Courtesy of NMSU
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The New Mexico State volleyball team begins the 2015 campaign by heading to Colorado Springs, Colo., this weekend to participate in the Air Force Falcon Classic hosted by Air Force at the Cadet East Gym.
The Aggies will play a total of four matches beginning on Friday and running through Sunday. NM State kicks off the season with two matches on Friday, beginning with a matchup versus Northeastern at 10 a.m. (MT). NM State then meets host Air Force later that day at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday’s match will perhaps be the toughest of the weekend for the Aggies as they faceoff against 16th-ranked Arizona State, the first of three teams ranked in the American Volleyball Coaches’ Association (AVCA) Preseason Top 25 NM State will play this season. That match is set for 5 p.m. The Aggies conclude play in Colorado by meeting Montana on Sunday at 11 a.m.
All four matches this weekend will have live stats available for free. Friday’s matchup versus host Air Force will also be streamed live over the Internet for free. For links to all live stats and the video stream go to the volleyball schedule page at www.NMStateSports.com and click on the links provided.
NM State, led by 18th-year head coach Michael Jordan, finished 2014 with a 17-11 overall record, including going 10-4 in Western Athletic Conference play to finish in second place in the conference. The Aggies entered the WAC Tournament as the No. 2 seed, but lost in the semifinal round in four sets to host and third-seeded Bakersfield, the eventual tournament champion.
NM State was picked to finish second in the WAC this year behind last season’s regular-season champion Missouri-Kansas City. The Aggies bring back plenty of experience from that 2014 squad and will rely heavily on their five seniors, setter Taylor Livoti, middle blocker Gwen Murphy and outside hitters Nathalie Castellanos, Bradley Nash and Andrea Tauai. Murphy, Castellanos and Nash were all part of the Preseason All-WAC team.
Although Northeastern is the only team NM State will be facing for the first time ever, the Aggies have not played any of the remaining three teams since 1997. That year NM State defeated Air Force to go 3-0 versus the Falcons all-time. The Aggies also hold an advantage over Montana, 3-2, but the teams have not played since 1996. You would have to go back even further to find the last time NM State played the Sun Devils, which was in 1994. The Aggies are on the short end of a 6-14 record against Arizona State.