The Daily Aggie :: 08/31/10

We were only half right on yesterday's WAC Player of the Week predictions, luckily we were right when it came to Yollie McMillion. She was named the WAC's Offensive Player of the Week for her four goal performance this past weekend in the Aggies' first home soccer tournament.

McMillion (who we're still searching for a cool nickname for given her penchant for scoring game-changing goals), not only leads her team in goals with five, but leads the league in goals with five, three more than teammates Heather Goldberg and Baili Foutz (who each scored two against Prairie View A&M and are now tied for second in the league) and a host of other with two goals. She also leads the league in points (players get two points for a goal, one for an assists) with 10, that's twice as many points and the next player on the list.

The Aggies will have their work cut out for them this weekend as they take on New Mexico and Northern Arizona, both very strong programs and both teams that will defend the goal a little better than Prairie View A&M did.

Aggie volleyball opens up the home schedule tomorrow night against CSU-Bakersfield. We'll Ellen Miks' latest entry in her Aggie Volleyball Diary posted later today.

We also have a new challenge for Aggie volleyball fans. The Aggies have been in the Top 15 in attendance with regularity over the past few seasons, however, after the first weekend of NCAA volleyball our rival, UNM, is THIRD in the nation in home attendance. The Lobos packed Johnson Gym this past weekend averaging 2,371 fans per match including 3,831 fans against Stanford on Sunday.

So, our challenge to you Aggie fans is to get your butts out to the Pan Am tomorrow night and Saturday night (and for the rest of the season) and show everyone which school has the best volleyball fans in the state of New Mexico.

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McMillion Earns WAC Player Of The Week Honors

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State sophomore forward Yolanda McMillion has been named WAC Offensive Player of the Week, for the week of Aug. 23-29. This is the first career honor for McMillion.

An Alamogordo, N.M. native, McMillion led the Aggie soccer team to the Hotel Encanto Aggie Classic title with the first hat trick in school history. McMillion scored three goals in NM State’s 8-0 victory against Prairie View A&M, Aug. 29. She also scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Jacksonville State, Aug. 27. For the week, McMillion posted a team-high four goals, two game-winning goals, and eight points with a .714 shots on goal percentage. She also became the first Aggie in school history to score multiple goals in a single match.

"Yolanda was great for us this weekend," head coach Michael Needham said. "She works very hard and her goals were a direct effect of that hard work."  Continue Reading This Post >>

Giddens And Brennan Named To FSU Invitational All-Tournament Team

Aggie senior outside hitter Kayleigh Giddens and junior middle hitter Kelsey Brennan were named to the 2010 FSU Invitational All-Tournament Team. The Aggies opened up the 2010 season in Tallahassee and recorded a 2-1 record in the event defeating Florida International 3-1, Florida A&M 3-0 while losing 3-1 to No. 15 Florida State.

Brennan finished with a team-high .418 hitting percentage with 29 kills. Brennan recorded 13 kills against Florida International hitting .455 for the match and added 10 kills against Florida A&M hitting .500 for the match.

Giddens led the team with 51 kills and recorded 19 kills against Florida A&M while hitting .536 on the match. Giddens also added 26 digs in the three matches including 13 against Florida International.

The Daily Aggie :: 08/30/10

The Aggie soccer team trounced Prairie View A&M on Sunday afternoon scoring a school record eight goals. Among the eight goals was a hat trick by sophomore forward Yolanda McMillion who now has a team-high five goals through three games this season. McMillion should get serious consideration for WAC Offensive Player of the Week as she scored four goals this weekend, including the game winner against Jacksonville State on Friday evening.

Be sure to check out the photos from yesterday's game as well.

Up next for the Aggies is their first trip to Albuquerque to face in-state rival New Mexico. The Lobos are 3-0-1 on the season and defeated No. 23 Marquette yesterday and could be ranked when the Aggies travel to the UNM Soccer Complex on Friday. The Aggies and Lobos have one common opponent this season and that is Montana. The Lobos destroyed the Grizzlies 7-0 in their season opener while the Aggies tied Montana 1-1 in double overtime.

The Aggie volleyball team heads into week two of their season as this week they'll host Cal State-Bakersfield and I-10 rival UTEP. The Roadrunners are 0-3 on the season losing to former Aggie assistants Phil McDaniel (Drake University) and Ashley Hardee (University of North Dakota) in 3-0 sweeps and then battling but losing a five-set match to Gonzaga at the UND Tournament this past weekend.

Kayleigh Giddens had a very strong open to the season posting matches of 18, 14 and 19 kills. Her 19 kill effort on Saturday against Florida A&M was one of, if not the best performance she's had offensively as an Aggie as she finished the match hitting .536. Her performance will get her consideration for WAC Hitter of the Week but we suspect that honor will go to Kanani Danielson of Hawai'i whose team won their opening tournament. Danielson finished the weekend with 52 kills and 35 digs and hit .316, .394 and .369 in her three matches.

Overall it was a good opening weekend for WAC volleyball. No. 5 Hawai'i had wins over No. 22 San Diego and No. 16 UCLA, the Aggies notched victories over Florida International and Florida A&M, Idaho swept Washington State and Utah State defeated Utah in Salt Lake City for the first time in 20 years.

And last but certainly not least. Welcome Back Football. The 2010 college football season gets underway this week and while the Aggies aren't in action (they open up on the 11th), Hawai'i and Idaho kick things off on Thursday night. The Warriors host USC and Idaho hosts North Dakota. The big game in the WAC's first week will take place next Monday night when Boise State travels to Washington D.C. to take on Virginia Tech and puts their national title hopes on the line.

The Aggies named team captains for the 2010 season and they are QB Matt Christian and DB Davon House.

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NM State vs. Prairie View A&M Match Photos

NM State vs. Prairie View A&M Match Photos

Aggie Soccer Blows Out Prairie View A&M Behind School Record Eight Goals

Yolanda McMillionThe New Mexico State soccer team blew past Prairie View A&M winning 8-0 on Sunday afternoon in the final match of the Hotel Encanto Aggie Classic.

The Aggies scored a school record eight goals on Sunday including a hat trick by sophomore forward Yolanda McMillion. "We allowed it to be a game for a little bit too long but that comes with maturity as you go. I think it was a pretty dominant performance in 28-4 in shots and 18-0 in corner kicks," said Coach Needham. "Any time you score eight goals you can't be unhappy."

McMillion's came via a header off a corner kick by Nina Yanes in the 32nd minute breaking a scoreless tie. After an own-goal by Prairie View A&M's Marrisa Woods (credited to Baili Foutz) gave the Aggies a 2-0 lead in the 35th minute, McMillion struck again in the 40th minute this time off an assist by freshman Megan Hendler. McMillion's initial shot was blocked by Panther goal keeper Melissa Aguayo, but the rebound came back to McMillion who knocked the shot into the back of the net giving the Aggies a 3-0 advantage. "She [Yolanda] stuck with the ball, the keeper made a good play on the first one but couldn't hold it and Yollie was able to slide in there and knock it in," said Coach Needham. "Those are the kind of goals she's going to have to score."  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 08/29/10

The Aggie volleyball team completed their first weekend of play with a sweep of Florida A&M on Saturday afternoon. The Aggies wrapped up the FSU Invitational with a 2-1 record, good enough for a second place finish in the tournament behind No. 15 Florida State's 3-0 record.

Kayleigh Giddens had a big match for the Aggies finishing with 19 kills and a whopping .536 hitting percentage. Kelsey Brennan also had a good day for the Aggies finishing with 10 kills and a .500 hitting percentage. A pair of freshmen, Desiree Scott and Rocio Gutierrez combined for nine kills, Scott with five and Gutierrez with four.

The Aggies hit .386 as a team while holding FAMU to .060. We were reminded by Kyle Doperalski, Aggie play-by-play man for the volleyball team, that this is a Florida A&M program that went into Lincoln, NE in 2004 and stopped the Huskers' lengthy home winning streak which is no small feat. The Huskers didn't lose again at home until 2009. The Aggies' two victories this weekend, despite not coming against common household name teams in Florida International and Florida A&M, were two solid victories to start off the season with.

The Aggies return to action on Wednesday night when they open up the home slate against Cal State-Bakersfield.

On a volleyball related note, the battle of former Aggie volleyball assistants went Phil McDaniel and Drake as they defeated Ashley Hardee and the North Dakota Fighting Sioux on Saturday night in five sets to win the North Dakota Classic. Hardee and the Sioux will get a chance to return the favor when they travel to Des Moines, IA to take on Drake in their home tournament.

The Aggie soccer team is back in action today as they take the field against Prairie View A&M. The Aggies will be looking to improve to 2-0-1 today. Prairie View lost 6-0 to North Texas on Friday afternoon to fall to 0-2-1 and will be looking to notch their first victory of the season.

Today's match is set for a 1:30 p.m. MT start can be heard on the radio in Las Cruces on KSNM AM 570 with Kyle Doperalski calling the action. Streaming audio and video will also be available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

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Aggie Volleyball Sweeps Florida A&M 3-0 To Improve To 2-1

Kayleigh GiddensThe New Mexico State volleyball team picked up its first sweep of the season as they defeated Florida A&M 3-0 in the final match of the FSU Invite. The Aggies won the first set 25-15, the second set 25-17 and the third set 25-20 to improve to 2-1 on the season. Kayleigh Giddens led the team with 19 kills and posted a .536 hitting percentage for the match. The Aggies, who struggled on serve receive against No. 15 Florida State, were much better against Florida A&M. " I think the thing I was most pleased with was the way we passed serve receive," said head coach Mike Jordan. "We got challenged again at the service line today, not quite as tough Florida State's serves but we responded well." He added, "We passed the ball real well and made Jennah's job easy."

The Aggies won the first two sets handily and never trailed at any point during the two set victories. Florida A&M challenged the Aggies in the third set but the Aggies rose to the occasion. Coach Jordan told his team in the locker room after the match "You have to be patient and have to keep competing when teams rise to the challenge and make it tight."

Aggies freshman Desiree Scott got the first kill of the match for the Aggies as they took an early 1-0 lead. After an attack error by Scott tied the match at 1-1, the Aggies would go on a 5-0 run to push their lead to 6-1 and forcing a Rattler timeout. Coming out of the timeout the Rattlers would stop the Aggie run with a kill from Katherine Huanec, however, back to back attack errors by Huanec gave the Aggies an 8-2 lead. The Aggies would extend the lead to 11-4 on another kill by Desiree Scott prompting another Florida A&M timeout. After the timeout, the Rattlers would cut the Aggies' lead to five points at 11-6, however, the Aggies would respond with a 7-1 run to push their lead to a commanding 11 points at 18-7. During the run five different Aggies would record kills and sophomore Ellen Miks would record a service ace.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Walker Happy With Aggies' Second Scrimmage

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State football team held its second scrimmage of fall camp Saturday morning at Aggie Memorial Stadium. Both the offense and defense had several highlights on the day.

Head Coach DeWayne Walker was pleased with what he saw on both sides of the ball.

Defensively, the Aggies dominated on the negative side of the field, holding the Aggie offense to several 3-and-out drives. Safety Donyae Coleman would intercept quarterback Matt Christian’s first pass of the scrimmage, while the defensive line and linebacker corps held the running game at bay.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 08/28/10

The Aggie volleyball team split a pair of matches in the FSU Invite on Friday afternoon defeating a very good Florida International team 3-1 before falling 3-1 to No. 15 Florida State.

The Aggies' best play during the two matches came in set three against Florida International and set two against Florida State. The Aggies hit .368 in the third set against the Panthers, "We played a really efficient game three, very few errors there and we saw glimpses of how good we're going to be down the road," said Coach Jordan. In the match against Florida State the Aggies had a lot of trouble passing serve receive except for the second set, which not coincidentally, they won. ""[The difference in passing] It's confidence. FSU didn't really do anything different at the service line," said Coach Jordan. "They hit a ton of great serves. Five of their six servers hit great serves. We got on a roll and got some confidence going for a while and it was great."

"I'm confident we'll learn from it, I've got confidence in this group that they'll make the adjustments they need to make and part of it is not making mistakes in bunches, being a little bit tougher and bouncing back from mistakes better," said Coach Jordan. "The one game we passed pretty well [second set], we wound up winning it. We were in it competing the whole time but the rest of the time they out-served us and out-passed us and put a ton of pressure on it."

In the fourth set against Florida State, in which they fell 25-10, Coach Jordan was able to get some other players some playing time which he believes will benefit the team in the long run. "Just to get them some experience was good. Twelve of our thirteen players saw action and I think we're going to benefit from playing a great time like this. Losing in four is not fun but they're a great team and we've just got to improve."

The Aggies will take on Florida A&M today at 3:00 p.m. MT. "I expect them to be a foreign loaded team, they win their conference every year and we're playing them on their home court. They're going to be tough." Florida A&M lost in four sets to Florida International last night winning set one 31-29 before losing the final three 25-18, 25-16 and 25-15.

We're not sure about live stats for today's game when we find out, we'll post the link on Twitter @AgsBleedCrimson

The Aggie soccer team broke the seal on the win column just two matches into the season as they came from behind to defeat Jacksonville State last night at Aggie Memorial Stadium. The Aggies allowed a goal in the second minute but then shut out the Gamecocks over the final 88 minutes of play. Head coach Michael Needham was really excited about his team's play (outside the incredibly early goal). "We played the best soccer we've played as a program to this point and that's exciting," said Coach Needham. He was also impressed by the play on the field by both teams. "The soccer was pretty good. There was some creative flair through the whole game."

He was also happy to get the first victory this early in the season (the Aggies also got in the win column early last year winning their fourth match). "We're 1-0-1 right now and I'm happy with that," said Coach Needham. "I think we had good chances against Montana but I also think Montana had good chances against us. I think 1-1 was a fair result. I'm very happy with where we're at. We've got to take care of it on Sunday and try get ourselves to 2-0-1 going into UNM."

Coach Needham also mentioned that he will try to get true freshman goal keeper Erin Wosick some playing time in the next couple matches, "It's going to be important that we have two [goalkeepers] that can go if need be."

One of the other aspects of the team that Coach Needham has been happy with is his team's depth. "We're deeper and I didn't even get to use our depth tonight. Sunday [against Montana] I think we went 17 or 18 deep and tonight we only went 16 deep. We've got to get more players more minutes but at the same time my job is to make sure I put players in in situations where they can succeed," said Coach Needham. "We've got a bunch of players who are real capable of getting the job done and I look forward to seeing each one of them." One of those players who really impressed coach Needham last night was sophomore defender Megan Hendler who transferred in from the University of Dubuque (IA). "Tonight Megan was big-time for us. She was really good. She was one who came on as an outside back and went on and played forward for us and I thought was pretty good tonight."

The Aggies will wrap up the home tournament with a match against Prairie View A&M on Sunday afternoon.

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