Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State volleyball team finished second in the Western Athletic Conference for the fifth time in six years in 2010 after finishing 12-4 in league play.
Head coach Mike Jordan is proud of his program and how his student-athletes showed adversity, fighting through injuries and other obstacles throughout the year. The Aggies ended the year with an 18-13 record while Jordan took his career-record to 285-128 (.690), needing just fifteen more wins to reach the 300-milestone.
The Aggies were picked second in the preseason coaches poll, receiving 57 points and earning one first-place vote. Senior outside hitters Kayleigh Giddens and Whitney Woods were selected as Preseason All-WAC selections along with junior setter Jennah DeVries and junior middle hitter Kelsey Brennan. That was just the beginning of the honors for the Aggies.
DeVries earned her second AVCA All-American honor as she was named to the honorable mention team. It was the second consecutive time she earned the honor and became only the second NM State volleyball player to earn multiple All-American honors. Kim Oguh was named an All-American from 2005-07. She finished the year second in the WAC with 11.06 assists per set, behind fellow All-American Dani Mafua, from Hawaii who averaged 11.19 assists per set. DeVries continues to move up the record's ladder with 2,833 assists in her career. She is now No. 6 on the all-time list passing Jill Hendry, who played for NM State from 1987-88.
Giddens also earned a few honors as she departed the Aggies on top of the record books with 542 kills this past season becoming the first NM State player to ever tally 500 kills or more. She also destroyed the career-kills per set record (and the single-season record as well). Giddens averaged 4.42 kills per set in her career, while averaging 4.00 kills per set in 2009 and 4.84 kills per set this past season. Lindsey Yon held the previous career-record at 3.84 kills per set and Lisa Roberson held the single-season record at 4.23 kills per set.
"Jennah and Kayliegh had good seasons' statistically and they worked hard to accomplish their feats," Jordan said.
Giddens finished the 2010 season with three WAC Player of the Week honors and five in her career, which ties for the most conference player of the week honors in a career at NM State with former Aggie greats Amber Simpson (2004-08) and Jackie Godber (2000-03). Godber's honors came while NM State was a part of the Sun Belt conference. She also earned first team All-WAC, and AVCA All-West Region honors, while being named to the 2010 WAC All-Tournament team.
Four other Aggies joined Giddens on the All-WAC teams as junior middle hitter Kelsey Brennan and DeVries also earned first team honors. Senior outside hitter Whitney Woods tabbed second team honors and freshman outside hitter Rocio Gutierrez was named to the All-Freshman team. It was the second consecutive season for Giddens, Brennan and DeVries to earn first team honors, while Woods earned first team honors in 2009.
"I really thought they were all deserving of this and they have worked hard," Jordan said. "They've had a pretty good year and we are proud of them."
Brennan also proved that NM State players also work hard in the classroom as she earned ESPN Academic All-America District VI second team as announced by the College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA). She is majoring in sports medicine and currently has a 3.52 GPA.
Woods, who started on her master's degree this past fall, finished her career with 319 total blocks, which puts her at No. 10 all-time for NM State. She also ended her career (2006-10) with 733 kills on the right side.
The Aggies opened the year going 6-1. Then injuries came about and they lost six straight to head into conference play with a losing record. They bounced back and won 10 of 11 games from Oct. 7-Nov. 11 before finishing league play with a 12-4 record.
NM State outhit their opponents .227-.193 and finished second in the WAC in kills with 13.60 per set and second in assists with 12.81 per set. The Aggies were third in the league in hitting percentage and seventh in blocks and hitting percentage.
The Aggies have plenty to look forward to as they bring back last year's dig leader Kelsi Phillips, who finished the year with 3.66 digs per set to put her seventh in the league. They also bring back All-American setter Jennah DeVries and All-WAC middle hitter Kelsey Brennan. Outside hitters Amanda Tonga and Rocio Guitierrez along with middle hitter Desiree Scott earned lots of respect after playing a big part in the Aggies' success in 2010.
Joining them will be three incoming freshman who signed with the Aggies this past November. Meredith Hays of Hereford, Texas, Jocelyn Leichner of Scottsdale, Ariz. and Bradley Nash of Kayenta, Ariz. have all signed with the Aggies to play next fall. All three are listed as outside hitters but are versatile enough to play other positions. Head coach Mike Jordan and his staff are excited to see what these three players can do for the program when they arrive to NM State.
"To say we're excited about this recruiting class is a huge understatement," Jordan said. "They're all great athletes and even better people."
Honors and Awards for 2010
Jennah DeVries (honorable mention)
First Team All-WAC
Second Team All-WAC
WAC All-Tournament Team
WAC All-Freshman Team
WAC Player of the Week
Kayleigh Giddens (Sept. 27)
Kayleigh Giddens (Oct. 11)
Kayleigh Giddens (Oct. 25)
Kayleigh Giddens (Florida State Invitational and Arizona Invitational)
Kelsey Brennan (Florida State Invitational)
Ellen Miks (Tiger Classic)
COBRA Magazine All-National Team
Kayleigh Giddens (First Team)
COBRA Magazine All-Southwest Region
Kayleigh Giddens (First Team)
Whitney Woods (Honorable Mention)
NM State in National Rankings
Assists per set: No. 48 (12.81)
Kills per set: Kayleigh Giddens, No. 5 (4.84)
Points per set: Kayliegh Giddens, No. 6 (5.33)
Assists per set: Jennah DeVries, No. 31 (11.06)
No. 22, 1,476 fans per match