match with the fans and had a smile on her face so we don't think the injury is too serious).

There was a lot of talk about UTEP setter Patty Jarmoc and her tendency to be an offensive-minded setter and yes, she did get her kills on the night finishing with four kills on seven attempted setter dumps, Aggie setter Jennah DeVries didn't let Jarmoc steal the show as DeVries finished with three kills of her own on setter dumps, nearly negating the four point that Jarmoc earned for the Aggies. DeVries also had two service aces (Jarmoc had none), two block assists (Jarmoc also had two) and outdug Jarmoc 9-2. There's a reason why head coach Mike Jordan calls DeVries one of the best setters in the country.

Be sure to check out the photos from last night's match as well as AggieVision's highlight package.

The other rivalry tilt last night saw the Aggie soccer team take the pitch against UNM up at the UNM Soccer Complex in Albuquerque. It's the second time in as many seasons that the Aggies have inaugurated a rivalry on their opponent's home field. The Aggies opened their season at UTEP last year and came away with an impressive (as impressive as a loss can get), unexpected 1-0 loss in overtime.

A similar situation unfolded last night as the Aggies played the Lobos, a program that has been in existence for nearly two decades (by contrast the Aggies haven't even been in existence for two years). The Aggies fought and scrapped and even though they lost 1-0, the loss was very encouraging for head coach Michael Needham. We spoke with him after the match and he was absolutely thrilled with the scrappiness of his team. "Tonight I saw the old Aggie team show up. The team we had last year, a bunch of battlers and fighters, kids that were going to do what it takes to either tie or win a game."

This is a New Mexico team that went on the road last weekend and upset No. 23 Marquette and is receiving votes in the Top 25 polls (and could very well be ranked next week). In fact, the Marquette result is the same result the Aggies came away with, a 1-0 loss. Think about that for a minute. The second year Aggie program lost 1-0, the same score as the 23rd ranked team in the country lost by last weekend to this same UNM team.

The Aggies return to action on Sunday afternoon as they'll face an undoubtedly pissed off Northern Arizona squad. The Lady Lumberjacks are 0-2-1 but could very easily be 2-1 or even 3-0. They've lost 1-0 to UTEP, 4-3 to Arizona State and last night they tied with Arizona 1-1 but were leading the match in the 88th minute when Arizona scored a tying goal.

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NM State vs. UTEP Match Photos

NM State vs. UTEP Match Photos

Aggie Soccer Hangs Tough At UNM; Loses 1-0

Mikaela BitnerThe Aggie soccer team took on their in-state rival New Mexico on Friday night in Albuquerque. It was the first ever meeting between the two programs and the Aggies hung tough with the Lobos before falling 1-0.

While not thrilled with the loss, head coach Michael Needham was very pleased with his team's effort and what he saw from his team on the pitch Friday night. "I think it was a positive performance for us," said Coach Needham. "We did a great job of defending, our back four really came together and played very well and our goal keeper did a fantastic job. All-in-all, not a bad performance."

Aggie goal keeper Mikaela Bitner recorded six saves against a New Mexico squad that fired 21 shots including seven shots on goal. The lone score came off the foot of Rachel Fields in the 59th minute of the match. "They commit a lot of numbers forward, it was a free kick, we got the first clearance, we didn't get it quite wide enough, the kid ended up getting ahold of it," said Coach Needham. "Their kid did a nice job to beat one of our players and got into the box, anytime you shoot a ball in traffic it's real tough. You can't fault our goalkeeper for that. Our goal keeper was huge today."  Continue Reading This Post >>

AggieVision :: NMSU vs. UTEP Match Highlights