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Las Cruces, NM — The New Mexico State volleyball team opens the 2013 season at the Cal Molten Classic hosted by California in Berkeley, California, Friday and Saturday, Aug. 30-31. The Aggies begin the tournament facing Nevada at 1pm (MT), Aug. 30. NM State plays two matches on Saturday, facing Cal at 1pm and UC-Santa Barbara at 6:30pm.
Radio Coverage: The Aggie Sports Network is airing 15 matches over the radio waves this season with 13 on KSNM AM 570 and two on KGRT 103.9 FM with Jay Sanderson giving the play-by-play action. The matches airing over the 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.
All three matches this week are scheduled to air on KSNM AM 570.
Television Coverage: Six matches are scheduled to be produced for television by the AggieVision Production team this year. For a complete show times go to www.AggieVision.tv or call your local cable provider.
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: NM State returns five starters as well as a libero from the 2012 WAC Tournament Champion team. Leading the way for the Aggies are 2012 All-WAC selections, seniors Desiree Scott (middle hitter) and Lauren Loerch (outside hitter). NM State also returns senior libero/outside hitter Stephanie Ziegler who was named to the 2012 WAC all-tournament team. The Aggies finished the 2012 season with a 22-11 record while reaching the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in program history, all under head coach Mike Jordan.
This Weeks Opponents
Nevada: The Wolf Pack was 4-25 in 2012 and is picked to finish 11th in the Mountain West Conference according to the MWC preseason poll. Nevada returns middle blocker Tessa Lea’ea, who was an All-MWC selection after finishing among the league leaders in kills and blocks.
The Aggies are 18-12 all-time against Nevada while winning the last 11 matches. The last time NM State lost to the Wolf Pack was on Sept. 30, 2006 in Reno, Nev. The Aggies won the first ever match with Nevada 3-1 on Oct. 15, 1992.
California: The Bears made it to it’s 11th straight NCAA Tournament last year and finished the year 15-16. Cal lost to North Carolina in the first round of the tournament. The team returns four starters and a libero including Adrienne Gehan, who is an All-American candidate.
NM State is 2-2 all-time against the Bears. The Aggies lost to Cal, 3-1, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Dec. 6, 2008. NM State defeated the Bears for the first time, Sept. 29, 1979 in San Jose, Calif. and again on Sept. 19, 1981 in San Diego, Calif.
UC-Santa Barbara: The Gauchos were picked to finish sixth in the Big West Conference preseason poll after going 16-17 last year. UCSB has a new head coach in Nicole Lantagne Welch after legendary coach Kathy Gregory retired with 38 seasons under her belt at Santa Barbara.
The Aggies are 2-18 overall against UC-Santa Barbara. NM State defeated the Gauchos, 3-1, in Tucson, Ariz. while UCSB was ranked No. 11 in the nation. The Aggie beat Santa Barbara again on Sept. 13, 2008 in Palo Alto, Calif. during a tournament hosted by Stanford.
WAC Preseason Poll: The Western Athletic Conference office announced today that the league coaches have selected New Mexico State to win the WAC regular-season crown in 2013. The Aggies received seven of the nine first-place votes from the conference coaches while two NM State players were selected to the 2013 Preseason All-WAC Team.
The Aggies earned 62 points, followed by Idaho who tallied 58. Utah Valley was picked third and Seattle U was picked fourth.
WAC Preseason Team: Senior middle hitter Desiree Scott and senior outside hitter Lauren Loerch were selected to the WAC Preseason team as selected by the league’s coaches. Scott, a 2012 all-WAC selection and a 2012 WAC all-tournament selection, played in all 124 sets during the 2012 season. She finished the season as the Aggies’ top blocker with 152 total blocks, including 27 solo blocks and 125 assisted blocks, all of which were tops on the NM State team.
Loerch, a 2012 second team all-WAC honoree, quickly became an integral part of NM State’s WAC championship team during her first season with the Aggies. She was one of only four Aggies that participated in every set (124) during the 2012 season. Loerch’s 316 total kills and 2.55 kills/set average were both good for second-best on the NM State team.
NM State Takes 2012 WAC Tournament Title: The Aggies went into the WAC Tournament as the No. 4 and defeated No. 2 seed Idaho in the tournament title match. The Aggies became just the fourth team in the 15-year history of the event to win the title. Stephanie Ziegler was named to the all-tournament team.
Aggies in NCAA Tournament: NM State went to its sixth ever NCAA Tournament and first since 2008 last December. The Aggies fell to No. 16 Brigham Young in straight sets while Loerch led the way with seven kills. Desiree Scott posted four blocks on the evening. The Aggies were held to a negative hitting percentage while BYU posted a .351 hitting percentage as a team. NM State was defeated by a tough Cougar team that posted 12 total team blocks and marked only 11 attack errors.
NM State Seniors: The Aggies are stacked with seniors on the team as there are seven total this year (including redshirt seniors). Leading the pack of seniors are Stephanie Ziegler, Desiree Scott, Lauren Loerch and Ciara Brown. Ziegler posted a team-high 3.04 digs per set last year, while added 26 kills, 28 assists and 19 service aces. Scott was among the leaders in the WAC in blocks (1.23/set) and hitting percentage (.369). Loerch was a second team All-WAC selection and Brown was one of two setters used last year leading the team with 5.94 assists per set. Senior Hannah Walker tallied 2.87 digs per set last year but may have to sit the season out due to an injury. Red-shirt senior Shebli Goode will sit the 2013 season out due to NCAA transfer rules.
The 6-2 Offense: NM State may run a 6-2 offense on occasion this season, using two setters. Senior Ciara Brown and sophomore Taylor Livoti were a part of the 6-2 offense last year and combined for a total of 1,448 assists. Brown tallied 5.94 assists per set and Livoti marked 4.88 assists per set.
2013 Alumni Match: he New Mexico State volleyball team defeated the Alumni in straight sets at the Activity Center on the campus of NM State, Saturday, Aug. 24.
Sophomore Gwen Murphy paced the Aggies with a team-high 11 kills while senior Lauren Loerch added 10 kills. The setting duties were split by senior Ciara Brown and sophomore Taylor Livoti with 23 and 21 assists respectively.
NM State totaled 42 assists as a team with five different Aggie defenders making at least five digs. Livoti had the most with eight digs while junior Bradley Nash and senior Stephanie Ziegler added seven apiece. At the net, NM State posted 13 total team blocks with Murphy being the most aggressive blocking eight balls, two solo and six assisted.
Jordan Adds Assistant to Staff: New Mexico State volleyball head coach Mike Jordan announced on Tuesday, Aug. 6, that he has added Ben Wallis to his staff as an assistant coach starting immediately.
Wallis returns to NM State after coaching at the University of New Mexico for the past two years. His primary responsibilities with the Aggies include scouting, defensive games plans while also assisting with recruiting, camps and on-court coaching. Wallis, who is now in his second stint with NM State, brings more than a decade of coaching experience with him to the program. He was an assistant under Jordan from 2006-08.
Before Wallis helped UNM coach Jeff Nelson he was the head coach for Cleveland High School in Albuquerque from 2009-11. While there, he led his team to the state final in just his second year of the program’s existence. Wallis also gained experience as a varsity assistant coach at El Paso Franklin High School, Rio Rancho High School and as a head coach at Gadsden High School in Anthony, New Mexico.
2013 Aggie Schedule: The 2013 NM State volleyball schedule features 16 home matches, a home tournament and a trip to Honolulu.
The 16 matches at home are the second most ever played in Las Cruces, but is the highest number of matches played in the Pan American Center. There were 17 home matches in 2006, although the majority of those matches were played in the Las Cruces High School Gym.
NM State immediately heads out on the road playing in two different tournaments. Two of the six teams the Aggies play in those two weeks finished in the top 15 nationally in 2012 according to the AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll.
NM State Volleyball Tickets on Sale: Tickets can be purchased by going to the Pan American Center ticket office, calling the ticket office at (575)-646-1420 or by going online at www.NMStateSports.com and TicketMaster.com.
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