Volleyball News

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Volleyball News

Kaylee Neal Named CoSIDA First Team Academic All-District

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M - New Mexico State volleyball senior Kaylee Neal was named to the 2017 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) First-Team Academic All-District VII honors on Thursday. This is the first time she has received the award.

Neal becomes the first Aggie since Kelsey Brennan to earn all-district honors (2010) and the first player since Jordan Bostic (2006-07) to earn first-team accolades. The senior libero currently boasts a perfect 4.00 grade point average in accounting and is just the fourth Aggie to earn first-team all-district honors and eighth NM State player to earn CoSIDA Academic All-District recognitions.

The Gilbert, Ariz., product started in 9-of-28 matches this season playing primarily as a defensive specialist. Neal has tallied 10 service aces this season while registering 147 digs. The senior also posted nine assists during the regular season.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Tohm Named WAC Volleyball Player Of The Year, Sierra Named Libero Of The Year, Jordan Named Coach Of The Year

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

EDINBURG, TX - The Western Athletic Conference announced the volleyball postseason awards as voted on by the leagues head coaches on Wednesday night. Five Aggie players received accolades including Kassandra Tohm, who received the prized Player of the Year award and Ariadnne Sierra, who earned her second-straight Libero of the Year honor. Head Coach Mike Jordan was also named the league’s Coach of the Year.

“We are very proud of everyone and what they’ve accomplished this season,” Jordan said. “They’ve worked hard at improving and are very deserving of their award.”  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 11/14/17

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

bleedCrimson.net: Picked up a couple of wins last week and were able to win the regular season title. In the win at Grand Canyon you picked up your first five set win of the season. What were your thoughts about that win?
Mike Jordan: We were a little Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. We really made some silly mistakes. Grand Canyon was pretty consistent throughout, dug a lot of balls, extended a lot of rallies and I thought served it pretty well. It's tough to win on the road. Teams play so much better at home in this league than they do on the road. We were inconsistent but we found ways in the end to make it happen. I was really disappointed in the fourth set. We had 20 kills in the set and lost. That's hard to do. I don't know that that's ever happened in my time here. We had five more kills than they did but we netted twice, we got called for two ball handling errors, just all these unforced errors came out of nowhere. We didn't serve it very efficiently. That fourth set was really the one where I was shaking my head when I was looking at the numbers at the end of it. I felt like it was a set we maybe should have dominated but fortunately we played well in the fifth, other than missing a couple of serves a little past the midway point. I think we missed back-to-back. That was frustrating but we were able to finish them off in the end.

bc.net: You had 10 kills and only one attack error in the fifth set. Fifth sets that you've played this year, you've had leads or been close in all of them and not been able to close out down the stretch of those sets. What was different in this one?
MJ: You're right, I was a little nervous about it and like I mentioned the serving, we had a lead and then we go back and miss a couple of serves and I really felt like, uh oh, here we go again. We've got to manage this game and not start making errors and fortunately I don't know that we made an error past that point, maybe just one. I was pretty happy with how efficient we were and we scored consistently in a couple of spots and that was a big deal.  Continue Reading This Post >>

2017 WAC Volleyball Tournament Bracket Set

Written By: WAC Media Relations

DENVER, CO - The Western Athletic Conference has announced the bracket for the 2017 WAC Volleyball Tournament Nov. 16-18 at the UTRGV Fieldhouse in Edinburg, Texas.

NM State is the top seed after winning its third straight WAC regular-season title. The Aggies are led by Kassandra Tohm, who leads the conference in WAC matches in kills per set (3.98) and points per set (4.20), and Tatyana Battle, who ranks seventh in the WAC in kills per set (3.40) and fifth in points per set (3.95). Libero Ariadnne Sierra ranks third in WAC matches with 5.08 digs per set.

Host UT Rio Grande Valley is the No. 2 seed after earning a sweep at Grand Canyon on Saturday. Junior Ragni Steen Knudsen leads the Vaqueros with 3.68 kills per set in WAC matches, while Bojana Mitrovic had a WAC-best 10 double-doubles in league play.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 11/06/17

bleedCrimson.net: You picked up a pair of wins over the weekend and it was the best offensive performance you've had from your middles all season and I'm sure something you've been waiting to see for quite a while.
Mike Jordan: Yeah, we're working hard at point scoring in other spots besides Sasha and our outside hitters. When Brielle Sterns was in the lineup before she got hurt and obviously Jordan Abalos before she got hurt, we had five players right away that could score points. We knew Lia Mosher would eventually get to that point this season where she could score more for us and that's starting to happen. But obviously you want as many players in the lineup that can score as possible. It just makes life so much easier. To our players' credit, they're all working hard at adjusting their games and making themselves more available, especially in transition in the middle. We're finding them and they're doing good things.

bc.net: Megan Hart had arguably the best back-to-back games that she's had maybe in her entire time at NMSU. What allowed her to have, I don't know if you want to call it a breakout but certainly her best weekend overall?
MJ: It's been part of the goal of this group, to make everyone a little bit better offensively, to do a little bit more. She's working harder at attacking with more pace and she's put some heat on the ball and she's done very well. There's a reason we recruited her. She's 6-4, 6-5 and she has arm speed. She's just got to be more aggressive and make herself more available more often and she can score. We're happy to see some progress. I'm hopeful that it'll continue.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Tatyana Battle Named WAC Volleyball Player Of The Week

Written By: WAC Media Relations

DENVER – NM State junior outside hitter Tatyana Battle has been named Western Athletic Conference Volleyball Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 30-Nov. 5. This is her first WAC Player of the Week honor of the season and the second of her career.

The Albuquerque, N.M. native led the Aggies to 2-0 record last week, averaging 5.08 points, 4.17 digs, 4.00 kills, 0.83 blocks and 0.50 service aces per set. Battle posted back-to-back double-doubles to double her season total. She opened the week with 10 kills, 15 digs and two blocks in a sweep of Utah Valley. Battle then followed it up with a match-high 14 kills, 10 digs, three blocks and a match-high three service aces in a sweep of Seattle U to keep the Aggies in sole possession of first place in the WAC standings with one week left in the regular season. She currently ranks ninth in the WAC in kills (3.13) and 10th in points (3.54).

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/31/17

bleedCrimson.net: Last week you talked about wanting to see your team go on the road and play consistently well. You picked up a pair of sweeps but did you see the consistency that you were looking for?
Mike Jordan: I think in some aspects of the game we did. I thought we were pretty efficient offensively all weekend which was great. We passed the ball fairly well the majority of the time. Really the only issue that we had passing it was Carvajal's serve at Chicago State. She has a pretty tough jumper that gave us fits in just one stretch where they were able to go on a couple of point runs in the second set. I thought we did a pretty good job at the service line. There were a couple of people I would have liked to have served it a little tougher but we were pretty solid in those aspects.

We could have blocked it better in a couple areas and defensively we missed a couple of assignments against Chicago State in the first two sets but other than that it was a pretty good weekend and any time you can go on the road and come away with a couple of sweeps and nobody gets hurt, you've gotta be overjoyed. Especially when it gets you back into first place.

bc.net: It was a pretty low error weekend for you offensively, especially the Chicago State match. Are you starting to see your players have better recognition of the decisions they should be making offensively?
MJ: I think it's going in the right direction. I wouldn't say we're great at it yet. We've got some younger players who still have a long ways to go. Every match presents a different dilemma. Teams play different defenses, they have different blocking schemes. Sometimes they change and you have to be adaptable all the time. I think that's the next step in the growth. One team on Thursday will do one thing and another team on Saturday will do something else and you've got to be on point and pick it up quick what they're trying to do to you and work your way around it. Truthfully, I don't think there are that many college volleyball players out there that are great at it. I think there's a large percentage of volleyball players that can physically outmatch their opponent but tactically still have a long ways to go and our players are no different. A lot of it is new to them and it requires a lot of effort on their part in preparation and getting outside your comfort zone or outside the norm. I think we're working at it. I see small change and small improvement and that's a positive.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/24/17

bleedCrimson.net: You picked up a good win on Saturday over UTRGV, your thoughts on the match?
Mike Jordan: There was a lot of emotion in that one. Obviously we were looking forward to competing and then a few points into the first set and Hannah Combs goes down with a dislocated knee and that changes things dynamically for us. We went from, "Hey, let's get after it and compete, we think we're gonna win," kind of attitude to, "Okay, now how do we piece this together in her absence, already being shorthanded." I know some of our players were really upset about Hannah getting hurt and felt terribly for her and the impact that can have on you when you see one of your teammates go down like that. You have to manage that as a team. I was pretty happy with our response. We didn't play all that well for a little while but we kept ourselves in the game and managed to go on a couple of point runs in the first set and snuck away with a 'W' in game one and I think that helped quite a bit. Game two we made a lot of errors, we didn't get some production out of a couple of people that we needed to get so when we dropped that set we decided to make a couple of changes, not only to the lineup but to what we were doing. The players did a good job. They came together, executed better and it was a good win.

bc.net: As a coach, how do you focus your team after something like that. It's something that you've had to deal with several times througout the past 10 years or so. You had Stephanie Ziegler go down at the beginning of a match at the beginning of a season, you had Krista Altermatt went down in the fifth set of a WAC title match against Hawai'i. Unfortunately, you've had experience with this type of thing. How do you deal with that with the team?
MJ: Well in the moment it's really just about getting them to understand that injuries are a part of the game and they'll be back eventually and they'll be okay and they're going to get taken care of and now we've gotta push the restart button and get going again. Easier said than done. You really rely maybe on the adrenaline and the competitiveness of your team. They're the ones that really have to help each other and find ways to compensate for the loss of a teammate. I think the players have done a good job of that in the past. It's certainly no fun. You start to feel a little bit paranoid or snakebit sometimes when you have things like this happening to the team. You get in there and again, it's a opportunity for somebody to step up and do a little bit more to help their team win.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/17/17

bleedCrimson.net: Three matches in five days for a shorthanded team and you came out with three wins. Your thoughts?
Mike Jordan: Obviously being at home is a great thing. We were able to get some great practice time in during the week and we knew we had a couple of big opportunities in front of us. Obviously Thursday against Bakersfield and the rivalry match on Monday night, we were looking forward to those two matches in particular.

bc.net: Obviously playing without two of your key players, Jordan Abalos and Brielle Sterns, in the Bakersfield match, were you surprised with the way you were able to win?
MJ: I don't know that surprised is the right word. I didn't think Bakersfield played very well. They struggled handling the ball. If you're out of system a lot against us, you're going to lose. One of the things we do exceptionally well is convert mediocre to bad swings into really good swings of our own. You're back on your heels immediately if you don't come out and give us something with heat on your first attempt. We were able to capitalize on that. I thought we did a really good job defensively of digging the ball and we just got on a roll and Bakersfield seemed to struggle to find a way back in it.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/11/17

bleedCrimson.net: Last week you took a trip out west to take on Seattle and Utah Valley. You picked up a sweep of Seattle and it looked like the team played pretty well.
Mike Jordan: We did play well, especially defensively. I felt we were really solid. Brielle Sterns sprained her ankle in the second set, about midway through it and we continued to play well even without her in the lineup. It's the third set that was a little bit more of a struggle because she's becoming a pretty good offensive option for us. Losing her has been tough. I like the defensive effort we made against Seattle. I thought we served it pretty well, did a good job of blocking and our outside hitters played great. All of our pin players played really, really well. That was a bonus for sure.

bc.net: You had a five set match against Utah Valley, you were up 2-1 and the fifth set was a lot like every other fifth set that you've played this year where you're real close or leading right around the nine or ten point mark and the other team goes on an extended point run or wins five out of six or six out of seven.
MJ: Yeah, we got stuck in a rotation in that fifth set late and made a lot of attack errors unfortunately. We had seven attack errors in the fifth set alone. We had ten in the fourth. We were up 2-1 and then the fourth set we really started getting error prone again and we weren't getting anything out of the quick attackers and our other opposite attacker. Sasha played well, Tatyana started well but finished poorly. Kassie played well throughout attacking. We were scoring there but we weren't scoring other places and we had a lot of opportunities and we just didn't get it done. It's frustrating but until we learn to make plays late in games or we find offense somewhere else, we're going to wind up struggling a little bit at times and that's what's happening. You can look at it two ways, we're four matches in five sets, we're 0-4. We're really close to being 15-3 on the season and instead we're 11-7. Which team are we? Which are we closer to? Are we closer to being a 15-win team or an 11-win team? I think we're somewhere in the middle but with Jordan and now Brielle out, it's going to be much more difficult for us to win and we're going to have to wind up asking some people who don't have a lot of experience to make a lot of plays for us and maybe late in games. But it's an opportunity for other people to step up and hopefully they'll do that.  Continue Reading This Post >>