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

Aggie Volleyball Sweeps UTEP 3-0

Kayleigh GiddensThe Aggie volleyball team made it 12 straight victories over I-10 rival UTEP on Friday night. The Aggies swept the visiting Miners 3-0 winning set one easily 25-15 before getting challenged 25-23 in set two and then rebounding with a convincing 25-13 victory in set three.

The Aggies were led by Kayleigh Giddens who recorded a match-high 17 kills and hit .351 with just four attack errors on 37 swings. The Aggies held UTEP to just a .149 hitting percentage, well below their season average of .316. "We did a good job for the most part," said head coach Mike Jordan after the match. "We attacked the ball well and minimized our errors so from that standpoint we did some good things." The Aggies hit .326 for the match en route the easy victory.

Set one saw the Aggies take the first point on a hitting error by Jeane Horton. The Miners would quickly tie the set on a kill by Melissa Toth. The two teams would remain tied at 2-2 when the Aggies would go on a quick 3-0 run to take a 5-2 lead. The Aggies would maintain their three point edge at 9-6 when a pair of error from UTEP and a kill by Kayleigh Giddens pushed the lead to six points at 12-6. After a timeout by UTEP, the Aggies would go on a 7-3 run extending their lead to nine points at 18-9. During the run the Aggies' Whitney Woods and Desiree Scott would each get a kill and libero Ellen Miks would get a service ace.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 09/03/10

It the first big rivalry day of the 2010-2011 athletic season! The Aggie volleyball team hosts I-10 rival UTEP while the Aggie soccer team travels to hostile territory to face Rio Grande rival New Mexico. It's the first ever meeting between the Aggies and Lobos on the pitch.

UNM is 3-0-1 on the season and already have a victory over a Top 25 team, that coming last weekend against No. 23 Marquette on the road.

The Lobos are led offensively by Jennifer Williams who has three goals and two assists. She's taken the most shots for the Lobos with 12. Zaneta Wyne and Rachel Fields each have two goals for UNM.

The Aggies' leading goal scorer is Yollie McMillion who has scored five goals this season. The Lobos will undoubtedly make it a point to stop both McMillion and fellow classmate Crystal Burns who despite not having scored a goal this season, is still a major threat to not only score but distribute to her teammates. As Coach Needham mentioned a couple of games ago, he's talked to Burns and the team telling them that an assist is just as good as a goal.

Defensively the Lobos' goal keeper Kelli Cornell have allowed just one goal this season and has made a total of 22 saves. The Aggies' goal keepers Mikaela Bitner and Erin Wosick have been nearly as solid as they've given up just two goals in three games, though both of those goals came very early in the match. Coach Needham indicated in this week's interview that the team has been working on that aspect of their defense and that he feels that the back four (defenders) are starting to come together. He also mentioned that the early goals they have given up are correctable mistakes by the Aggies.

It should be an all out battle, Coach Needham expects an up-tempo back and forth game tonight. The game starts at 7:00 p.m. MT and streaming video will be available via the UNM All-Access site. Live Stats will also be available for tonight's matchup. We will also be providing Twitter updates (follow us: @AgsBleedCrimson)

As for the other rivalry battle tonight, it's the Aggies and Miners on the volleyball court in the Pan Am. Last season the Miners took the Aggies to five sets in Las Cruces but the Aggies were able to prevail 3-2. Down in El Paso it was a little less suspenseful as the Aggies won 3-1. Those two victories last season pushed the Aggies' winning streak in the series to 11 matches.

This season UTEP is off to a 4-1 start with their lone loss coming last weekend to Elon. The Aggies are 3-1 with their lone loss coming at the hands of Florida State.

Offensively the Miners are hitting .316 on the season and are led by outside hitter Melissa Toth who is averaging 4.45 kills per set. Miner senior setter Patty Jarmoc has also been offensively minded this season with 27 kills and is converting at a .535 clip.

For the Aggies, we expect a big night from middle hitter Kelsey Brennan. The Aggies almost always seem to have huge success from their middles against UTEP. Last season Brennan notched a career-high 18 kills and hit .577 in the match in Las Cruces and then followed that up with a 10 kill, .600 hitting percentage performance down in El Paso.

Tonight's match is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. MT first serve and will be broadcast on AggieVision and it will also be the ESPN3.com debut for AggieVision volleyball. Streaming video will also be available via Aggie Access (subscription required). We will also post updates via Twitter (follow us: @AgsBleedCrimson).

News New Mexico discussed Aggie sports this morning on their radio show from 7:35 to 7:50 and 7:50 to 8:00 this morning. You can listen to the feed here (those times we listed should give you a good idea where to fast forward to on the podcast).

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bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Needham Interview :: 09/02/10

bleedCrimson.net: You take on rival UNM on Friday night, the first meeting between the two programs, they're an established program with good tradition.
Michael Needham: We're excited about going up there. It'll be a game we play every year and the first one will be special. I'm looking forward to a great environment. I think we should have a huge crowd there tomorrow night. They always draw good crowds. They've been around for a little while and they've done a good job and I'm sure it'll be pretty hostile and definitely a fun one to play in.

bc.net: Having been an assistant at UNLV, how much of an advantage is that for your team since you're more familiar with their style of play than against an opponent who you've never seen before?
MN: I don't know how much of an advantage that is. I know Kit and Jorge pretty well and they know me pretty well but every year, if you're a good coach and I consider myself a good coach, you're going to be a little bit different. The players are going to be a little bit different. If I had played them last year then I could say, "Okay, now I know some of their players."

In playing them four years ago when I was at UNLV, they're a far different team and a far different program. They've done a nice job of building that thing. I have ideas of how they might play but the player personnel is the thing that really changes all the time.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 09/02/10

Happy College Football Day Aggie fans! College football is back but more on that in a second.

Convincing win by the Aggie volleyball team last night in their home opener. The Aggies crushed CSU-Bakersfield winning by scores of 25-13, 25-14 and 25-11. Kelsey Brennan was the offensive star of the night with nine kills on 11 swings with just one hitting error for a ridiculous .727 hitting percentage. So far on the season, Brennan is hitting a crisp .470 with 38 kills on 66 swings with just seven attack errors in four matches. Kayleigh Giddens has also started the season strong and has recorded a team-high 62 kills and is hitting .277 and has already posted an 18-kill and 19-kill match.

Be sure to check out the photos from last night's match.

The Aggies are back at it tomorrow night when they host I-10 rival UTEP. That match is an AggieVision produced match and will also be streamed live on ESPN3.com.

The UTEP Miners have released the non-conference portion of their men's basketball schedule and the annual home-and-home rivalry games between the Aggies and Miners will be played on November 23rd in El Paso and November 30th in Las Cruces. Mark your calendars.

Back to college football. As you all know, BYU announced their independence yesterday in football with all their other sports going to the West Coast Conference. It's a tough blow to the WAC who in less than a month's time has gone from perhaps one of the greatest mid-major coups in wrangling BYU's non-football sports from the Mountain West to searching high and low for the next two, three, four, five whatever number of teams to add to the league to replace Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada.

However, it's not all gloom and doom (at least not yet). The WAC was able to secure a two-year scheduling agreement with the freshly minted independent BYU. As a result of this agreement, the Aggies will play in Provo next season and are also one of the teams to get a return game from the Cougars who will invade Aggie Memorial Stadium in 2012.

If you were following our Twitter feed (@AgsBleedCrimson) yesterday, we listed the Aggies' 2011 schedule. It's going to be one heck of a tough schedule, perhaps the toughest in Aggie football history. The Aggies' 2011 schedule will look something like this (in no particular date order): home vs. Ohio, at Minnesota, at New Mexico, at Georgia, home versus UTEP, at BYU, at Hawai'i, at San Jose State, at Louisiana Tech, home vs. Fresno State, home vs. Nevada, home vs. Utah State and home vs. Idaho.

But that's next year, this year the Aggies have their hands full as well with no bye weeks during their 12-game schedule and the Aggies' season gets underway next Saturday (Sept. 11th).

And here's our Happy College Football Day gift to you, a little something to get you pumped for college football season (as if you really needed any help).

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NM State vs. Cal State-Bakersfield Match Photos

NM State vs. Cal State-Bakersfield Match Photos

Aggie Volleyball Breezes To 3-0 Sweep In Home Opener Against CSU-Bakersfield

Kelsey BrennanThe Aggie volleyball team opened up the 2010 home schedule with an easy 3-0 sweep of visiting Cal State-Bakersfield on Wednesday night. The Aggies never trailed in the match and were never threatened in any of the sets as they won handily 25-13 in set one, 25-14 in set two and 25-11 in set three. Kelsey Brennan and Kayleigh Giddens overpowered the Roadrunner defense as Brennan hit .727 on the evening with nine kills on 11 swings with just one hitting error.

Giddens had a match-high 11 kills on 25 swings with just three attack errors to finish with a .308 hitting percentage. "We definitely took good swings, quality of swing in transition was really important for us," said head coach Mike Jordan. "Those long rallies, you want the level of play to stay high and not break down and we did a pretty good job of that."

The first serve of the night was a harbinger of things to come as Aggie junior setter Jennah DeVries served up an ace to start the match. It was all downhill from there for the Roadrunners as the Aggies would jump to a quick 3-0 lead. The Aggies gave Bakersfield three of the next four points as they would be called in the net twice followed by a service error by Kayleigh Giddens cutting the Aggies' lead to 4-3. However, the Aggies would quickly distance themselves from the Roadrunners reeling off five consecutive points including kills by Desiree Scott, Kelsey Brennan, a service ace from Ellen Miks and a double block by Rocio Gutierrez and Kelsey Brennan.  Continue Reading This Post >>

NM State Football To Play BYU In 2011 And 2012

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State Athletics Department announced today that the Aggies football team will play BYU in 2011 and 2012 in a home-and-home series. The Aggies will travel to Provo, Utah in 2011 and BYU will return the game in Las Cruces in 2012.

"Obviously after losing Boise State for the 2011 and 2012 season, one of our goals was to identify a comparable school so as to get a home and away game," Athletics Director Dr. McKinley Boston said. "The scheduling alliance allows us to address that issue. I’m also excited because of the significant Mormon presence in Las Cruces and that many people will be able to come to watch a game at New Mexico State, maybe for the first time. I know BYU draws very well, both home and away. This should be a good alliance and certainly over the next couple of years we will have several conversations about additional opportunities."  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 09/01/10

We've posted our previews for the Aggie men's and women's cross country teams. Both squads return virtually every runner from last year's banner season and both squads should be counted among the favorites to take home the WAC title this fall.

The job that coaches Paul and Meaghan Harkins have done with the cross country program is nothing short of remarkable. As we mentioned in the men's previews, the Aggies were an afterthought not just in the conference (never expected to finish better than last) but in their own program as well with just six members on the men's side out of a possible full complement of 20. Just three short years later, the Aggies are maxed out roster-wise and they are poised to win the crown this season.

The women's side has been just about as remarkable, though maybe not quite as dramatic. The women went from sixth in 2007, to fourth in 2008 (a disappointing finish for the squad) to top of the mountain last season. This season they're back to defend their crown and are aiming for a spot at the national meet.

One major thing to note here about both programs is that they also compete in one of, if not the toughest region in the NCAA, the Mountain Region so the renaissance of the Aggie cross country program should not be discounted as perhaps coming against weaker competition.

We have at least one or two more articles on tap regarding the cross country program as well so keep checking back for those.

The Aggie volleyball team opens up the 2010 home slate tonight when they take on CSU-Bakersfield. The Roadrunners are still searching for their first victory this season after going 0-3 in North Dakota.

The Roadrunners are led by outside hitter Lindy DeGeare who has tallied 38 kills through three matches and is averaging 3.45 kills per set. However, she's only hitting .088 and has 27 attack errors. Percentage-wise middle blocker Alysia Baker has the highest hitting percentage at .281 and is averaging 2.81 kills per set.

Defensively, Lauren Holderman leads the way with 55 digs and Chelcy Motes has 11 total blocks.

There are a couple of things working against the Roadrunners tonight (good news for Aggie fans, yes?). The Aggies are opening up at home and are 6-1 in home openers in the past six season (the loss came against Florida State last season). Second, the Aggies should have PLENTY of scouting material on the Roadrunners. CSUB faced a pair of former Aggie assistants in North Dakota when they played Drake and North Dakota. No doubt head coach Mike Jordan was on the phone with both coaches and probably has plenty of game film on the Roadrunners.

If you read yesterday's Daily Aggie, you'd also know that we issued a challenge to Aggie volleyball fans to get out and support the Aggies (read yesterday's entry to find out why we issued the challenge).

Also, be sure to check out the latest entry from Ellen Miks in her Aggie Volleyball Diary.

Tonight's match is set for a 7:00 p.m. first serve and can be heard on the radio on KSNM AM 570. Streaming audio and video will also be available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

Finally, the not-so-good news. As you probably already know, BYU will be announcing today that they are going independent in football and sending the rest of their sports to the West Coast Conference (home of Gonzaga, St. Mary's, San Diego, Pepperdine, etc.)

It's not a huge surprise that they made this decision, but that doesn't mean it hurts any less for the WAC. It really dampens the chances that the WAC will be able to invite any FBS level football programs into the WAC (ala the rumored UTEP, North Texas, SMU type teams that were mentioned in The Project). Add into that Fresno State and Nevada's departure, it also means that there will be no UTEP-for-Louisiana Tech swap. The WAC can no longer afford to lose any of the remaining six members as they would fail the "continuity" clause for a conference to be considered Division I (stipulating that there must be six core members who have been together at least five years).

There is, however, some potentially good news out of this. We've heard rumblings that BYU and the WAC will move forward with the football scheduling pact (if the '11 schedule remains in place, the Aggies will play in Provo next season). It's a move that makes sense because with Boise State departing after this season, all remaining eight (assuming Fresno State and Nevada aren't let off the hook) will be looking for a game to fill the vacancy left by Boise State.

Additionally, the West Coast Conference does not sponsor softball, swimming and diving or men's track and field. BYU fields all three of those sports and those sports could likely end up in the WAC. It's not unprecedented for only a single sport to be associated with a conference. The WAC already has Sacramento State in baseball and Northern Arizona in swimming and diving, those are both teams whose sole participation is in that one sport.

BYU will be holding a press conference at noon MT and you can watch the presser online (free) by registering here (we're not responsible for any solicitation e-mails that the LDS may send you after you give them your e-mail address).

Following a mere two hours after that, WAC Commissioner Karl Benson will address the media at 2:00 p.m. MT. That press conference is not publicly available though we suspect there will be a rebroadcast via WACSports.com later as there was with his press conference a couple weeks ago to address the Nevada/Fresno State departures.

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