The Aggie volleyball and soccer teams are back in action starting today as we kick off a busy weekend of Aggie sports.
Aggie soccer will play their very first home game in their new facility today when they host the Sam Houston State Bearkats at 4:00 p.m. (MDT). The Aggies are coming off a weekend in which they picked up a tie against UC Riverside and a victory over Southern Utah, their first win of the young season. We spoke yesterday with head coach Blair Quinn about the team's weekend as well as this weekend's games and got some insights into the new Aggie soccer stadium and how it will help provide his team with an edge in competition. You'll want to be sure to check out that interview. As far as today's competition, the Bearkats come into the match with a 2-4 record but don't be deceived. Three of the Bearkats four losses are by one goal apiece and their fourth loss was a including a 2-0 loss to No. 16 Rutgers in which they shut out the Scarlet Knights for the first 61 minutes.
According to Coach Quinn the Bearkats play an identical system to the Aggies, a 4-4-3 (four backs, four mids and three forwards) and those type of matchups are difficult in that since you're both playing the same system the game comes down to who can execute the system better and possess the ball longer.
Last weekend was also a breakthrough for the Aggies in that they scored their first two goals of the season, one by Layla Todd against UC Riverside late in regulation time to force overtime and the second coming off the foot of Katelyn Smith (nicknamed Calvin by the team since there are two Katie Smiths on the team) against Southern Utah.
Coach Quinn said the team was a bit unfortunate not to have scored more than one goal against UC Riverside noting that the team created several dangerous chances and four or five breakaways. Against SUU the goal came against the run of play and he said he felt like the team had been outplayed for the ten minutes prior leading up to the goal by Smith.
The funny thing about soccer having watched quite a bit over the past couple of summers is that unlike a lot of sports, soccer seems to be a game where you can be getting dominated on the field or you can be doing the dominating and yet the score can still be 0-0 or as is sometimes the case, you can be dominant the entire game and still lose or you can be getting dominated the entire time and win. All it takes is one lucky bounce or as Coach Needham was so fond of saying, one moment of brilliance, to change everything.
Today's game is scheduled for a 4:00 p.m. kickoff and if you're unable to make it to the game it will be streamed online via Aggie Access (subscription required).
The Aggie volleyball team begins their most difficult weekend of the season tonight as they take on Florida International to kick off the CSU Rams Volleyball Classic. The Aggies will face #12 Pepperdine and Colorado State (just outside the Top 25) tomorrow and Sunday respectively.
The Aggies suffered their first loss of the season last Saturday falling 3-1 at the hands of Northwestern. The Aggies did not play as well as head coach Mike Jordan felt they should defensively last Saturday in both the match against Drake and the match against Northwestern even though the Aggies defeated Drake. The Aggies had a chance to take the Northwestern match to a fifth set but a couple of passing issues on serve receive when the team was up 24-22 in set four resulted in the Aggies losing the set 27-25 and the match 3-1.
The Aggies have been focusing on their defense this week in practice and Coach Jordan is hoping to see improvement in their digging as well as their blocking.
Tonight's opponent FIU comes into the match with a 2-4 record but three of those losses are to Florida, Florida State and Georgia. Opponents are averaging 2.4 blocks per set against the Panthes and that could be an area where the Aggies have an advantage with their size. Offensively FIU is led by Marija Prsa at 3.47 kills per set followed by Lucia Castro at 3.14 kills per set. Their attacking percentages aren't great at .201 and .122 respectively. Defensively the Panthers average 11.95 digs per set while the Aggies are at 14.08 digs per set.
This is a match that the Aggies need to come out and take care of business in and not get caught looking ahead to a big day tomorrow against two probably NCAA-bound teams.
The match is scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. (MDT) first serve with Live Stats available via the CSU athletic website.
More information can be accessed via CSU's tournament central page.
Jeff Bersch of the Coloradoan discusses CSU's difficult start to the season.
Mike Brohard of the Reporter Herald writes that the CSU Rams are still searching for some rhythm.
Kyle Grabowski of The Collegian previews the CSU tournament.
The Colorado State athletic website previews this weekend's tournament.
The Florida International athletic website previews the tournament.
The Pepperdine athletic website previews the tournament.
The Pepperdine athletic website offers up a video preview as well.
Zach Ponce of The Round Up features Aggie transfers Lauren Loerch and Ciara Brown.
Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun-News reports on an absence in the backfield for the Aggies this Saturday.
Jim Hilley of the Las Cruces Bulletin previews tomorrow's game.
Nick Robbe of The Post writes that Ohio is expecting a tough Aggie offense.
Jim Ryan of The Post talks about the Bobcats' early kicking woes.
The Sports Network previews the game tomorrow.
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