The Daily Aggie :: 09/14/10

The Aggie volleyball heads north to Albuquerque today to take on in-state rival New Mexico. The Aggies are looking to begin a new winning streak against the Lobos after having their 10-match streak snapped last season via a 3-0 sweep in the Pan Am by the Lobos.

The Lobos are 4-5 on the season, however, three of those losses have come at the hands of Top 10 teams (Stanford, USC and Hawai'i). Offensively they're led by middle blocker Taylor Hadfield and outside hitters Kelly Williamson and Lisa Meeter. Hadfield has recorded 103 kills on the season, Williamson has recorded 102 and Lisa Meeter has recorded 96.

The Lobos are averaging 2.33 blocks per set while the Aggies are averaging 1.92 blocks per set. Allison Buck leads the Lobos in digs per set at 3.91 while Ellen Miks leads the Aggies in digs at 3.84 digs per set.

Despite having lost their last two matches in a row, the Aggies are actually heading to Albuquerque with some significant momentum coming off their near upset of No. 21 LSU.

If you read Ellen Miks' latest entry in her Aggie Volleyball Diary this week, she notes that despite the loss, the team learned that they have what it takes to be a great team.

Tonight's match is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. first serve at Johnson Gym. The match can be heard in Las Cruces on KSNM AM 570 with Kyle Doperalski calling the action. Streaming audio will be available via Aggie Access (subscription required). Streaming video (subscription required) and Live Stats for tonight's match will be available via the UNM athletic website. We will also be posting scoring updates via Twitter (follow us: @AgsBleedCrimson)

Announced last night, the WAC has filed suit against Fresno State and Nevada in order to try to force them to remain in the WAC through the end of the 2011-2012 athletic season. Commissioner Benson held a press conference this morning to address the lawsuit.

The most interesting thing out of the press conference this morning is the Commissioner Benson has spoken with BCS representatives and has been informed that because the WAC is named in all of the BCS contracts (we believe those contracts go through the 2014 season) that regardless the number of members in the WAC, the conference will still be considered a member of the five non-coalition conferences and will receive the BCS payouts that normally go to the five non-coalition conferences. Good news for all of the remaining WAC schools.

Also, the new membership committee (comprised of the six remaining schools) has had a pair of conference calls since its formation and will meet in person on Tuesday, September 27th in Dallas.

Benson also mentioned that the WAC's timeline for membership addition has not changed, even in light the moves by UC-Davis and Cal Poly, two schools that had been mentioned as prospective football members, to the Big Sky.

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Ellen Miks' Aggie Volleyball Diary :: September 13th, 2010

Ellen MiksHello Aggie volleyball fans! What an exciting week for the volleyball program! We just got back from LSU and some of the boosters were there to greet us at the Pan Am! I am so thankful that we have such a great support system, and I truly believe that our boosters are the BEST!

About the tournament… We played well against Rice and defeated them in three, played sub-par against North Carolina and lost in three, and then we played the #21 team in the nation, Louisiana State. We dropped the first set, but once we got our nerves out we began to play better and better as the match progressed. We lost games one and two, then rallied back to win games three and four! It was honestly the most fun I have ever had playing volleyball!

We were serving tough, digging balls, hitting hard… everyone was so into the game, so focused, and so intent on winning that we all came together and played great volleyball. Unfortunately, we lost the fifth set 17-15 but we learned that we have what it takes to be a great volleyball team!  Continue Reading This Post >>

AggieVision :: Aggie Academy :: Strength And Conditioning Techniques

Mikaela Bitner Named WAC Defensive Player Of The Week

DENVER, CO - New Mexico State’s Mikaela Bitner has been named the Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week for the week of September 6th-12th.

Bitner, a redshirt freshman goalkeeper from Albuquerque, N.M. (Sandia HS), anchored the NM State defense in a 1-0 shutout victory over North Dakota on Friday night. "She deserves it, she's done an outstanding job for us in the goal," said head coach Michael Needham. "She's made some really big saves at big times for us and all-in-all she's done an exceptional job to this point."

Bitner recorded a season-high nine saves in the game against the Fighting Sioux and on the season has .892 save percentage and is allowing 0.72 goals per game en route to helping the Aggies post a 3-1-2 record through six games in the 2010 season.

This is the first Player of the Week award for Bitner and the second of the 2010 season for the Aggies as Yolanda McMillion was named Offensive Player of the Week last week.

The Daily Aggie :: 09/13/10

It's rivalry week part two as the Aggie football team will face UTEP on Saturday night and the Aggie volleyball team will face in-state rival UNM tomorrow night in Albuquerque.

The Aggie football team will look to get back on track defensively against a pretty potent Miner offense. It will be interesting to see how the defense handles the run/pass ability of Miner quarterback Trevor Vittatoe. It will give them a good test before they face Nevada dual-threat quarterback Colin Kaepernick (who is also a much better runner than Vittatoe).

Saturday's game could be a breakout game for the Aggie offense. UTEP was shredded by the Houston offense, and while the Aggies are certainly not at the level offensively that Houston is at right now, the Cougar running game was incredibly effective against the Miners, something that should have Aggie running backs Seth Smith and Kenny Turner licking their chops after the less than stellar night the two backs had on Saturday against San Diego State.

One major injury note for the Miners, safety Braxton Amy is likely done for the season with a torn ACL according to Adrian Mac at MinerDigs.com. The loss of Amy for the Miners is akin to if the Aggies were to lose Davon House for the season. Not only one of the best players on the field, but also a leader on the field as well. Our best wishes for a speedy recovery to Braxton Amy.

The Aggie volleyball team will look to extract some revenge tomorrow night when they travel to Albuquerque to take on UNM. The Lobos ended the Aggies' lengthy winning streak in the series last season when they completed a stunning sweep in the Pan Am.

One other volleyball note, Ellen Miks' 31 digs against No. 21 LSU put her in exclusive company in the Aggie record books as she joins the 30-dig club at New Mexico State. A player has had 30-plus digs only four other times in a five-set match. Krystal Torres did it three of those times, coincidentally she also had 31 digs against LSU the last time these two teams met back in the 2007 NCAA Tournament.

Interestingly enough, there have actually been more 30-plus dig matches by an Aggie in four set matches (at least five, all by different players, Vanesa White, Briana Akrie, Maria Rothe, Lisa Roberson and Jordan Bostic) than there have been in five set matches. And, no Aggie has been able to pull off a 30-dig performance in a three set match, though Krstyal Torres ('07) and Briana Akrie ('04) each came close with 28 digs.

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NM State Aggie Invitational Photos

NM State Aggie Invitational Men's Tennis Photos

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 >>