NMSU Volleyball Prepares for Rival New Mexico Tuesday

Monday, October 22, 2012 - 9:34pm

This week: The New Mexico State volleyball team continues to play on the road this week starting with a non-conference match against in-state rival New Mexico, Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. (MT) in Albuquerque. The Aggies then travel to Denver for a Western Athletic Conference match-up against the Pioneers, Saturday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. (MT) in Hamilton Gymnasium.

Radio Coverage: The Aggie Sports Network is producing 11 matches on KSNM AM 570 this season, along with any matches in the post season. Tuesday’s match against UNM has been canceled but Saturday’s league match-up in Denver is still scheduled to air over the radio waves. Jay Sanderson is the new play-by-play announcer for NM State volleyball, replacing Kyle Doperalski.

The matches airing over the radio waves produced by the Aggie Sports Network on KSNM AM 570 in Las Cruces can also be heard from anywhere around the world on the Internet by logging onto www.NMStateSports.com. Just click on the live events link to access the coverage for a fee.

Television Coverage: The NM State volleyball team will have six matches on TV this year. The AggieVision Production team has the following matches scheduled to air on TV: Louisiana Tech - Sept. 20; UTSA - Oct. 11; Texas State - Oct. 13; San Jose State - Nov. 1; Utah State - Nov. 3.

Matches produced by AggieVision will also air on ESPN3.com (free of charge) and fans should check local listings for airtimes in theirarea. Fans can also go to www.AggieVision.tv for channel listings. Neither match this week is scheduled to air on TV with Jay Sanderson and Keith Leupold as the announcers.

Live Stats on the Web: Live stats will be available for fans at www.NMStateSports.com at no cost all season long. Fans can click on the Live Events link at the top of the NMStateSports.com home page to access the live stats.

Twitter/Facebook: Get all the updates of Aggie Athletics on Twitter and Facebook. Get in-game statistics and in-game updates on Twitter@NMStateAggies. Find out about all Aggie Athletics promotions and events on Facebook (NMSU Athletics and The Aggie Student-Athlete).

About the Aggies: The Aggies are 14-7 overall and 8-3 in Western Athletic Conference play heading into week 10 of the 2012 season. The Aggies are hitting .223 as a team, while holding their opponents to a .167 hitting percentage. Four different Aggies have posted at least 150 kills this season with sophomore Meredith Hays leading the way with 333 on the year (4.01/set).

NM State runs a 6-2 offense, rotating setters throughout the match, with junior Ciara Brown leading the way with 5.78 assists per set in 78 sets played. Freshman Taylor Livoti has seen action in 58 sets this year and is posting 4.69 assists per set. Sophomore Maggi Jo Keffury has gotten in the lineup in 43 sets this year and averages 3.86 assists per set.

Juniors Stephanie Ziegler and Hannah Walker have been taking on the defensive specialist duties this year with Ziegler leading the team posting 2.93 digs per set. Walker is second on the team with 2.83 digs per set. Scott leads the team defensively at the net with 106 total blocks on the year, averaging 1.28 per set. Sophomore Gwen Murphy is closest to Scott with 50 total blocks on the season. The Aggies as a team tally 2.52 blocks per set.

Looking Back: The Aggies went 1-1 on the road last week, falling 3-1 at UT-Arlington, Thursday, before bouncing back to defeat Louisiana Tech, 3-1 on Saturday. NM State dropped the match to UTA by scoresof 23-25, 25-12, 23-25, 25-27. NM State had more kills (54-48) than the Mavericks and a better hitting percentage (.140-.086) but it was not enough to earn a victory away from the Pan American Center.

The Aggies bounced back from its loss on Thursday with a 3-1 win (25-10, 18-25, 25-16, 25-18) over Louisiana Tech in the Thomas AssemblyCenter in Ruston, La. The Aggies used a .328 team hitting percentage with junior Desiree Scott leading the way to the win. Scott played very efficient offense finishing the match with a .684 hitting percentage as she put down 13 kills on 19 swings. She also tallied nine block assists on the afternoon. Sophomore Meredith hays tallied a match-high 16 kills and added eight digs, while thesetting duties were split between junior Ciara Brown and freshman Taylor Livoti. Brown posted 25 assists and nine digs as Livoti came up with 19 assists and three digs.

THIS WEEK’S OPPONENTS
Aggies vs. New Mexico: NM State is 42-27 all-time against the Lobos. The Aggies defeated UNM 3-1 last season in Las Cruces, after falling to the Lobos 3-2 in 2010 and 3-0 in 2009. The first meeting between the two teams came on Nov. 8, 1974 with UNM winning 2-0. The Aggies won 16-consecutive matches from 1975-81. NM State won 10-straight from 2003-08.

Last season’s match was a highly-contested one that went back-and-forth, but ended with the Aggies winning the first two sets and eventually the match 3-1 (25-22, 25-18, 22-25, 25-17) in front of 1,669 fans. Outside hitter Meredith Hays led the way as she finished with a match-high 20 kills. Hays, however, was not alone in defeating the Lobos. Then-senior Jennah DeVries finished with her eighth double-double as she posted 45 assists and 11 digs. Former Aggies Michelle Kuester was instrumental in keeping the Aggies in helping the Aggies win the first set and finished the eveningwith seven kills, while former Aggie middle hitter Kelsey Brennan added 10 kills.

UNM is 18-5 on the year and 5-3 in Mountain West Conference play. The Lobos defeated Colorado State in five sets earlier this season, a team NM State fell to. Chantale Riddle leads the Lobos offensively averaging 4.17 kills per set. UNM runs a 6-2 offense with Hannah Johnson and Jordan Russel splitting the setting duties.

Aggies vs. Denver: The Aggies are 9-2 all-time against Denver after sweeping the Pioneers in Las Cruces, Sept. 29. Denver won the first two meetings, but the Aggies have since won nine straight.
The Aggies swept Denver by scores of 25-22, 25-19, 25-16 in the Pan American Center, Saturday, Sept. 29. The Aggies hit .321 as a team with junior Preslie Alexander leading the charge posting a match-high 13 kills on a career-high .706 hitting percentage. Junior middle blocker Desiree Scott was also very efficient as she marked a .538 hitting percentage to go alongwith eight kills and two total blocks. Sophomore Meredith Hays tallied seven kills on the afternoon and led the Aggies on the defensive side of the net with a match-high 12 digs. Junior Stephanie Ziegler, who was at the liberoposition today, tallied 11 digs, while freshman setter Taylor Livoti postedseven digs to go along with a match-high 21 assists.

Denver is 6-5 in WAC play and 12-9 overall. The Pioneers head into the week sitting infifth place. Famie Kingsley leads the WAC with a .392 hitting percentage and also leads the league with 1.72 blocks per set. Colleen King ranks seventh in the WAC with 3.08 kills per set.

Looking Ahead: The Aggies have three home matches next week. NM State hosts Seattle, Monday, Oct. 29, San Jose State, Thursday, Nov. 1 and Utah State, Saturday, Nov. 3 with all three matches starting at 7 p.m. (MT). The matches against San Jose State and Utah State will be televised as a part of the AggieVision Productions. Those two matches will be available on ESPN3.

Aggies in the WAC: NM State heads into the weekend tied for second with Idaho in the WAC standings at 8-3 on the year. After last week’s road trip, NM State is now 97-24 all-time in WAC play.

NM State currently ranks second in the WAC in hitting percentage (.223), is third in assists (12.01/set), kills (13.12/set), blocks (2.52/set), opponent hitting percentage (.167), and is fifth in service aces (1.16/set).

Individually, Hays is tied for second in kills (4.01/set) and points (4.53/set) with UTSA’s McKenzie Adams. Scott heads into the week ranking second in the league in hitting percentage (.363) and fourth in blocks (1.28/set), while Taylor Livoti is tied for eighth with Hannah Walker in service aces (0.24/set).

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