Aggies Set for First Round of NCAA Tournament vs BYU Friday

Aggies Set for First Round of NCAA Tournament vs BYU Friday
Sports
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 3:43pm

This week: The New Mexico State volleyball team heads to Provo, Utah to play in the 2012 NCAA Volleyball Tournament taking on No. 12 national seed BYU, Friday, Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. (MT) The winner of the match moves onto the second round and plays the winner of the Arizona State-Oklahoma match on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. (MT).

Radio Coverage: The Aggie Sports Network is producing any post season matches on KSNM AM 570 in Las Cruces with Jay Sanderson giving the play-by-play action. 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.

Radio coverage for the match versus BYU will have a pre-match show starting at 7 p.m. (MT) with first serve slated for a 7:30 p.m. (MT) start.

Television Coverage: Six matches were produced for television by the AggieVision Production team this year. All those matches were also aired on ESPN3.com as well as other networks across the nation.

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 earned a bid to the 2012 NCAA Tournament by winning the WAC Tournament title in San Antonio last week. NM State heads to Provo, Utah with a 22-10 record on the season, while finishing the WAC regular season with a 12-6 record (fourth place).

The Aggies are currently hitting .228 as a team while holding opponents to a .174 hitting percentage. Four Aggies played in all 121 sets this season including Meredith Hays, Lauren Loerch, Desiree Scott and Stephanie Ziegler. Four different Aggies marked at least 200 kills including Hays, who heads into the tournament with 480.

NM State runs a 6-2 offense, rotating setters throughout the match, with junior Ciara Brown leading the way with 6.05 assists per set in 109 sets played. Freshman Taylor Livoti has seen action in 96 sets this year and is posting 4.93 assists per set. Sophomore Maggi Jo Keffury has gotten in the lineup in 53 sets this year and averages 4.13 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 3.06 digs per set. Walker is second on the team with 2.89 digs per set. Scott leads the team defensively at the net with 148 total blocks on the year, averaging 1.22 per set. Sophomore Gwen Murphy is closest to Scott with 81 total blocks on the season. The Aggies as a team tally 2.50 blocks per set.

The Aggies are 6-1 when playing on a neutral court this season and 8-5 when playing on an opposing team's court. NM State hits .195 when playing in an opposing team's arena and hits .282 on a neutral court. The Aggies post 12.23 kills per set when playing as the away team compared to averaging 15.08 kills per set in a neutral site.

NM State started the season winning the first five matches of the year before winning only one of the next four matches. The Aggies went into WAC play with a 6-3 record and were victorious in the first conference matches of the year. In a non-conference match, the Aggies fell to I-10 Rival UTEP for the first time in 15 matches on Sept. 29 but defeated their in-state rival, New Mexico by picking up the sweep in Albuquerque on Oct. 23.

NM State lost the last two matches of the regular season before catching fire in the WAC Tournament falling in only one set during the tournament. The Aggies were 2-3 in the month of November, which is very different than the 4-0 record it had in August.

Aggies in the NCAA Tournament: This will be the sixth appearance for NM State in the NCAA tournament. The Aggies are 1-5 all-time in NCAA tournament matches. Beginning in 2003, NM State qualified for the NCAA tournament in five of the following six seasons (2003-04, 2006-08). Three of the Aggies' births into the NCAA tournament have been at-large bids while the 2012 birth was the third automatic bid for winning the conference tournament. Mike Jordan has been the head coach for all six Aggie tournament-appearance teams and the previous five Aggie teams in the NCAA tournament have all been led by an All-American (honorable mention) player.

The Aggies made their first ever appearance to the NCAA Tournament in 2003. All-American (honorable mention) middle hitter Trinia Cuseo led a team that finished the season with a 30-5 record and went undefeated in Sun Belt Conference play, including winning the Sun Belt Conference tournament and earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. NM State was placed in the Honolulu, Hawai'i, region where they lost in straight sets to BYU during the first round of play. The match also marks the last time NM State and BYU have met on the volleyball court before this week's match.

NM State made its mark in the 2004 NCAA tournament for the second consecutive season. The Aggies finished the season at 30-3 and were once again led by an All-American honoree, outside hitter Stevi Adams. For the second straight season NM State would finish undefeated in Sun Belt Conference play and win the conference tournament to receive the automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. The Aggies traveled to San Diego, Calif., where they lost to the ninth-ranked team in the country, San Diego, in straight sets.

Led by All-American (honorable mention) Kim Oguh, NM State finished the 2006 season with a 33-4 record. The 33 wins still stands today as the school record for wins in a season. After finishing the season with a No. 23 national ranking, the Aggies earned their first at-large bid into the NCAA tournament. As in 2004, NM State would have to play the host team of the regional during the opening round and lost to Colorado in straight sets in Boulder, Colo.

After receiving a No. 13 national ranking in the AVCA Top 25 poll during the 2007 season, the highest ranking ever for any Aggie athletic team, NM State received its second consecutive at-large bid into the NCAA tournament. The Aggies finished the season with a 26-6 record, with all six losses coming to nationally-ranked teams. Oguh led the team once again as she received her third-consecutive All-American (honorable mention) honor. The Aggies were placed in the Austin, Texas, region of the NCAA tournament were they faced LSU in the first round. NM State would go on to win their first-ever sets in NCAA tournament play but would eventually lose to the Tigers in five sets.

The 2008 season saw NM State earn its third-consecutive at-large bid into the NCAA tournament. Led by All-American (honorable mention) Krystal Torres, NM State's all-time career-digs leader, the Aggies finished with a 26-9 record and a share of the Western Athletic Conference regular season title. The season was highlighted by a win at Hawai'i, which at the time was the sixth-ranked team in the country. NM State traveled to Berkeley, Calif., for the NCAA regional play. Feeding off their close five-set loss to LSU during the previous year's NCAA tournament, the Aggies would go on to defeat St. Mary's College in four sets during the first round. It would be NM State's first-ever NCAA tournament victory. The Aggies would proceed to lose in the following round to host California, the eighth-ranked team in the nation, in four sets.

First & Second Round NCAA TOURNAMNT PARTICIPANTS (Provo, Utah Site)

Aggies vs. BYU: NM State is 5-27 all-time versus BYU. The teams last met in the 2003 NCAA Tournament. The Aggies fell to BYU in three sets (17-30, 17-30, 27-30).

During the season, BYU beat Colorado State 3-1 (21-25, 25-12, 25-21, 25-16) and Pepperdine 3-1 (25-15, 23-25, 25-22, 25-21), two teams that defeated NM State, both in four sets, at the Colorado State Tournament in early September.

Jennifer Hamson leads the Cougars in kills per set (4.02) and aces per set (0.32). Hamson averages 1.80 digs/set, 1.23 blocks/set and a hitting percentage of .361. Hamson was awarded WCC volleyball Player of the Year.

BYU is the No. 12 seed for the NCAA Tournament with an overall record of 26-3. The Cougars will face NM State in the first round at the Smith Fieldhouse in Provo, Utah.

Aggies vs. Arizona State: NM State is 6-14 all-time versus BYU. The teams last met Sept. 2,1994 with Arizona State taking the match in three sets (8-15, 3-15, 12-15).

This is the first NCAA Tournament Arizona State has been to since 2006.

Macey Gardner leads the Sun Devils in kills per set (4.46) and points with more than 600 for the season. Gardner averages 2.38 digs/set and 0.40 blocks/set. Gardner is ranked No. 15 in the nation for kills per set.

Arizona State goes into the NCAA Tournament with a 20-13 overall record. The Sun Devils will face Oklahoma in the first round of the tournament at the Smith Fieldhouse in Provo, Utah.

Aggies vs. Oklahoma: NM State is 3-1 all-time versus Oklahoma. The teams last met Sept. 1, 2000 with Oklahoma winning the match in four sets (15-6,14-16, 6-15, 9-15).
This is the sixth NCAA Tournament in seven years for Oklahoma.

Sallie McLaurin leads the Sooners in kills per set (2.86), hitting percentage (.370) and blocking with 1.41 blocks/set.

Oklahoma goes into the NCAA Tournament with a 21-10 overall record. The Sooners will face Arizona State in the first round of the tournament at the Smith Fieldhouse in Provo, Utah on Friday.
 

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