Practice is well underway for the 2015 San José State volleyball team as they prepare for the San José State Invitational, August 28 and 29, inside Spartan Gym. The Spartans play Cal Poly, UC Riverside, Weber State and Sacramento State during the tournament.
The team has been going twice a day as the Spartans incorporate seven newcomers with the nine returning players from 2014. Senior Tyanna Roy returns after leading the team in kills with 324 last season. Sophomore Nandyala Gama recorded 286 kills for a 3.01 per set average, while sophomore Sara Hibbs had a team-best 81 blocks, 0.75 ps.
Sophomore libero Yavianliz Rosado recorded 425 digs, 3.94 ps, to record the seventh-highest single-season total in San José State history. Senior setter Allison Meehan averaged 7.02 assists per set, while sophomore Breann Robinson had 236 assists on the season. Sophomore Jamie Hirai led the team with 24 service aces. Two players return after redshirting in 2014 due to injuries – Summer Avery and Hana Tresnáková.
This year’s newcomers include three players from Brazil – Luiza Andrade, Giulia Gávio and Mariana Mantellato; Jade Mitchell from Los Angeles; Kate Nicknig from Sacramento; Taylor Elliott from Alameda; and Julie Sam from San Jose.
“Practices so far are awesome,” said Roy. “It can be hard going twice a day, but we know that this extra work will go a long way during season. Right now, all we get to think about is volleyball and don’t have to worry about work, school, or anything else. We focus on volleyball and getting better at what we love to do. Preseason practices are making us very excited to finally play other teams in our tournament on the 28th.”
Head coach Jolene Shepardson returns for her second season at the helm of the program. She is assisted by associate head coach Aaron Shepardson, graduate assistant Ian Choi and director of operations Simone Ortega.
“Practice is going really well for us,” said Jolene. “We have a talented, young team that is playing hard in the gym and getting to know each other. Practices are very intense and competitive.
“We are looking forward to kicking the season off at home next week. We hope all new and returning students come to the matches to support the Spartans.”
The Spartans look forward to seeing fans at the San José State Invitational on August 28 and 29 inside Spartan Gym. Admission to the tournament is free. The team will play two matches each day. Fans who cannot make it to the gym can follow live online at sjsuspartans.com.
San José State Invitational
Friday August 28
UC Riverside vs. Weber State 10 a.m.
San José State vs. Cal Poly 2 p.m.
San José State vs. UC Riverside 7 p.m.
Saturday, August 29
San José State vs. Weber State 11 a.m.
Sacramento State vs. Cal Poly 3 p.m.
San José State vs. Sacramento State 7 p.m.