The Daily Aggie :: 08/18/10 :: Afternoon BYU Rumor Mill

We had something written about the whole BYU football independence/WAC for everything else but decided hold off on posting it this morning until we got a better indication for if the whole thing was really going to happen or not. This morning has seen the Salt Lake Tribune report that it's a "Done Deal" (of course we all know about how "done" these "done deals" are.), however, they are citing a source in the WAC office in their story. So... we'll stick our necks out a little bit and comment on the potential move.

Before we get that though, one interesting side development in this story is the revelation that there is no penalty for Boise State should they decide that the Mountain West isn't what they thought it was and decide come crawling back to the WAC (that would make for very interesting rivalry games between Idaho and Boise State if that happened given what unfolded during the WAC's football media days). A dream scenario for the WAC would have Boise State come back giving the league it's nine-team format for football and the much desired 10-team format for men's and women's basketball, volleyball and softball which would create travel partners and avoid some of the difficult scheduling the league office has.

The Sporting News' Mike DeCourcy also spoke with Aggie head men's basketball coach Marvin Menzies who said that he would welcome the addition of BYU to the WAC.

So what exactly would it mean for the WAC in terms of competition? Well, it means the WAC gets instantly better across the board in pretty much all sports. Last season, the 2009-2010 athletic season, BYU was the conference champion in eight of the 19 Mountain West sponsored sports (women's soccer-regular season, women's swimming and diving-regular season and tournament, men's and women's indoor track and field, men's tennis-regular season, softball-regular season as the MWC doesn't hold a postseason tournament, and men's and women's outdoor track and field).  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 08/18/10

As promised, we've posted our 2010 Aggie Soccer Preview. The Aggies open up their season on Friday night against UTEP at Aggie Memorial Stadium. The one big question that remains before Friday night's opener is who will claim the starting spot in goal for the Aggies. There are big shoes to fill with Katie Graul's departure but after speaking with Coach Needham earlier this week, he seems very confident that one of the three goal keepers he has on his roster can fill those shoes. Whoever it ends up being, whether is Jess Schutter (who has been hampered by an injury but should now be cleared to practice), Mikaela Bitner (redshirt freshman) or Erin Wosick (true freshman), the Aggie defenders, the position that is probably the deepest on the team, will definitely be able to provide a lot of help to the new goal keeper, especially early on while she gets her feet under her.

The AVCA Preseason Top 25 poll was released yesterday and the Aggies were one of the team in the "receiving votes" category. The Aggies received 14 votes good for 41st in the rankings. We also posted yesterday that the Aggies' schedule is full of teams either in the Top 25 or receiving votes. There will be plenty of opportunities for quality, RPI-boosting victories in the non-conference. The Aggies would most definitely crack the Top 25 should they win a good number of those matches.

Also, be sure to check out Ellen Miks' first entry in the 2010 Aggie Volleyball Diary.

We hope to have our 2010 Aggie Volleyball Preview posted tomorrow.

Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News notes that UNM's men's basketball schedule was released and the dates for the Aggie/Lobo games are December 4th in Las Cruces and December 11th in Albuquerque. The time for the game in Las Cruces is still TBD (though we'd guess it'll be at 7:05 p.m. just like every other year) and 7:00 p.m. in Albuquerque.

On to today's links...  Continue Reading This Post >>

2010 bleedCrimson.net Aggie Soccer Preview

The New Mexico State soccer team went into the 2009 season with few expectations. The reason? It was the program's inaugural season and nobody really knew quite what to expect. The result? A much better than predicted finish from the team as a 9-9-1 overall record and a conference record of 4-3-1 led to a fifth place finish and a WAC tournament bid in just their first season. Just how impressive was their inaugural season? Fellow first year program Missouri-Kansas City finished their inaugural season at 1-16-1 and fellow conference mate Louisiana Tech, a program that has been in existence for six seasons, had never won a WAC game until last season and still have yet to participate in the conference tournament.

Enter 2010. The Aggies are looking to build off the momentum they created in their inaugural season and despite being picked to finish eighth by the league's coaches, the Aggies have their sights set once again on a strong season with a top six finish and a conference tournament berth.

"We definitely have high expectations, we did good last year and we just want to build off that," said sophomore defender Courtney Irwin in the team's media day interviews.

Being just a second year program, the Aggies didn't have a lot of turnover after their first season nor do they have to replace many starters due to graduation. The team does have a couple of notable names to replace as the Aggies' leading goal scorer, Jazmin Cardoso, transferred to George Mason and senior leader and First Team All-WAC goal keeper Katie Graul exhausted her eligibility. Finding Graul's replacement in goal will be one of the few puzzles second year head coach Michael Needham will have to solve before the Aggies open the 2010 season. The Aggies have added 13 newcomers to the roster with several of them expected to push for playing time and perhaps potential starting positions.

POSITION BREAKDOWNS  Continue Reading This Post >>

Aggie Volleyball Receives Votes In AVCA Preseason Top 25 Coaches Poll

The AVCA Top 25 Preseason Coaches Poll was released today and New Mexico State received 14 votes placing them 41st in the rankings. The Aggies' regular season schedule includes nine matches against teams that are either ranked or are receiving votes.

New Mexico State will face #15 Florida State and Florida International (receiving votes) in the FSU Invitational on Friday, August 27th. On September 10th and 11th the Aggies will face Rice who is receiving votes and then #23 LSU. NM State will then travel to Albuquerque to face in-state rival New Mexico who is also receiving votes before heading to Tucson for the Arizona Invitational on September 17th and 18th where they'll face Pepperdine (receiving votes) and #18 Arizona.

The Aggies will then host #5 Hawai'i in a nationally televised match on ESPNU on September 29th at 8:00 p.m. MT and then four nights later will host #18 Arizona. The Aggies will travel to Honolulu to face the #5 Wahine on Sunday, October 31st.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Ellen Miks' Aggie Volleyball Diary :: August 16th, 2010

Ellen MiksHello Aggie Volleyball fans! My name is Ellen Miks and I am currently a sophomore here at NMSU. I was extremely honored to be asked to write this blog for y’all, especially since the person who wrote it last year was one of my good friends Kelli Goodan. We miss the seniors very much this year, but we are looking forward to continuing their legacy that they left behind.

First a little about me just so you know who is giving you updates on the Aggies… I am from Denver, Colorado and I went to Columbine High School. I plan on majoring in math so ultimately I can be a high school math teacher. You should see the looks I get from people when I tell them I want to be a high school math teacher… all they tell me is, “Good luck!” As for my volleyball position, I am a DS/Libero/Outside/Rightside/Middle…. Whatever coach tells me to play I do it!

I believe I should do a small recap of our season last year. We ended up being 20-9, but unfortunately that was not quite good enough to qualify for the NCAA tournament. We had a very difficult preseason, but as we played more games, we started to come together as a team. Near the end of the season we were playing really well, and we went back to my home state and beat the Colorado State Rams in four games! The CSU Rams ended up going quite deep into the tournament, making it to the Sweet 16. Although it was hard to swallow at first, we knew we belonged in the tournament, and that’s why this year we are determined to win more games like the Colorado State game, and beat more teams like them.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 08/17/10

How can you tell your program is on the rise? One of your assistants gets a head coaching job. That's the situation that Aggie swimming and diving head coach Rick Pratt finds himself in. Assistant coach Heidi Voigt was named the head coach at Northern Michigan yesterday. The Aggies have improved leaps and bounds in Coach Pratt's five seasons and are now perennial contenders for the WAC title. In fact, so much has been talked about as far as Boise State's departure from the WAC on the football side of things but Coach Pratt and the Aggie swimming and diving team are one of the teams who will definitely benefit from Boise State leaving as the Aggies finished in second place last season to Boise State at the WAC Championship meet.

We're not trying to infer that the Aggies cannot win a league title while Boise State is still in the league, quite the contrary as the Aggie program is gaining ground on the WAC by leaps and bounds each season and a WAC title could very well be in the cards this season but their rise to the top could be hastened by the Broncos' departure after the 2010-11 season.

Don't forget that we'll have our Aggie volleyball and soccer previews posted a bit later this week. Be sure to check out our interview with Aggie head soccer coach Michael Needham as well.

We're also very excited to reveal that Aggie sophomore outside hitter Ellen Miks will be writing the Aggie Volleyball Diary this season. Ellen's first entry will be posted later today!

On to today's links...  Continue Reading This Post >>

AggieVision :: A Day In The Life Of The Equipment Staff

bleedCrimson.net Coach Needham Interview :: 08/16/10

bleedCrimson.net: How did Friday's Crimson and White scrimmage turn out?
Michael Needham: It went well, it went real well. The game was very even and the kids were all competing. We're still trying to figure out what's going to be the right combination of players and the right group for playing UTEP on Friday. It was a good runout and it was a good chance to see the kids in a game environment."

Even though it was against ourselves I felt that it was pretty competitive. The pressure could have been a little bit better. There wasn't quite as much defensive pressure as I would have liked in terms of preparing us to play a rivalry game next Friday. At the same time you're playing against your teammates and you play a little bit differently anyway. All in all it was good. We got through it healthy which is the most important part. We had a some great performances from a lot of kids and got exactly what we wanted out of it.

bc.net: What have been the differences starting year two versus year one?
MN: The first thing, and it's very similar to last year, the first thing we're looking for in preseason is for our group to come together as a team and to get to know each other a little bit. I think they've done that really well. I'll credit my returning players on that. Any time there's going to new players, they were all new players last year, any time you bring in a new group of players and you're trying to incorporate them and get them going, you're trying to make them as comfortable as possible as quickly as possible. All credit to our returning players. They've been great to the incoming kids. They realize that both groups of players, both the returning players and the incoming players, are all going to contribute to this effort. They've treated them very much as equals and not made life real difficult on them as a group of freshmen. That was the first thing, come together.   Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 08/16/10

Coming later this week we'll have previews of the 2010 volleyball and soccer teams. We've talked to both Coach Jordan from volleyball and Coach Needham from the soccer team and both are excited and have high hopes for the upcoming season.

The Aggie soccer team held their first Crimson and White scrimmage on Friday night and we got Coach Needham's thoughts on the event:

"It went well, it went real well. The game was very even and the kids were all competing. We're still trying to figure out what's going to be the right combination of players and the right group for playing UTEP on Friday. It was a good runout and it was a good chance to see the kids in a game environment."

"Even though it was against ourselves I felt that it was pretty competitive. The pressure could have been a little bit better. There wasn't quite as much defensive pressure as I would have liked in terms of preparing us to play a rivalry game next Friday. At the same time you're playing against your teammates and you play a little bit differently anyway. All in all it was good. We got through it healthy which is the most important part. We had a some great performances from a lot of kids and got exactly what we wanted out of it."

We'll have more posted from our interview with Coach Needham shortly and look for our Aggie soccer team preview later in the week.

One quick football note, today's afternoon practice has been moved from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. to 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Also, our 2010 Aggie Football Desktop Wallpapers are available to download.

On to today's links...  Continue Reading This Post >>