The Daily Aggie :: 09/23/10

The Aggie volleyball team is back in action as they look to end a six-match losing streak. The Aggies have dominated the Lady Techsters. New Mexico State is 11-1 against Louisiana Tech all-time and has never lost to them during Coach Jordan's tenure. The dominance is so striking that the Aggies have only dropped three sets in their 11 victories over the Lady Techsters. There have been eight sweeps and no match has ever gone the full five sets. Louisiana Tech has improved this season and is 9-5 overall heading into conference play.

Offensively the Lady Techsters are hitting .189 as a team while holding opponents to a .119 hitting percentage. LA Tech is led by senior outside hitter Taylor Fritz who is averaging 2.85 kills per set. Defensively, senior libero Lori Hunsucker lead the team at 5.40 digs per set.

The Lady Techsters are a pretty good serving team and are averaging 1.5 service aces per set. When the Aggies have struggled it's been because of their passing on serve receive. The two teams have similar blocking numbers as the Aggies average 1.88 blocks per set while LA Tech averages 1.92 blocks per set.

Kayleigh Giddens leads the team at 4.46 kills per set while Ellen Miks leads the team in digs at 3.58 per set.

We're unsure of the status of Aggie starting middle blocker Kelsey Brennan for tonight's match. Brennan went down with an ankle sprain against Pepperdine and did not play in the following match against Texas State. The Aggies and Lady Techsters will play tonight and then turn around and meet again in Las Cruces on Saturday (gotta love the quirks of WAC scheduling).

Today's match is scheduled for a 6:00 p.m. MT first serve and can be heard on the radio in Las Cruces on KSNM AM 570 with streaming audio available via Aggie Access (subscription required). Live Stats will also be available for the match.

The Aggie cross country team heads to Santa Teresa today for the Lori Fitzgerald Invitational. The Aggie coaches are resting the runners who will travel to Pennsylvania next week and are sending a younger group to today's meet. Find out what cross country coach Paul Harkins had to say about the meet as well as a recap of the Kachina Classic in this week's interview.

The Aggie soccer team is headed to Colorado today where they'll face Northern Colorado tomorrow night. The Aggies are 5-1-2 and have posted three straight shutouts. They've also scored 12 goals in the past two games, however, this weekend's road trip will see them play a pair of tough opponents in Northern Colorado (5-3-1) and Wyoming (5-5-0). Find out what Coach Needham had to say about this weekend's opponents as well as his thoughts on the team making their first long-range road trip of the season (the Aggies have played on road game this season, that coming against New Mexico in Albuquerque) in this week's interview.

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bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Needham Interview :: 09/22/10

bleedCrimson.net: How have your practices been this week in preparation for Northern Colorado and Wyoming?
Michael Needham: Yesterday is always a competition day and a fitness day so I think it was good. They came out and competed and battled and that's what we ask them to do on Tuesdays. I'm happy with that. Today we'll get into a bit more tactical situations.

bc.net: One of the things that I noticed on the first goal in Sunday's game and a few of the goals from Friday's game against Alabama A&M is that when your kids are getting opportunities in front of the net, they're not trying to pound the ball into the back of the net, instead they're hitting a bit softer shot. How much of that is a learning process from what happened on Yolanda McMillion's shot against Northern Arizona?
MN: I think it's just getting more comfortable in front of the goal is what it is. We talk a lot about as the season goes on, you're going to get some chances and you're going to get chances to score and you've got to put those on the frame. Either mat the goal keeper make a save or you've just got to tuck it away and you can't allow chances like that to go passing. So, it's not so much any focus on what's happened in the past, it's more of what's going to happen in the future. Looking at the goal scoring chances we have, we have some pretty athletic kids up front who can get behind people and cause problems there. If we're going to get into those areas, we've got to make sure we're scoring goals when we get there.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Harkins Interview :: 09/22/10

bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on your teams' performance this past weekend at the Kachina Classic?
Paul Harkins: I thought it was really solid. We ran without our number one on both the men's and the women's side (Ian Ruybalid and Courtney Schultz) yet the women still closed the gap on UTEP from two weeks prior at the Lobo Invitational. They did really well. Camille Schultz had an awesome race especially without her sister in the race. She did a fantastic job charging after those UTEP girls.

On the men's side it was a solid performance. I was hoping we could still get them without Ian but Kevin Taft had a great race and almost got the two UTEP guys at the end but just got outkicked. Everybody else ran very well as well. It was a great home meet despite the fact that we were beating them up pretty hard workout wise and without running our top runners Ian Ruybalid on the men's side and Courtney Schultz on the women's side. It was a good race.

bc.net: As far as your times this year versus last year how did your teams do?
PH: There was a little bit of a change to the course, it wasn't really anything huge but it did take a little bit of distance off and shortened it up so time-wise it's tough to compare. But I think it was pretty comparable distance-wise to the UNM course but it was a little bit more challenging. We're comparing our times to the meet two weeks prior (Lobo Invitational) and I think it was really good. Most of our people ran on a little bit tougher course at least as fast if not faster. They're just showing their progression season to season.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 09/22/10

Check out our interview this week with Aggie head football coach DeWayne Walker. Also check out AggieVision's video from the weekly football press conference which is held on Tuesdays with quotes from Coach Walker as well as a few of the Aggie players.

We talked to Coach Walker about what he feels the defense needs to improve on in Saturday's game with Kansas and the main thing he pointed to was execution. He explained that when the defense doesn't play well, as was the case in Saturday's game, the first thing he looks at is the opposing team's scheme and whether or not they ran what the coaching staff had scouted and prepared for. Coach Walker and the players felt that their scout was correct and that the Miners did not run anything they weren't expecting leading Coach Walker to point to his team's execution as the main factor behind it's struggles.

The difference between the Aggies and Jayhawks lies on the defensive side of the ball. KU is allowing 20.7 points per game while the Aggies have given up an average of 41.5. The good news for the Aggie offense is this will be the first offense that the Aggies have faced that isn't a potential Top 10 offense. The Jayhawks have struggled much like the Aggies on offense and are averaging 15.7 points per game (the Aggies are averaging 15.5), KU is averaging 124.3 rushing yards per game (the Aggies are averaging 100.5), and the Jayhawks are averaging 171.3 passing yards per game (the Aggies hold the edge here averaging 211.5 passing yards per game).

When we asked Coach Walker about his defense going up against an offensive line that has struggled to protect the quarterback (KU has allowed 12 sacks through three games) he had this to say, "There's no question. We need to have some success, get some turnovers and get some sacks. Cut down on our mistakes which is killing us with the explosive plays. This could be a big confidence builder for our football team."

On the flip side, Kansas head coach Turner Gill held his press conference on Monday and his press conference sounded a lot like Coach Walker's. He noted that he, much like Coach Walker, would like to see his defense create more turnovers. So far through two games the Aggie offense has turned the ball over just once, an interception thrown by Matt Christian late in the game against UTEP.

It will be interesting to watch Saturday's game unfold as the two teams both look for similar things, more pressure on defense and more consistency on offense. It goes without saying (but we'll say it anyway) that the team that finds both first is going to be the team that comes out of this one with the victory.

Don't forget to visit The Wiz of Odds website and vote for the Aggie football poster (Group 2) as the best poster of the year.

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Aggie Catcher Zac Fisher On Baseball America's List Of Top Prospects To Come Out Of Summer Leagues

Written By: Bianca Matamoros-Koonce for NM State Media Relations

DURHAM, N.C. - New Mexico State catcher Zac Fisher had been named as an addition to Baseball America lists consisting of the top prospects for 18 summer leagues as well as Team USA. The Texas Collegiate League announced the 2010 All-TCL team, which included New Mexico State Zac Fisher on the top of the list at catcher.

Fisher, who will be a sophomore for the Aggies in the spring of 2011, was the starting catcher for the North All-Stars in the 2010 TCL All-Star Game, July 5, 2010 in Victoria, Texas.

Fisher, a native of Fontana, Calif., hit .350 on the year while playing in 38 games as a freshman at New Mexico State. He did even better in league play hitting .417 (20-of-48) against Western Athletic Conference rivals. Fisher tied for the most home runs on the team in conference play with six. On the year, Fisher finished knocking a total eight out of the ballpark.  Continue Reading This Post >>

AggieVision :: Coach Walker/Player Press Conference Week Three

AggieVision :: Pass Catching With Kyle Nelson

Former Aggie Women’s Golfers Doing Well for Themselves

Written By: Russell Barnes, NM State Media Relations

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Golf has expanded greatly over the past decade or so with people of all ages, races and gender picking up the clubs. New Mexico State is one such place that is open to all, as long as they make the cut.

NM State women's golf is far reaching in its search for talent including France, Australia and Hawai'i and is far reaching in its accomplishments as well. Several former players have gone on to have successful golf careers in the Ladies Professional Golf Association and other various tours.

Head coach Paul Brilliant is one reason for a lot of that success. With a coaching career of over twenty years, a few stints with PGA players and tour experience himself; Brilliant has coached such players as LPGA pro Alena Sharp, former LPGA pro A.J. Eathorne and Lehua Wise, who is currently playing on the DURAMED Futures Tour.

"I still follow and talk to a lot of the women," Brilliant said. "Of course I'm still concerned with how they're doing."  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Walker Interview :: 09/21/10

bleedCrimson.net: You've had a couple of days to break down film after the UTEP game, what are your thoughts?
DeWayne Walker: It's a little disappointing, you never want to play that way in a rival game. I thought we showed some progress against San Diego State and thought we would be able to improve on it and it just didn't come to light like I thought it would. UTEP is probably better football team than we anticipated going in. They're going to win some games this year. Seeing a team, quarterback and offensive that have been together a little bit, they just outclassed us to a certain degree. We just have to not panic and not listen to the naysayers and try to stay on course.

bc.net: Defensively, what are some things that you saw from Saturday's game that you know you'll need to improve heading into the game against Kansas?
DW: Just not making mistakes. That's probably been the most frustrating. The first thing when you don't play well defensively, the first thing I'm always going to question is the scheme [offensive]. When we went back and watched the tape, they [UTEP] did everything that we practiced, they did everything that we thought they would do. We talked to the players and asked them and they said, "No coach, they did everything you guys thought they would do." So we just didn't execute. That's a problem I'm think we're having. We're younger on defense this year, we've got some new guys and we just have to figure out a way to cut the scheme down. The players don't think it's too much scheme, we've just got to be able to execute under pressure.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 09/21/10

Head over to The Wiz of Odds website and vote for the Aggie football poster (Group 2) as the best poster of the year.

The Aggies and Jayhawks meet on Saturday and both teams are hearing the same message from their coaches: We've got to get better as a football team.

Kansas first year head coach Turner Gill has had that message after each of their first three games. He told Matt Tait of the Lawrence World-Journal, “We’re trying to improve on every phase of our game. My talk hasn’t changed. It doesn’t depend on the quality of the opponent. We’ve just gotta get better as a football team. That’s what they heard (last weekend), and that’s what they’ll continue to hear.”

Second year head coach DeWayne Walker has this to say after Saturday's game, "Right now we have some major problems that we need to figure out," and this after week one against San Diego State, "We have to get a lot better not only on offense but our whole football team."

The two teams will meet on the gridiron on Saturday where both coaches will hope to see big improvements over their last game.

Crystal Burns earned WAC Offensive Player of the Week honors for the Aggie soccer team this week. She scored four of the Aggies' 12 goals this past weekend in the Aggies' two victories. It's the third consecutive week that the Aggies have had a Player of the Week. Yolanda McMillion won Offensive Player of the Week two weeks ago for her hat trick against Alabama A&M and her game-winning goal against Jacksonville State. Last week Aggie goal keeper Mikaela Bitner earned WAC Defensive Player of the Week honors for her shutout against North Dakota.

The Aggies wrap up non-conference play this weekend when they face Northern Colorado and Wyoming.

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