Volleyball Opens Season at ASU/Sheraton Classic

This Week:
Fri. Aug. 26    ASU/Sheraton Classic        Tempe, Ariz.
vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee        4:30 p.m. PDT

Sat. Aug. 27    ASU/Sheraton Classic        Tempe, Ariz.
vs. Denver        10:00 a.m. PDT
at Arizona State        7:30 p.m. PDT

2011 SPARTANS SEASON BEGINS:  The 2011 San Jose State volleyball team opens the 2011 season with three matches at the ASU/Sheraton Classic hosted by Arizona State at the Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Ariz.  The Spartans face Milwaukee on Friday and Denver and host Arizona State on Saturday. 

LIVE STATS:  All three matches this weekend will have live stats, and links are available on the Spartan website at www.SJSUSpartans.com and go to “Live Stats.”

ABOUT WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE:  The Panthers were 20-9 last season and 15-1 in the Horizon League and won the league’s regular season title.  Head coach Susie Johnson is in her fifth year at the helm of the program 85-36.  The team returns five of its seven starters from last year including Kerri Schuh, the  2010 Horizon League Player of the Year, and Rachel Neuberger, the Horizon League Newcomer and Regional Freshman of the Year.

    Wisconsin-Milwaukee won the only match, 3-0, between the two teams at the PowerBar Invitational hosted by Saint Mary’s on September 6, 1997.

ABOUT DENVER:  The Pioneers had a 14-18 overall record and an 8-8 mark in the Sun Belt Conference.  Head coach Beth Kuwata is in her 16th year at the school.  Alex Turgeon led the team with 272 kills, while Alyssa Bonelli had 76 blocks.

    This is the first meeting between the two teams.  Denver joins the Western Athletic Conference beginning in 2012.

ABOUT ARIZONA STATE:  The Sun Devils finished the 2010 season with a 13-18 overall record and a 7-11 conference record.  Head coach Jason Watson enters his fourth year at the school.  Junior Erica Wilson returns after leading the team with 120 blocks and 27 service aces.  Sophomore Danica Medivil was second on the team with 284 kills. 

    The Spartans lead the overall series, 3-1, since 1977.  The Spartans won the previous two matches, 3-1 in 2007, and 3-2 in 2000.

SAN JOSE STATE HEAD COACH:  Oscar Crespo begins his fifth season as head coach at his alma mater.  A 1990 graduate, Crespo was named head coach in March of 2007 as the program’s sixth head coach.  He has a 36-82 coaching record in four seasons.

ABOUT THE SPARTANS:  The Spartans returns the most experienced team in head coach Oscar Crespo’s tenure.  All six starters and the libero return from the 2011 team that finished the year with an 8-22 overall record and a 3-13 WAC mark.  Starters returning include Alex Akana, Brianna Amian, Caitlin Andrade, Hanah Blume, Taylor Japhet, Kylie Miraldi and Katie Turner.  Akana led the Spartans in blocks with 59 and hit .251 on the year.  Blume was the teams top-hitter with 295 kills and named to the WAC All-Freshman team.  Andrade averaged 9.63 assists per set.  Turner was the team’s libero and had 321 digs, 3.18 per set.  Other returners include Sarah Griest, Asia Casino and Krista Miller.

    Five newcomers have also joined the 2011 team - Savanah Leaf, Samantha O’Connell, Mary Alice O’Reilly, Kiely Pieper and Capri Tirrell.  Leaf and O’Reilly were MaxPreps All-State selections last season.

ANDRADE CLIMBING UP CAREER ASSISTS LEADERS:  Caitlin Andrade begins the 2011 season ranked 10th all-time at San Jose State in assists with 1,783.  She needs 309 assists to move into ninth place and would need 3,699 assists over the next two years to break the record of 5,482 set by Michelle Sarkees from 1996-99.
ASSISTS (since 1984)    TOTAL    YEARS
  1.  Michelle Sarkees    5482    1996-99
  2.  Melizza Benitez    3257    1992-95
  3.  Savannah Smith    3040    1998-01
  4.  Teri DeBusk    2555    1984-85
  5.  Kristina Conrad    2548    2003-06
  6.  Danielle Spier    2461    1984-87
  7.  Susie Laymon    2330    1986-89
  8.  Jennifer Liston    2102    1991-92
  9.  Emily Burke    2092    2007-08
10.  Caitlin Andrade    1783    2009-10

SPARTAN SATURDAY SORTING PEPPERS:  The Spartans spent last Saturday, August 20, sorting peppers at the Second Harvest Food Bank in San Jose.

    The team worked over two hours to sort over 20,908 pounds of bell peppers as part of their community service project.  The food will be distributed to families stuggling with low-wage jobs, growing housing costs and homelessness.

10 PLAYERS NAMED ACADEMIC ALL-WAC:  For the second consecutive year, 10 Spartan volleyball players received Academic All-WAC honors.  Honored were - Alex Akana, Caitlin Andrade, Hanah Blume, Asia Casino, Sara Griest, Taylor Japhet, Sarah McAtee, Kylie Miraldi, Katie Turner and Courtney Zellmer.  All maintained a 3.00 or better cumulative grade point average.

The 2011 WAC Volleyball Tournament will be held Nov. 21-23 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., and will include the top six teams in the regular-season standings. The championship match will be televised live on ESPNU.

Monday, Nov. 21 (Quarterfinals)

No. 3 Seed vs. No. 6 Seed    5:00 p.m.  
No. 4 Seed vs. No. 5 Seed    7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov 22 (Semifinals)
Winner Match 1 vs. No. 2 seed    5:00 p.m.  
Winner Match 2 vs. No. 1 Seed    7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 23 (Championship)
Winner Match 3 vs. Winner Match 4    6:00 p.m. (ESPNU)

UP NEXT:  The Spartans travel back to the state of Arizona for the Fiesta Bowl Tournament hosted by Northern Arizona.  The Spartans face the host Lumberjacks on Friday, September 2, at 7 p.m.  San Jose State then faces New Mexico and Hampton on Saturday, September 3.