Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Baseball Journal September 6-7, 2017

No baseball for me on the fifth.  Today, I made the mistake of rereading a volleyball post I had just posted.  It was terrible.  It was just badly written.  Since I’d already posted it, it wasn’t worth rewriting.  Though I’d gone to two volleyball games, watched some Godzilla films, and done some other things, it felt like I’d spent my whole three-day weekend in front of the computer typing. The writing was labored, forced, and tired, and it showed.  I need better editing and maybe some more time between writing and posting.

While waiting for the Chihuahuas/Aces playoff game, I finally got to check out MLB’s Twitter/Facebook/social media show, the Dugout.  It was at once more casual in conversation than MLB Tonight coverage on the MLB Network, but also more frenetic in pacing.  Where it felt like there should have been a commercial break, they kept going.  The show felt kind of intense and it must be exhausting for the hosts, especially with their high enthusiasm level.  Maybe that’s why they only run this once a week.  Overall, it was an interesting venue for baseball talk.  Allison Footer was one of the hosts.  I’d heard her many times on podcasts.  I was surprised she’s an attractive young woman.  From her knowledge and experience, I’d assumed she was older (and crustier, like a sports writer). 

And here’s where I bury the lead.  I was busy with work and never quite caught up.  So, I was listening to most of the Chihuahuas’ game, but just didn’t have the time and energy to take more than a smattering of notes.  This isn’t a good start for the playoffs for me.  I found out a co-worker is going to the game on Friday.  She even went to a recent game and a visiting player gave her little son a ball.  (I’m surprised the ball didn’t have his phone number on it.  She’s a hottie.) 

In Reno, a loud and passionate crowd showed up (though not large at 3,100).  The fans were issued thunder sticks, which they used for most of the game.  Between the “clacking” noise and occasional Latin music, it felt like a Brazilian Carnival was going on in the background.  The stadium’s PA was really good at revving up the crowd, and the music and sound effects were good too. 

Tim Hagerty was pleased that the rain during the day cleared off that night.  He also took pleasure in finally announcing Chihuahua, Nick Buss, as the league batting champ.  Tim had been going over his numbers, hits, plate appearances, and so on for a few weeks.  I’m sure he’s glad that the storyline finally resolved and happily resolved.

Okay, I heard most of this, but ended up having to reconstruct it from Gameday.  Reno took the lead in the second on a fielder’s choice, 1-0 Aces.  In the fourth, Hunter Renfroe homered to tie it.  Jose Rondon then drove in a run on a fielder’s choice, 2-1 Chihuahuas.  In the fifth, Renfroe again got an RBI on yet another fielder’s choice, 3-1. 

A light rain started falling in the seventh.  Tim tried to sell it as no big deal.  The pups hit into a really strange double play.  The third baseman picked up a bunt by Chase d’Arnaud and threw to first for one.  Travis Jankowski, seeing third was unoccupied, tried to take the base.  The Aces’ catcher, however, got up the line and covered for the out.  That was 5-3-2.  Tim thought Chase should still be credited with a sacrifice. 

Top of the ninth, Rondon hit a sure double or more which was caught by a sliding Evan Marzilli in the outfield.  Tim and the crowd there were very impressed with the play.  In the bottom, the game ended on a double play.  3-1 Chihuahuas win and take a 1-0 lead in the best of five series.  Tim was surprised by the low score, since the park and the altitude are very hitter friendly.  Chihuahuas’ and Aces’ pitching did well.  This felt like a close, tight playoff game.  This could be a good series.

I checked out the Braves versus the Marlins on the MLB Free Game.  New Suntrust Field is getting some exposure this year.  Dee Gordon led off the game with a triple and there was a second one by Marcel Ozuna, as part of a three-run inning.  Ender Inciarte was playing in the outfield next to fellow, former Chihuahua Jace PetersonMatt Wisler, another Chihuahua, came in as a reliever in the Rangers’ game on Labor Day.  I hope the Padres got someone good for all these guys.            

Chip Caray and Joe Simpson called the Marlins’ pitcher, Dan Straily, “A box of chocolates pitcher.”  Quoting from Forrest Gump, you didn’t know what you were going to get whenever Straily takes the mound.  Ender stole second in the inning.  He got there with Dee Gordon’s glove and the ball underneath his leg and Gordon left empty-handed.  Ender was still safe.

Because of the hurricane coming for Florida, the Marlins players had been told to take their families with them on the road trip.  The Braves were offering free game tickets to anybody from Florida who was fleeing the storm.  That was nice of them.  As of today (Friday), all of Florida and now Georgia are being warned.  There may not be any games in Atlanta this weekend.  The Braves won the game 6-5.

Back in Reno, the Chihuahuas and Aces were playing Game Two of the division series.  In the first, Chase d’Arnaud, was announced as “The Strikeout Batter,” on the Chihuahuas.  If he struck out during the game, everyone in a section would get a free beer or something.  Tim Hagerty seemed a bit put off by the promotion.  It was another lively crowd, if on the small side at 3,500.  They brought back their thunder sticks.

There wasn’t much offense to start, though Chihuahuas’ pitcher, Brian Rodriguez, got his first hit of the season.  He immediately stopped at first.  Ooops, emergency, emergency!  There’s a new Taylor Swift video with her cat!  I had to watch that a couple of times.  I can’t wait to meet the cat when I’m finally dating Tay.  While working, I walked back into the room just in time to hear Jose Rondon doubling in Hunter Renfroe, who scored from first.  Dusty Coleman, who was in the lineup for his defense, hit a two-run home run for a 3-0 Chihuahuas’ lead.  The Aces got a solo homer in the bottom, 3-1. 

In the fifth, with two Chihuahuas on, there was a pop up near the pitcher’s mound.  Two players collided and let it drop to load the bases.  (It wasn’t called an infield fly.  Back to rulebook, if first base is unoccupied, the rule doesn’t apply.)  It was bases loaded with no outs, but the Chihuahuas only got one run on a Christian Villanueva sac fly.  That was even with two (could have been three) errors in the inning.  4-1 Chihuahuas.

The pups had their own shaky inning in the seventh.  There was a single, a near error, and then another single, which drove in a run.  The runners moved up on the throw to the plate.  The crowd got back into it.  There was a walk to load the bases with no outs.  Manager Rod Barajas stuck with Brian Rodriguez. He finished off the inning with a strikeout, an infield fly, and another strikeout.  4-2 Chihuahas.

In the eighth, pinch hitter Diego Goris hit a long fly ball off the batter’s eye.  “What’s the call!” exclaimed Tim, waiting on the ump, “Home run!”, 6-2.  The crowd immediately went quiet.  In the ninth, Christian Villanueva doubled in a run, 7-2, and that was our final.  Another great pitching performance for the pups.  The Chihuahuas are now up two games in this best of five series and coming back home for the rest.

Let’s take a quick, belated trip around the MLB, mostly because I finally noticed a bunch of streaks in progress.  Cleveland, firmly in first in the AL Central, has a 15-game winning streak.  A local window business had a promotion related to that streak and had to pay up with a couple of million in free product and services.  Lucky they had an insurance policy on that.  Arizona has a 13-game winning streak and the Dodgers have a seven-game losing streak.  Even with that, it’s still not close in the NL West.  In the NL East, three of the five teams have already been eliminated from the playoffs, with a fourth about to join them.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Baseball Journal September 3-4, 2017

With little on TV today (like the NASCAR Southern 500 at Darlington which NBC put on cable, but I’m not bitter or anything), I almost forgot that the Rangers were playing the hated Angels this afternoon.  I joined the game in the second with the miserable Halos already up 2-0.  The Rangers got one in the bottom, but left the bases loaded.  In the third, Elvis Andrus homered to tie it.  Carlos Gomez struck out in the inning.  He then argued and tossed his bat and was ejected.  He’d apparently had other problems with the umps this series.  In the fourth, Robinson Chirinos hit a two-run homer and Delino Deshields followed that with a solo shot, 5-2. 

In the fifth, some loser named Al got an RBI for the crappy Angels.  (I don’t like this fellow in an increasingly unprofessional manner.)  Conversationally during the game, Eric Nadel was excited that he’d to be doing the Spanish broadcast for an inning this week.  The team’s Spanish broadcaster would be doing the English.  Eric also talked about the about the new ballpark that’s about to be built.  He was already visualizing the orientation of the field and where the sunlight would be coming in.  It was a hot, humid day in Arlington.  The guys are really looking forward to an air-conditioned, indoor facility.

In the sixth, Joey Gallo had an error at third, his third in three games with Adrian Beltre out.  Will Middlebrooks at first made a great play to end the inning.  I didn’t know he was with the team.  It turned out was his first game with the Rangers, his favorite team.  In the bottom, Elvis hit another homer, a 434’ line shot for two runs.  Eric and Matt Hicks were in awe, 7-3.  In the seventh, Gallo made a great diving catch.  He’s apparently made a great play around every error lately.

The ninth got hairy.  The bad news Angels got runners on second and third with no outs.  Al made the first on an infield fly rule.  Ha, ha.  Then Andrelton Simmons doubled, 7-5.  Runners were again on second and third with one out.  An intentional walk loaded the bases.  An unintentional walk forced in another run, 7-6.  Finally, Gallo fielded a grounder and threw out a runner at second for the nervous 7-6 win. 

Martin Perez went over 100 pitches for the win.  Tony Barnett got the shaky save.  He was the second pitcher used the ninth, and I think they said he’d worked three days in a row.  The Rangers won two of three from the horrid Angels, but their bullpen got shelled in the process.  Robinson Chirinos was the post-game guest.  He’d caught all three games in the series.  (Where’s Brett Nicholas?)  And the games dragged for like over 12 hours total.  He was cool with it.  Whatever it took to win.  Robinson just wanted to play and contribute.  If this turns out to be my last Rangers’ game on the weekend, it at least was a good one, in spite of the wretched Angels.

6:00 pm was the baseball game I was waiting for between the Chihuahuas and the Rivercats.  The pups could clinch it with a win today.  Tim Hagerty was back.  He had been attending a friend’s wedding yesterday.  The guest voice was Tim Roye, voice of the Golden State Warriors and obviously a friend of the Chihuahuas’. 

None of this came up in the first inning though.  Tim was too busy calling three straight Chihuahuas getting on base to start the game and Hunter Renfroe hitting a grand slam to bring them in.  He didn’t even have time to go over Renfroe’s bases loaded hitting stats before the ball went out.  Nick Buss kept it going with a single.  The next batter finally made the first out of the game, drawing a sarcastic cheer from the Sacramento crowd.  Tony Cruz then came up and hit a two-run homer.  After that, there was a double and the second error of the inning before the third out.  That was a six-run inning and it took about 16 minutes to play out. 

Renfroe made the highlight reel again in the second inning by throwing out a runner trying to stretch a single into a double.  There wasn’t much else to talk about until later in the game.  Tim started to talk about playoff ticket information.  He’s been doing this for a couple of weeks, but had to say that he wasn’t jinxing anything.  They have to offer the tickets beforehand.  He told the story about the Red Sox putting a World Series logo on their field before they actually got in one year (the Aaron “Bleeping” Boone series with the Yankees).  “I’ll let you in on a secret,” he said, “Every team does that.  They have to be prepared before the event.”  He also noticed a couple of Chihuahuas’ hats and a Diablos’ shirt being worn in the crowd.

Jose Rondon, back off the IR again, doubled in a run to make it 7-0.  Tim Melville, El Paso’s pitcher, let on two batters in the seventh and was taken out.  (He was also one of the outs in the first inning on a strikeout.  It was like his third professional at bat.)  Adam Cimber came in and unfortunately gave up a three-run homer to make it 7-3.   That was all the scoring.  In the eighth, Tim talked about when the clubhouse attendants should start putting up plastic sheets on the lockers.  A strikeout ended the game and began the Chihuahuas next run into the playoffs. 

They were eight games out halfway through the season.  The Salt Lake City Bees looked to run away with the division.  I don’t follow the team or their parent club, the suckwad Angels, but perhaps the big league team’s Wild Card run sapped the Bees’ roster.  With the Padres not contending, they had no problem with sending Hunter Renfroe down so he could hit over .500 with the Chihuahuas and help put them over the hump.  Before the game, manager Rod Barajas got a hold of the league offices to make sure that if they won, they were in.  You can never be too careful in making sure you don’t celebrate prematurely.

9-4-17 Labor Day
Comet TV had a Godzilla film festival on, but I found myself flipping stations.  The new Stadium network was showing the Pony League World Series.  It was Covina, California versus Seoul, South Korea.  Korea was up 1-0 for most of the game.  Their manager got ejected for arguing balls and strikes.  He nearly took his team with him.  In the seventh and final inning, Korea got the third out, but the tying run scored before that on the same play.  Their pitcher was ejected for arguing.  Covina won it in extras in the eighth on a two-run homer off a light pole, 3-1 US wins.  James Jimenez was the hero, going seven innings of one-run pitching and hitting the winning home run. 

Today was the last day of the PCL regular season.  The Chihuahuas played the Rivercats in the afternoon.  Several Chihuahuas were out of the lineup to rest for the playoffs.  Franchy Cordero led off with a home run, 1-0 Chihuahuas.  Franchy scored again on a sacrifice in the third, 2-0.  In the fourth, Dusty Coleman hit a home run that bounced off the top of the wall, 3-0.  In the bottom, the Rivercats got back-to-back homers to bring it to 3-2.  The crowd in Sacramento got into it.  They sounded like a large, enthusiastic group.  The game was halfway through in an hour.  Tim spent much of that talking about the playoffs and the post-game celebration. 

Hunter Renfroe got a pinch hit double in seventh.  Franchy singled in a run and Renfroe scored on a Carlos Rondon single.  Coleman singled after a pitching change, and then Ryan Schimpf doubled in three runs with the bases loaded.  When the dust settled it was 9-2.  Things were looking good.  Christian Bethancourt came in and gave up three walks in the eighth and two runs came in on a single, 9-4.  Jason Jester came in to finish the inning. 

Then came the ninth.  Jester gave up three home runs in a row without getting an out, 9-7.  The crowd was going nuts.  Jester was out after another hit.  Eric Yardley came in and did no better.  He gave up a two-run homer to tie it, 9 all.  Yardley hit for himself in the tenth.  Diego Goris had wanted to pitch today and was warming up.  The Chihuahuas apparently didn’t want use any more pitchers.  Yardley did go back out.  With two outs in the bottom of the tenth, a walkoff homer ended it.  10-9 Rivercats was our shock ending to the game.  We’re all going to hopefully forget this game ever happened and look forward to the playoffs on Wednesday.

Somebody was happy about the game.  You can tell if hasn't been a good season for the Giants when the Triple-A team winning the meaningless last game of the season makes their main fansite.  Still, from that perspective, it was a tremendous game.

The Rangers/Braves game coverage started on time thanks to a bottom of the hour starting time.  Elvis Andrus got it started in the first with a home run off RA Dickey.  Rangers’ pitcher, Andrew Cashner, helped himself out in the second.  With the bases loaded he sacrificed in a run.  Another scored on a passed ball, 3-0 Rangers.  Should Kurt Suzuki really have been charged with that given that he was catching a knuckleballer?  In the third, Matt Hicks commented on the height of the pressbox at new Suntrust Field in Atlanta.  It’s not quite as bad as Nationals Park, where you can wave “Hi” the blimp pilots as they fly by, but it’s still an aerial view of the game.  Joey Gallo tripled in a run and Roughned Odor sacrificed one in, 5-0 Rangers. 

Then there’s an unintelligible sentence on my notes.  I need to learn how to write.  Matt Adams, who had been playing an amusing left field in the game, got some revenge with a two-run homer in the fourth, 5-2.  In the sixth, Normar Mazara homered, 6-2.  Former Chihuahua, Ender Inciarte almost got it as it passed over a low point on the outfield wall.  Carlos Gomez tripled, as Matt Adams fumbled it in the outfield.  Ruggie drove him and himself in with a homer, 8-2 Rangers.

At this point I lost my local station with the sun going down.  Ah, but how could the Rangers lose at this point?  It’s in the bag.  Some kind of huge collapse couldn’t happen twice in one day, could it?  Actually, by the time I could pick up another affiliate, it was the ninth and the score was unchanged thankfully.  As the game was about to end, Eric Nadel noted they were just under three hours, “If we were playing the Angels, we’d be in the sixth inning.”  Earlier, the slimy Angels had set an American League record for pitchers used in a game at 12.  It was an 11-inning game and the previous record had included much longer games.  The craptacular Angels won the game in a tidy four plus hours.  Anyway, the Rangers beat the Braves tonight, 8-2.  Back to the Godzilla film festival.    

Friday, September 15, 2017

Baseball Journal September 1-2, 2017

Waiting for the late Chihuahuas/Rivercats game in Sacramento, I checked out the MLB free game, which was the Royals and the Twins in Minneapolis.  I stuck with the hometown feed, which actually talked a lot about the Royals.  They had just broken a 45-inning scoreless streak, which nearly tired a record.  That is an epic cold snap on offense.  There was also talk about what impending free-agent players, if any, they’d keep at the end of the season.  Now that they’re out of contention, I’m surprised they didn’t trade some guys off, like the Tigers just did (Justin Verlander to the Astros, Justin Upton to the Angels, who also picked up Brandon Phillips).  No offensive problems today, as the Royals won 7-6.  Actually, their problems were with their relievers, who loaded the bases in the ninth and almost lost it.

I wasn’t having a good day at work and had trouble paying attention to anything.  (AggieVolleyball was also on TV.)  There wasn’t a lot to report on in the Chihuahuas’ game until late.  Nick Buss tripled in a run in the third.  The Rivercats homered in the fifth.  It was 2-1 Rivercats in the eighth when Buss again tied it on a fielder’s choice.  In the bottom, Franchy Cordero missed a diving catch, but came up throwing to third and got the tag on a runner, who had initially thought that he’d caught the ball and was running off the field.  The game went to the tenth and the Rivercats doubled in the winning run on a play at the plate.  3-2 Rivercats final.  There was a big, loud crowd there waiting for fireworks, who were happy about the outcome.  The Bees also lost, so no change in the standings with the Chihuahuas on top.  Peripherally, the Chihuahuas have a secured a winning season regardless.

Right after I got back home from the volleyball match, I tuned right into the Chihuahuas/Rivercats game.  “That’s not Tim,” I immediately said after listening to the coverage.  The voice was familiar sounding, but it wasn’t Tim Hagerty.  I kept listening for several innings before the broadcaster identified himself (with poor reception, I didn’t catch it) and said what happened to Tim.  He was out for an “important” event.  Child birth?  (Doesn’t he already have two little kids?  Tim’s been getting busy during the home stands.)  In any case, I had an anxious hour wondering where he was. 

The score of the game was less dramatic; the Chihuahuas were up 7-0 in the fifth.  I’d obviously missed most of the excitement.  A shattered bat flying into the field during Chihuahuas’ pitcher, Dillon Overton’s at bat was the main action I heard initially.  But then there was the big announcement of the night around the seventh inning; Salt Lake City had lost their game.  With two games left in the season and an impending one game lead and the tiebreaker, the pups are looking good.  In the eighth, the Rivercats loaded the bases, but didn’t score.  8-1 Chihuahuas was the final.  The Sacramento PA played the intro from For What It’s Worth by Buffalo Springfield (you’d recognize it immediately) during a pause.  That actually worked pretty good.  Other ballparks might consider it.

Meanwhile on television earlier in the day, I’d discovered a new digital channel had sprung up; Stadium.  So far I’ve seen a couple of NASCAR ARCA races and rebroadcasts of some college basketball games from last season.  There used to be another over-the-air digital sports network.  They’d show off road racing, rugby, Australian Rules football, and there was pro softball show I liked (and an off-topic video game review show).  I’ll keep an eye on this. 

Flipping around during the Chihuahuas’ game, I stumbled on a baseball game on a Juarez station.  It was the Juarez Indians versus the Parral Miners for the Independent League State Championship as near as my limited Spanish could discern.  I don’t think this is part of the Mexican League, whose All-Star Game and Home Run Derby I’d watched in June (I think was part of the Mexican League anyway).  US Minor League baseball actually lists Mexican League scores on their website and classifies them as a Triple-A equivalent (maybe, Japanese baseball is also thought to be at that level).  The quality of play in tonight’s game did not seem to be at that level, so it was probably was a lower level.

Regardless, the game was some sort of championship and the people of Juarez showed up.  Their ballpark has a large grandstand and there were a bunch of people there.  Southwest University Park probably couldn’t accommodate all the people.  The Sun Bowl might have been necessary for this crowd.  Even though the game ran late into the night, they stuck around.  (Pace of play in any Mexican baseball I’ve seen hasn’t been an issue.  They’ve all dragged on terribly.  Their fans are okay with it.)

I came in very late.  The Miners were up 4-3 in the eighth.  They loaded the bases in the ninth.  I think they attempted a suicide squeeze.  The batter missed and the catcher got the guy at third in a rundown.  Unfortunately, that was only a temporary reprieve.  The Miners scored three for a 7-3 lead going into the bottom of the ninth.  The Indians got on a couple of runners on when a batter came up and hit a three-run home run to left center.  The next batter got another home run to tie it at 7.  (Yes, there was lots of bat flipping.)  The crowd went crazy.

In the tenth, the Miners came back with a run, 8-7.  In the bottom, the Indians tied it again.  A runner on second ran home on a shallow single to center.  He just made it in past the tag.  There was an intention walk to the next batter.  They actually had to throw the pitches.  The next batter bunted.  The Miners threw to third, but didn’t get the out, bases loaded.  At this point, there was a 10-minute delay as the Miners argued.  I think their catcher was ejected, but their manager might not have been.  The police were sent into the crowd behind their dugout and some fans were taken away I think.  Back to the action, the winning run scored on a bobbled fielder’s choice to the drawn in infield.  9-8 the Juarez Indians won some sort of championship.  Everybody celebrated.  One of the party girls from Chic Music interviewed a player on field.  The players even hugged the mascot.

Two live volleyball matches, Chihuahuas’ baseball, a Mexican baseball game, and a new sports network.  What a day in sports for me.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

New Mexico State Athletics Economics 2017

I found this abandoned after the soccer match last week.  It looked water-damaged (at least I hope it was water).  I picked up one of these at a soccer match last year and wrote about the revenue numbers listed in it (11-9-16).  As before, I’m not a numbers guy, I have no special insight on the Aggie athletics’ accounting, I don’t even really have much in the way of suggestions or criticisms.  I’m just presenting this along with what I know about the program.

We’ll start at the bottom of the 2017 table, since that’s where most of the money is.  Once again, let’s thank those nice rich football programs who pay to play our Aggies with that Guarantee money.  That’s almost a million more than last year.  In spite of my dark, angry thoughts about the NCAA and everyone else’s general dissatisfaction with the two conferences the Aggies are in (Sunbelt for football and the WAC for everything else), thank you for paying us to put with our unpleasant relationship with you people.  That’s up over $600,000.

Unfortunately, the merry-go-round may be stopping next year.  Aggie football will be out of the Sunbelt Conference.  Athletic Director, Mario Moccia, has expressed a dislike of having to deal with two conferences for sports, but I’m sure they’re going to miss the money from the Sunbelt as the Aggies go unaffiliated.  Worse, I’ve looked at their 2018 schedule.  Unlike the most famous independent university, Norte Dame, I’m not seeing any big names on the Aggies’ schedule.  This likely means the Guarantee money will be going down sharply.  As the department is trying to pay down a $10M debt as I understand it (and I have no idea what they spent the money on), this cannot help.  On the plus side, they might get a couple more wins and become bowl eligible, which would be a windfall, but that’s a mighty big if.

The two other items on the bottom of the 2017 list seem to be calculated differently than 2016, so it’s hard to compare.  Whatever “Multimedia Rights” are for NMSU, they appear to pay well, and/or the new Underarmor uniforms Licensing paid out well.  Concessions is a bit confusing.  Either the “up diamond” is a misprint on the 2017 Revenue or they’re adding it up differently.  In 2016, university concessions did change from Coke to Pepsi, which is a big deal, like changing uniform manufacturers.  However, it’s not a big number either way relatively.  Booster contributions alone (shown on another table) are over $500,000 and up 15% from last year.  As much as concession items cost, you’d think it’d be a bigger piece of the pie.

Last year, 22% of Athletics revenue was Ticket Sales.  For fiscal 2017, it was 16%.  Ticket sales were down a half percent, which is pretty good considering they were down 10% last year.  Even in a down year in 2016, five of the seven team sports had an uptick in attendance, but since football and men’s basketball were down, it didn’t matter to overall revenue.  But in 2017, five of the sports were down.  It didn’t affect ticket income since one of the sports that was up, men’s basketball, was way up, and it’s a lucrative sport.  As men’s basketball and football go, that’s how the revenue goes.  Let’s break it down by sport.

Aggie Football revenue was down 24%.  That was with a “Stuff the Stadium” promotion and a win over the Lobos at home.  I guess team performance was the main culprit.  They lost every game on the road and only won three games.  (I attended two of them.)  Not only have they been bumped out of the Sunbelt Conference for attendance and performance, they’re on the verge of losing some NCAA status (Division I or FBS?  I’m not sure what, but it’s bad).  Looking at 2016’s numbers, the program seems to be in a downward spiral and picking up speed. 

Media partner, Learfield, has been buying tickets to keep up attendance figures.  (This isn’t a scandal by the way.  Everyone knows about it.)  The income that university gets from promotional ticket pricing is mostly from various local business and government offices buying blocks, not individuals.  Reducing regular ticket prices might help a little for individual fans and encourage more group ticket sales, but it’s too much to ask business owners to subsidize every home game.  (Some more suites might get their attention.)  Las Cruces just isn’t a large, wealthy community.  Even when they’re down, football ticket sales are still a huge amount of income, and as long as the football program is bringing in the Guarantee income, they’re essential to Aggie athletics.  Losing those “money games” and conference income may bring up some tough questions though.

The hero in ticket sales was the Men’s Basketball.  The team did well, as it often does.  Their “Pack the Pan-Am” event may account for their big rise in ticket sales.  Perhaps season tickets holders got over the sticker shock price increases last year and bought in again as well.  Women’s basketball had a big drop in sales, but I think 2016’s huge increase (depending on how they figure their fiscal year) was due to another “Pack” event (their largest crowd ever).  Certainly the team was excellent, so there wasn’t a drop because of performance.  The university definitely seems to get a good “bang for the buck” on promotional prices for basketball.  Director Moccia expressed interest in putting suites in the rafters of the Pan-Am Center.  That’s a great idea (since I thought of it too).  It’s a matter schmoozing the right people to commit buying them long-term and putting some deposit money upfront.    

Volleyball and Softball I’m a bit confused by.  NMSU hosted the WAC tournaments for both sports last school year, so you’d think they’d both be up.  The difference may have been that Aggie Softball was in championship game and Aggie Volleyball wasn’t.  I’m really not sure though.  The softball team is great to watch, but until their facilities get some shade for the stands, it’s hard to recommend to others.  The volleyball matches are great for the fans.  The university should promote the program as much as they can to help keep our very good, 20-year coach Mike Jordan around, who was grumbling about attendance last week.  It’s amazing women’s basketball coach Mark Trakh stuck around as long as he did with all his success here (unlike some other traitorous basketball coach, who I won’t mention).

Aggie Baseball was down 1%, which isn’t bad considering that the previous year’s attendance may have been goosed by a “Stuff the ‘Skew” event.  (Seems like there’s pattern here on promotional prices.)  Hosting Texas Tech for a game here probably helped, and that was with a late change in time to a weekday afternoon game.  Thanks to all those obnoxious Red Raider fans who showed up, and to that large crowd of very nice Yale fans, who came out for two days.  Book more games against teams who have fans that travel with them.              

Aggie Soccer was way up in 2016 (though comparatively pocket change) and way down in 2017 (seat cushion change).  I’ll say they’ll be up on next years’ revenue thanks to hosting UTEP and UNM this season.  Maybe this happens every other year, and they should schedule it so that one of them is here every year instead.  The program isn’t that great, but it is still relatively new.    

Soccer appears to have a pretty good fan base (of terrible fans who spend the whole game coaching from the stands), but too many of their games are on weekday afternoons to get them there for all of the home games.  Not only is this inconvenient, but it’s hot out there on those exposed metal stands.  Lights to play night games would help on both accounts, but given the small income, would it be worth it?  Not to mention, there’s going to be some scheduling conflicts with volleyball and football going on at the same time.  The university makes a real effort to allow hard core fans an opportunity to attend every sporting event.   

Attendance does matter for sports.  Sports are ultimately for the community and for the fans.  (Actually, other groups of people have a different view on the reason for sports in this country.  Don’t get me started.)  While most of the athletic department’s income isn’t from ticket sales, those other numbers will go up with better attendance and better team performance.  It all works together. 

I’d recommend focusing on getting more fans to the men’s basketball games.  It’s the easiest sell, as long as they’re a good team.  Get more fans to the football games by any means necessary.  Offer a 25% discount for buying 20 or more tickets for any game.  Make it 50% if they buy season tickets.  It may be more about bodies than income at this point.  Mass kidnappings should not be off the table.  Promote the heck out of the other sports to middle and high schools and club teams and cut some deals with them.  Next year may be the pivotal year for the continuation of Aggie athletics at their current level.  Getting the community’s involvement will be essential in riding out the coming rough patch.         

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

NM State Aggies vs Incarnate Word Cardinals Soccer 9-10-17

As promised last year (10-29-16), I came back.  Actually, I was eager to get back to see the girls.  They’d had great wins over UTEP and UNM earlier this season.  I’m pretty sure Coach Freddie Delgado’s job is secure for another year.   Speaking of him, I’ve heard the coach on the Aggies Coaches’ Show a couple of times.  He is a surprisingly soft-spoken guy for a coach.  During one interview, Freddie encouraged fans to come down to the field after the matches to meet the players.  And further, he asked the fans to go ahead and coach from the stands during the game.  Shout out instant criticism of the players as loud as you can.  I’m kidding there, but he did encourage the fans to meet the players.

Since their 4-0-1 start however, the team has dropped three in a row.  The coach was crediting their winning record to red-shirt freshman goalie, Dmitri Fong’s efforts in the net.  Then she got a concussion and hasn’t played since.  (I don’t know any of the details.)  This coincides with the three-game losing streak.  Coincidence?  It’s also a pretty young team with only two seniors, both defenders, so there’s not a lot of offensive leadership.  Today’s opponent, Incarnate Word, is 0-3.  Hopefully, this would be a good opportunity for them to bounce back.

After arriving at the stadium, I picked up a Cristina Bertoldo poster and a team poster and the program page at the courtesy table on the way in.  I did this after getting a small popcorn and a Gatorade at the concessions.  I was also holding my seat and cushion, an umbrella, and my notebook.    You may imagine the amusing juggling act I put on at the table.  I spilled my popcorn, and then shamefully, scooped it back into the cup.  (Hey, I paid good money for it.)  Somehow, I made it to a seat in the grandstand without losing anything. 

The pleasant voice of the soccer PA (whoever that guy is, I like him) said it was 80-something degrees, but it was hot as heck.  I was dripping sweat well before the match.  I didn’t even hesitate on popping my umbrella.  A good sized crowd filed in.  The girls lined up for introductions.  While the local girls on the team got the biggest applause, Aileen Galicia was the biggest, hammy personality.  That cracked me up. 

Suddenly, KC Tohm from the volleyball team and volleyball alum, Nathalie Castellanos, came in together.  They were tall, beautiful, and were showing lots of large tattoos (which I don’t really approve of, they don’t make you prettier).  I wanted to yell out a “Hi,” or congratulate them on yesterday’s win, but was too intimidated to bother them.  This set a bad precedent as the rest of the team trickled in after the game started, and I still didn’t say anything.  The girls kept walking by during the match to get water at the courtesy table, making me feel worse.  At least one guy nearby them noticed them and said, “Yea Aggie Volleyball!”  (Megan Hart is pretty conspicuous when it comes to recognition.)  I saw a bandage on Bridgette Lowe’s hand, so that was probably why she wasn’t playing in the games on Friday and Saturday.

I wrote down a bunch of notes for the first half.  Unfortunately, my pen failed and my pencil-writing is even worse than my pen-writing.  It’s barely readable and the information isn’t terribly useful either.  Trendwise, the Aggies had the ball in the (somehow, I never got the other team’s name) Cardinals' (is that it?) end for most of the half.  Alieen came up making a lot of the attacks.  She got a couple of shots from inside the box a couple of minutes in. 

The fans started yelling at the girls shortly afterward, “Shoot it!”  I’m thinking and mentally groaning, Already?  Next volleyball match, I should start shouting, “Spike the ball!  Jump higher!  Hit the ball inbounds next time!” and we’ll see how that goes over.  (Coach Jordan comes up into the stands and punches me out, “That’s MY job!”)   Cristina got a foul early for tripping.  I heard behind me, “That’s a good foul!”  Then there’s, “Go to the ball!” and “Make space!”  The lady in front of me kept saying, “Shoot it!” and then “Stop going backwards!  Turn around!”  (She might have had point there.  I questioned that myself.)  These are very passionate, knowledgeable fans, and they really suck.

After a few attacks, Aileen had her hands on her knees during a stoppage and looked like she was about to puke, or the fans were making her sick.  These attacks didn’t produce points.  Incarnate Word (IW) started getting in some counter-attacks.  At 23’ left in the half, there was a bad tackle in the Aggie box, which resulted in a penalty kick.  The fans yelled out some encouragement to goalie, Ashley Martin, but  Isabel Garcia would convert on the opportunity for a 1-0 lead for IW.

The game got more physical as the Aggies intensified their attack.  Audriana Chavez and Devin Hart got in some shots.  9’ left and Aileen got in two shots on goal on the same play.  She looked winded afterward.  The coach must have seen it too, and Tuti Tirado came in for her.  I saw an interview Adam Young did with her before the season.  I think she said played over in Europe in the off season.  She’s another player I like on the team.  The half ended without a change in the score.

KC and Nathalie left at halftime.  KC stopped in front of me for a moment and looked at the crowd.  Finally I said, “KC!” and smiled and waved.  In another venue, she would have likely had a “Do I know you?” look on her face.  At the university however, it’s obviously a fan.  She smiled sweetly and waved back.  My day was made.  There was no halftime entertainment other than a bunch of kids storming the field, playing around the goals.  The wind kicked up momentarily, scattering my stuff.  “Look at the pretty clouds overhead,” I put in my notes.  I was probably having a heat stroke, or was still dazzled by KC’s smile.

In the second half, the volleyball team relocated to in front of the stands, where there might have been some shade.  Fair-skinned, Canadian Megan thankfully had an umbrella protecting her.  The Aggies went on the attack again.  33’ left Rebecca Mazzie passed to Devin Hart in the IW box.  “Goooooooooal!” went the PA.  A little boy ball in front of me did a somersault in joy.  We’re tied at one.

“You’re wrong, Ref!” at least the fans would criticize the referees too.  A girl on the Cardinals was flattened on a play.  “She’s okay!” interjected a fan.  She was down for quite a while before their trainer was able to help her off.  I couldn’t figure out the injury, but she spent the rest of the half on the bench with a towel over her head.  During the time out, volleyballers Ari Sierra and Sasha-Lee Thomas were playfully fighting on the sidelines.  Ari had already chewed her out for showing up an hour late.  She really is the vocal leader of the team, even though most of the rest of the team is a foot taller than her.

Devin Hart again!  “Gooooooal!” 26’ left in the match.  She got it into an unprotected net with the goalie out battling in a scrum.  2-1 Aggies and there wasn’t even time to get comfortable before that changed.  IW went on the attack.  Ashley made a block in front of the net and instead of catching it with the box full of Cardinals, she batted it forward.  Sam Batley made her pay immediately with 23’ left.  Tied at 2.

One minute later, Brooke Hanson of IW was back in the Aggie box on a one-on-one breakaway.  Ashley made another poor decision trying to stop her, and the Cardinals were up 3-2.  The coach immediately took her out; Raeann Garcia came in.  (I should mention the wind kicked up again.  Not only was I still writing down notes on the last goal, my stuff was flying around.  By the time I was more composed, it was too late to more accurately record the play.)  Right after this, Cardinal Jade Piper stripped the ball and ran past four defenders to take another shot.  Obviously, the Aggies had lost control of their surroundings too.

Raeann did make a few good saves at this point, which was good, but bad in that the Aggies were having trouble getting the ball out of their end.  The PA missed giving the one-minute warning, but inside that last minute, the Aggies made a desperate charge at the net.  In the scrum at the front of the net, it was momentarily left wide open, but the kick went high.  The Aggies tried a corner kick, but time expired.  3-2 Incarnate Word was our disappointing final.      
Our stat of the match is actually on the program under goalie stats, which I noticed afterward.  Dmitri Fong: 5 games, 1 goal allowed.  Ashley Martin: 3 games, 10 goals allowed and go ahead and add another game and three more goals.  Oh, how I hate singling out unpaid student-athletes for poor play.  Really.  It’s not even fair to blame one person for a series of defensive breakdowns.  Those soccer fans must be negatively rubbing off on me.  (Actually, they didn’t get mad at Ashley.  There was some yelling about the decision-making, but nothing personal or demands to take her out.)  This team is not prolifically scoring and unless it suddenly figures out how, there has to be a change in the box.  Ashley was making the physical stops, but her problems unfortunately appear to be mental.  Hopefully, Dmitri can come back.  In the meantime, Raeann Garcia should be in.     

The girls came out on the field afterward and thanked the fans.  The coach talked to them and led them in some stretching.  Afterward, many of the fans (I’m assuming family and friends) stayed around and went down to see the team.  It was a bit subdued though.  On the way down from the stands, I found another Aggie Athletics report (11-9-16) that was abandoned.  I’ll write something about this later.  Driving out, I saw the injured IW girl being carted off.  Her head was still wrapped in a towel.  God bless her.  For lunch, I used a Schlotzsky’s coupon on the back of a recent Aggie ticket.  It was delicious $5 meal.  If I add in the Gatorade and popcorn, food was still less than last night’s meal at the Pan-Am Center.  

To this point, I still haven’t been scared off from returning to the soccer field.  In spite of the crowd and the heat, it is kind of interesting in person.  (It’s still not interesting on TV for me.  Don’t hold your breath.)  I’m planning on going some more, but this sport is on thin ice with me.  A win would help my attitude.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

NM State Volleyball Borderland Invitational 9-9-17

Isn’t that a fun picture?

NM State Aggies versus Samford Bulldogs
I flirted with the idea of watching the other teams’ matches today, but decided it was impractical given the time between them.  I can kind of understand the scheduling, but I’d at least consider putting the non-Aggie matches together.  Perhaps run all of the matches together and just sell day passes, like the softball tournaments.  The Rangers were playing the Yankees on TV, so I was busy anyway.

No conflict with a Chihuahuas’ game tonight since they swept their way into the league championship yesterday.  I’m okay with not getting a game under those circumstances.  I tuned into the Aggie/Lobo football game for the pre-game and dropped into an interview with a couple of members of the volleyball team.  No, I’m not sure why.  Maybe they didn’t want to talk about the football team.  I heard Tatyana Battle and, I think, Briana Anisworth being interviewed by Jack Nixon.  Though the volleyball match was going to be on TV with no radio, I took my radio with me anyway, so I could check in on the football.  (Though I was sure they’d announce some updates during the match.)  Before I left, the Aggies had gotten a touchdown off a turnover, but gave up two points on a failed PAT, 6-2 Aggies.      

A good crowd was in the middle of showing up when I got there.  Several young girls were there, who were high school and middle school volleyball players.  I overheard a lady, probably a coach, saying she was hoping her girls could learn some teamwork tonight.  It’s always great to see that kind of community support and also when Aggie teams run clinics for local teams.  The ticket was $5, even though the game was part of a tournament.  Inside, the PA gave a scoring update on the football.  The Aggies had scored again and were still leading. 

“I think I need a loan for this,” said a fellow patron at the concessions.  I felt about the same after surrendering $16 for a drink, pretzel, and a churro.  I also had to wait about 10 minutes for it, so they weren’t ready for the crowd.  At least it tasted good, though I was covered in sugar and salt afterward.  After yesterday’s lighting issues, they didn’t bring them down for the intro video, making it a lot less dramatic.  Lia Mosher and Sasha-Lee Thomas were in as starters.  Ari Sierra and Lia got the biggest cheers during the player intro’s.  

Set 1
Without a radio call, I was lost for counting scoring.  The scoreboard wasn’t showing player kills.  The Aggie girls were spreading the kills around in the first set.  Brielle Sterns and Natalie Mikels came in early.  Natalie had another net serve.  Her serving motion is really awkward (though I saw someone on Samford have the same style, so it’s not unique), but it is effective when gets over the net.  Megan Hart was again in a knee brace.  I noticed Jordan Abalos was limping a little.

The Aggie football team was up 16-5 on the Lobos in Albuquerque, while it was 9-5 Aggies in Las Cruces.  12-6 a ball flew into the stands on an Aggie point.  T-shirts were then tossed into the crowd.  I’m starting to realize how lucky I was to get two shirts here last year.  The PA announced the football score to the cheers of the crowd.  13-6 Tatyana Battle and Ari made some great dives to help win the point.  15-6 Briana Ainsworth got an ace on serve.  19-7 Kaylee Neal came in to big cheer and served up an ace.  22-8 Lia got an awesome kill.  The set ended 15-10 on a KC Tohm kill.  The girls and the crowd were happy.  Coach Jordan was quiet in approval.

Set 2: Aggies 1, Bulldogs 0
23-5 Aggie football at halftime.  The guys were looking good.  The volleyball teams changed sides, and I got a good look at a Samford assistant coach.  This guy had the part in the front of his hair gelled up into a spike.  If he was in a boy band that would probably look appropriate.  4-3 Briana got a really clever dump shot for a point.  From that point on, however, Samford took the lead.  I could see Coach Jordan on the sidelines shaking his head.  At 9-12 Samford, he called a timeout and was remarkably calm-looking while discussing things with the girls.  Meanwhile, banks of lights in the arena kept going on and off, and this was throughout much of the match.  The place is still having electrical problems.

By 10-15, Samford was clearly playing with some confidence.  Jordan and Sasha were getting enough kills to keep the team in it.  13-19 and another Aggie timeout.  15-20 a ball hit the bottom of the video scoreboard over the court.  I’m surprised that doesn’t happen more.  Megan Hart came in at 16-22.  She wasn’t scoring, almost more of a decoy, but the tide started to turn.  21-22 KC got a massive kill and Samford took a timeout to regroup.

I spotted Julianna Salanoa on the sidelines encouraging her teammates.  23-22 the Aggies reclaimed the lead on Ari’s serve.  24-23 KC can do it with a light touch too and got a tip kill.  Natalie came in to serve for the set.  She did get it over, which I thought was encouraging.  Samford was not willing to concede however.  The match went to five set points.  The older fans were getting tired of standing up for them.  Tatyana Battle got a tip kill on an epic point to finally win it.  28-26 Aggies.

Set 3: Aggies 2, Samford 0
What?  No Taylor Swift Look What You Made Me Do over the PA tonight?  Is it already over?  Don’t worry.  She’s released another new song that has a couple of drops in it that will be irresistible for sporting events.  Somebody put me in charge of the music.

The stats finally came up on the scoreboard.  Jordan and Tatyana had 9 kills, KC had 7.  Tatyana and Ari got aces on serve early on.  Samford had their best point at 4-3 (Aggies) on a block and a spike straight down into the floor.  The Aggies returned the favor on the next point, doing the same.  10-7 was a scary point as Jordan dove for a dig and hit the floor hard.  She came up limping.  I’d already noticed her having some trouble walking earlier.  I’m officially worried about Jordan making it through the season.  Nobody can question her heart, but her left knee is truly doubtful.    

Touchdown Aggies!  Third quarter on the field, 30-5 Aggies.  13-11 on the court as Lia crushed a kill to end a Samford run.  14-12 Jordan hit it long on the previous point and came back for a tip kill on this one.  18-13 Brielle got an overpass kill and forced a Samford timeout.  23-16 Jordan Abalos was finally taken out of the match and was replaced with Jordan PleasantsAnalyssa Acosta came in to serve up match point.  25-17 and the Aggies won in straight sets.  Jordan led the team with 12 kills.  Tatyana had 11 kills and Brielle had 8.  That second set was really gritty for the Aggies and showed some good character.  I love these girls.

After I got home, I put the football game on.  Unfortunately, things got interesting in a slowly unfolding horror sort of way.  The Lobos changed quarterbacks in the fourth quarter and rallied (or the Aggies collapsed, I don’t know which since I wasn’t watching the game).  By the end, it was 30-28.  A last minute (okay, last two minutes) failed two-point conversion was the only thing keeping the score from being tied.  All-American running back, Larry Rose III, got the Aggies two first downs to end the game.  Whew!  There’s some more Aggie grit for you.

(No ticket image.  It had a coupon on the back of it and I used it for lunch on Sunday.)

Monday, September 11, 2017

NM State Volleyball Borderland Invitational 9-8-17

Afternoon Match: NM State Aggies versus Abilene-Christian Wildcats

I talked to my dad in the morning and he asked me if I was going to the volleyball game in the afternoon.  I hadn’t even thought of going, even though I could have.  I may be in serious denial about my current work schedule.  Thinking about it, I considered that the match could not have gone long for me to make it to work on time.  Also, I’m never sure about parking at the university during a weekday. 

Not to mention, I’d already planned on listening to the radio broadcast.  Adam Young reported a “light” crowd for this Friday afternoon match, but the “die-hards were there.”  When he’d talked to Coach Jordan at the Aggie Coaches’ Show earlier in the week, Adam mentioned the good crowds of 1,000+ so far.  The coach lamented that they used to recently get 3,000 for rivalry games and once had 7,000 for a game against Hawaii.  (7,000 would be a good crowd for a Men’s basketball game against a conference opponent these days.)  At least the crowd that was there sounded good.

Regardless of the crowd for a Friday afternoon game, it had to be more embarrassing that the arena couldn’t get the lights back on after the team intro video.  This isn’t the first technical glitch I’ve seen during an event at the Pan-Am Center.  This created a 20-minute delay, which if I had been there, would have really made me nervous about the time.  However, the girls made the best of it.  Adam reported that both teams were on the court dancing to the PA music to entertain the crowd.  When I saw a video of it on the team Twitter feed in the evening, I completely and totally regretted not being there.  Both teams were doing an “Electric Slide-ish” routine that was too cute for words. 

Set 1
The match seemed like almost an afterthought in comparison.  The Aggies started their regulars for the game with KC Tohm, Lia Mosher, and Sasha-Lee Thomas out there.  I didn’t take point-for-point notes; I just hit the highlights.  Ari Sierra dropped in two aces in the set, and Tatyana Battle shined on kills with five.  25-17 Aggies.

Set 2 Aggies 1, Wildcats 0
The Coach got “yellow carded” for arguing a double contact called on Lia.  “I don’t care,” he said.  I didn’t even know they handed out soccer-like cards for volleyball.  Freshman Lia Mosher played well, but I think she’s been called for that a few times.  KC got in on the kills and Tatyana was up to 10.  25-17 Aggies.

Set 3 Aggies 2, Wildcats 0
This set was tight.  The Wildcats lead through most of it.  Coach Jordan called a timeout late when the team went down by two.  It worked and the team rallied to a 25-22 Aggie set win and 3-0 match win.  Freshman Natalie Mikels looked good and bad during the set, but I think more good things are to come from her.  Tatyana Battle pounded it with 17 kills.  KC Tohm had 10.  Briana Anisworth had another double-double in assists and digs.  This was a pretty efficient match for the Aggies, and it needed to be.  They had another match in about three hours.

Evening Match: NM State Aggies versus Delaware State Hornets.

Work definitely interfered with me going to this match.  I would have wanted to go to this match.  Adam said the Aggie reserves were going to do most of the playing in this match, and I would have liked to have seen them play.  This personnel decision was driven by the early game and a Saturday game tomorrow.  Certainly it was also rather sporting of the coach.  The Hornets had not won a set so far this season. 

Set 1
Most of the regulars did start, except for team captain, Jordan Abalos.  Most of them cycled out fairly quickly.  Freshman Julianna Salanoa came in and got a kill.  I’m hoping to be right about her being great in the future.  The coach and the assistant coaches complained to the refs about Delaware State serving out of rotation, twice.  It was not called.  Analyssa Acosta came in on defense and made a couple of good digs.  She seemed sweet when I met her last year, so I’m glad she’s doing well.  Ari Sierra chipped in a couple of assists during the set.  Kaylee Neal served an ace.  25-11 Aggies.

Set 2 Aggies 1, Hornets 0
Megan Hart came in.  Yea!  She had a sprain, but was doing better and got a kill.  KC Tohm got in on the kills this set.  Julianna got in on the blocks.  A “pancake dig” was called on a play against the Aggies.  The Coach and Ari questioned why the refs didn’t whistle the play when it happened and let everyone keep playing.  Natalie Mikels put in an ace.  Adam mentioned how accomplished she was in high school play.  Out of rotation service was finally called on the Hornets, twice.  From playing PE and intramurals at school, I remember service turns were always confusing.  Still, it shouldn’t happen at this level.  Megan McGuire came in and served set point.  25-14 Aggies.

Set 3 Aggies 2, Hornets 0

Jordan Abalos came in to start the set.  Where’s Bridgette Lowe, last week’s hero?  Adam briefly mentioned she was injured.  Julianna served up an ace.  Jordan Pleasants came in for Jordan Abalos and served well too.  Lia Mosher got the kill on match point.  25-13 Aggie set win and 3-0 match win.  KC Tohm led with 12 kills.  Ari Sierra had 16 digs, including her 1,000.  Briana Ainsworth had 19 assists.  The Aggies took care of business today, even the reserves.  I hope this is a good confidence builder.