Aggie Volleyball Takes on Brigham Young

For the first time in school history, the Aggies are the Sun Belt Conference Champions and earned the Sun Belt Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Aggies will renew an old rivalry with the Cougars of Brigham Young University.

The Aggies are 5-26 overall against the Cougars, dating back to their play in the High Country Conference. Two of the Aggies' five wins in the series have come while the Cougars were nationally ranked. The Aggies fell behind early, losing the first eight matches and nine of the first 10.

The winner of the match will take on the winner of the Hawaii/Idaho match. The Aggies are 0-16 against Hawaii, playing them during both teams' time in the High Country and Big West Conferences and the Aggies are 1-10 against the Idaho Vandals.

Last Time Out...

The New Mexico State volleyball team (30-4, 15-0) defeated #2 seed Western Kentucky (28-7, 12-2) in four games (30-23, 28-30, 30-26, 30-27) on its home floor November 22 to win the 2003 Sun Belt Conference Championship and earn the program's first ever trip to the NCAA Tournament. The win was the 24th straight by NMSU, the fourth longest winning streak in the nation. the Aggies have not lost a match since falling 3-1 to Fresno State on September 19.

Trinia Cuseo was named the tournament Most Valuable Player while Morgan Reader and Stevi Adams earned spots on the all tournament team.

The Aggies hit .243 (69-28-169) while the Toppers were held to a .213 (66-27-183) hitting percentage. Both teams recorded 12 total blocks while the Aggies held a slim 69-62 advantage in the digs category.

The Aggie attack was led by Cuseo's 20 kills and .606 (20-0-33) hitting percentage. Cuseo also had six block assists and has recorded just two hitting errors in the last entire tournament. Abby Stines had a career-high 18 kills and tallied four block assists while hitting .333 (18-6-36). Adams also recorded 18 kills while recording seven digs and three blocks.

Jackie Godber led the Aggie defense with a match-high 20 digs, her ninth 20-plus dig performance of the year. Reader pitched in with 13 digs.

Sun Belt Tournament MVP...

Trinia Cuseo was named the Sun Belt Championship Tournament MVP following the Aggies victory over Western Kentucky, helping the Aggies earn their first Sun Belt Championship and a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

Cuseo recorded 45 kills (4.50 kills per game) to just two errors, two service aces, eight digs, 13 blocks (1.30 blocks per game) and hit .512 (45-2-84) in 10 games at the tournament.

Cuseo recorded 14 kills, one ace and two blocks while hitting .500 (14-1-26) against FIU. Against UALR, she recorded 11 kills, one ace and five blocks while hitting .400 (11-1-25).

In the championship match against WKU, Cuseo had a match-high 20 kills while hitting a match-high .606 (20-0-33). She added six blocks and four digs in the match.

The Aggies and the NCAA....

Last year, the Aggies finished in the top-30 in just one NCAA statistic and that was winning percentage, finishing with a 26-7 record and a .788 winning percentage, good for a tie for 25th. This year, the Aggies are changing that. The Aggies currently rank in the top-30 in three categories, hitting percentage, attendance per home game and winning percentage. As of November 24, the Aggies are ranked 11th in the nation in team hitting percentage, with a mark of .282. The Aggies are also ranked eighth in winning percentage (.882). Senior libero Jackie Godber maintained ranking at 26th in the nation in digs per game, with an average of 4.47 while senior middle hitter Trinia Cuseo is 28th in the nation in hitting percentage (.379) .

As for home attendance, the Aggies' home games have been louder than ever. Last year, the Aggies averaged 716 fans per home game in 13 games, good for 42nd in the nation. This year, the Aggies are double that. As of December 1, the Aggies are averaging 1,438 fans per game in just 11 home matches and are ranked 23rd in the nation. The Aggies also surpassed the 10,000 fan mark for a season for the first time in school history, recording 15,816 total fans .

Against Texas Tech, Aggie fans numbered 1,912 and 1,673 against I-10 rival UTEP. Against New Orleans, the Aggies had 1,469 fans in attendance and 1,012 fans against Arkansas-Little Rock. Against UNM, the Aggies had 1,835 fans while 1,235 fans watched the Aggies sweep FIU. Against Denver, the Aggies had 1,859 fans in attendance to celebrate Halloween. The Aggies rounded out the season with crowds of 2,085 against UL-Lafayette, the fourth largest in school history, and 1,405 against North Texas.

Last year, the Aggies had three matches with 1,000-plus fans in 12 home matches. The Aggies set a new school record for crowds over 1,000 for a season, recording their fourth 1,000-plus crowd against UALR in six home matches and have had crowds over 1,000 in nine of eleven matches.


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