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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Aggie Soccer Notches 2-1 Victory Over Jacksonville State

Mary Kate KoziolThe New Mexico State soccer team notched their first victory of the 2010 season with a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Jacksonville State in the Hotel Encanto Aggie Classic on Friday night.

After giving up a goal in the second minute, the Aggie defense was airtight for over the final 88 minutes which allowed the Aggies' potent offense to get win the match for them. "After that happens, that's an easy time to fold," said Coach Needham. The Aggie offense would outshoot Jacksonville State 29-11 including a 17-6 advantage in the second half, during which the Aggies scored their two goals. "Last season we saw a lot of 29's get put up against us. I was real pleased with that [tonight]," said Coach Needham.

Mary Kate Koziol scored the Aggies' first goal knotting the match at 1-1 in the 47th minute off an assist from Crystal Burns. "Mary Kate's goal is a goal she scores in training at least once a training," said Coach Needham. "She got a ball at the top of the box and was just able to get herself free and she just doesn't miss from there." The assist was Crystal Burns' second assist of the season, her first coming in the Aggies' season opener against Montana. It's also her program leading fifth assist. "Last year Crystal would have just taken that 1v1 and we've had a lot of conversations with Crystal about assists being just as good as goals," said Coach Needham. "She made that happen. She drew a defender to herself, she played it to Mary Kate and Mary Kate just stepped up and scored it."  Continue Reading This Post >>

Aggie Volleyball Loses 3-1 To No. 15 Florida State

Playing in their second match of the day at the FSU Invite the New Mexico State Aggie volleyball team lost 3-1 to tournament host No. 15 Florida State. The Aggies lost the first set 25-16 but rallied to win set two 28-26 before losing sets three and four 25-16 and 25-10 respectively. Kayleigh Giddens finished with a team-high 14 kills with seven attack errors for a .219 hitting percentage. She also added nine digs. Florida State's Visnja Djurdjevic led all players with 17 kills on 33 swings with just two attack errors and recorded 12 digs.

For the second consecutive match the Aggies dropped the first set, losing 25-16 as they gave up a pair of big runs to the Seminoles. The Aggies struggled with their passing serve receive. "They just put a ton of pressure on us and we just passed it bad for the majority of the match," said head coach Mike Jordan. The two teams traded the lead early as the Aggies held a 2-1 advantage before the Seminoles answered to take a 4-2 lead. The Aggies would score three in a row behind a kill by Whitney Woods and a pair of attack errors by the Seminoles to take a 5-4 lead. With the set tied 6-6, Florida State would go on a 7-0 run to grab a 13-6 lead. The Aggies responded with three points in a row to cut the lead to 13-9, however, Florida State would answer back with an 8-2 run to take a 21-11 lead. The Aggies would once again run off three points in a row to cut the Seminoles' lead to 21-14 but the lead would prove to be too much for the Aggies to overcome as Florida State would close out the set 25-16.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Aggie Volleyball Opens The Season With A 3-1 Victory Over Florida International

Kayleigh GiddensThe New Mexico State volleyball team kicked off the 2010 season with a 3-1 victory over defending Sun Belt Conference champion Florida International at the FSU Invitational on Friday afternoon behind a match high 18 kills from Kayleigh Giddens. The Aggies dropped the first set 25-20 before rallying to win set two 26-24, set three 25-22 and set four 25-23. "We were a little nervous but the good news is we got good leadership out of our four All-WAC kids and they stepped up and made a lot of plays," said head coach Mike Jordan. "Once we started to relax we had some really good moments." With the victory the Aggies improve to 1-0 on the young season while FIU drops to 0-1.

The first set saw both teams battle back and forth trading points early on. New Mexico State held a 12-9 lead after kill by senior right-side attacker Whitney Woods, however, FIU would win three of the next four points to tie the set at 13 points apiece. The Aggies would once again take the lead at 17-15 after a kill by Kayleigh Giddens. The Panthers would respond winning seven of the next eight points to take a 22-18 lead prompting Aggie head coach Mike Jordan to call a timeout. The Aggies would score a point out of the timeout to cut FIU's lead to 22-19, however, a kill by FIU's Jessica Gehrke put FIU up 23-19. The set would end on an attack error by Aggie freshman Rocio Gutierrez giving FIU the first set 25-20. The Aggies hit just .029 in the first set with 13 kills but 12 attack errors while FIU hit .231 getting just seven kills but committing just one attack error.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Get Your Aggie Volleyball Season Tickets!

The Daily Aggie :: 08/27/10

It's just under an half an hour until the Aggie volleyball team will take the court for the first time in the 2010 season. New Mexico State plays Florida International at 10:00 a.m. MT at the FSU Invitational. They'll be facing Florida State later today at 5:00 p.m. MT.

FIU's setter, Natalia Valentin, was named the Sun Belt Preseason Player of the Year yesterday and today's match will showcase two very very good setters with Preseason All-Conference setter Jennah DeVries manning the duties for the Aggies. Valentin averaged 11.87 assists per set last season.

Offensively, FIU's main weapon is FIU sophomore outside hitter Jovana Bjelica who was also named to the All-Sun Belt Conference Preseason squad and was named the Sun Belt Freshman of the Year last season. Bjelica averaged 3.34 kills per set last season which was second most on the team and she hit .261. She also averaged 2.42 digs per set.

As a team FIU hit .254 last season while holding opponents to a .180 hitting percentage. FIU's setter, Valentin, was also the leader in digs per set at 2.93.

There are no live stats available for this morning's game versus FIU but we spoke with the NMSU SID who is with the Aggies and they are hoping to tweet some scoring updates on their twitter page @NMStateAggies and we'll retweet those updates on our page @AgsBleedCrimson.

Tonight's match against No. 15 Florida State will have live stats and will also be streamed online via Seminoles.com All-Access (subscription required).

The Aggie soccer team returns to the pitch tonight as they face Jacksonville State. We promised an interview with Coach Needham but his schedule did not allow us to connect yesterday.

This is the first home tournament in the Aggie soccer program's history. Jacksonville State is 0-2 on the season after posting a pair of losses last weekend losing 2-0 to Gardner-Webb and 3-2 to Georgia State in double overtime.

The Aggies are 0-0-1 after tying Montana 1-1 last weekend. Yolanda McMillion has scored the lone goal for the Aggies this season while Mikaela Bitner has been pretty solid at goalkeeper for the Aggies.

Tonight's match is set for a 6:00 p.m. start with streaming video available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

Finally, The Sporting News has released their 2010-11 Preseason Polls and they've picked New Mexico State to finish second behind Utah State. They also named Wendell McKines and Troy Gillenwater to their Preseason All-WAC teams. (H/T Parsing The WAC and Jon Wilner/Mercury News)

Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News reports on his blog that Remi Barry has enrolled at NM State.

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Aggie Quarterback Jeff Fleming To Transfer

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State head football coach DeWayne Walker announced Thursday afternoon, that quarterback Jeff Fleming has decided to transfer.

Fleming, a native of Fullerton, Calif., played just one season with the Aggies, starting nine games. He threw for 789 yards on the season, including four touchdowns and was 87-of-172 on his pass attempts with 12 interceptions.

"We are disappointed that Jeff (Fleming) has decided to transfer but we wish him the best in his future endeavors," Walker said.

Fleming also rushed for 280 yards on 79 attempts, including three rushing touchdowns. His three rushing touchdowns were the most by any Aggie player in 2009.