It's been a rough start to the year in the rivalry department for New Mexico State. The Aggie volleyball team saw its 14-match winning streak against UTEP snapped last night in El Paso. The Aggies were up 2-1 but dropped the final two sets, 25-20 and 15-11. The loss means that the Aggies have now been swept by UNM and UTEP in football and soccer and have a loss to UTEP in volleyball. It should be noted that the Aggie cross country team defeated UTEP in back-to-back weekends so it hasn't all been bad news for the Aggies in their rivalry series.
The Aggie volleyball also gets a shot at UNM in late October and that match will be important for the volleyball from an RPI standpoint. The Lobos are off to a hot start this season at 15-2. They haven't exactly played a murderer's row schedule but their only two losses are against Duquesne and Oklahoma and they did just pick up a conference win over Colorado State (a team the Aggies lost to in the non-conference). A win by the Aggies over UNM in Albuquerque would look good on the tournament resume late November.
Right now the Aggies' non-conference resume, while impressive, isn't quite getting the help they had hoped for from the teams they beat. North Dakota State has been unable to recover from their brutal non-conference slate and is 4-10 overall and 1-3 in the Summit League. Cincinnati, another of the Aggies' seemingly solid wins, played an absolutely brutal non-conference schedule and is 3-11 overall and 1-1 in the Big East. Cincinnati has the potential to pick up some quality wins over Louisville and Notre Dame which would really help the Aggies' RPI. Wichita State, arguably the best win thus far for the Aggies, is 9-4 overall and 3-1 in the Missouri Valley and is holding up their end of the bargain. The Shockers have three more chances to pick up high quality wins in their conference with home dates against Northern Iowa and Creighton plus a road game at Northern Iowa still on the slate.
What the Aggies really need to hope for is that UTEP continues to play well and makes some noise in Conference USA and we think they will. The Miners, despite being 8-7, only have one bad loss, at Tulane.
The Aggies need to regroup quickly because Denver comes to Las Cruces on Saturday and the Pioneers are 2-2 league play with a five set loss to Seattle and a three set loss at Idaho. On a side note, Seattle has been the biggest surprise at least for us thus far. The Redhawks have played four conference matches and all four have gone five sets with losses to both WAC Aggies and San Jose State and the aforementioned win over Denver.
The UTEP athletic website recaps the Aggies' loss.
Jerry Briggs of the San Antonio Express reports that UTSA will not travel their primary kicker.
Jerry Briggs also reports on the return of a defensive tackle.
Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun-News writes that the Aggies are hoping to break out of their scoring slump.
If you've found an article that you think other Aggie fans would like to read, send it to us! Select "The Daily Aggie" from the 'Category' drop-down