Leaf's 21 Kills Leads Volleyball To Victory

Tempe, Ariz.-Freshman Savanah Leaf continued to make her presence known on the court for San Jose State.  She recorded her second consecutive double-double and helped lead the Spartan volleyball team to a 25-22, 25-22, 16-25, 25-23 win over Arizona State at the ASU/Sheraton Classic Saturday night.

In both matches Saturday, Leaf recorded her first and second collegiate double-doubles.  In the win over Arizona State, she had a season-best 21 kills and 14 digs.  Earlier in the day, Leaf had 11 kills and 14 digs in a 3-1 loss to Denver.

"Savanah had a great all-around match for us," said Spartan head coach Oscar Crespo.  "She was solid offensively and got better as the match progressed.  She was a presence at the net blocking and passed very strong for us."

After winning the first two sets, 25-22, 25-22, San Jose State fell to the Sun Devils in the third set, 25-16.  The Spartans then rebounded in the final set with a 25-23 win, and the team's first victory of the 2011 season.

In the fourth set, San Jose State never relinquished the lead.  The set was tied at 1-1, but the Sun Devils could not get any closer than one for the rest of the set. Taylor Japhet got the Spartans out to an early 4-1 lead with two consecutive kills.  Leaf recorded her 20th kill to get San Jose State to match point and won the match with her 21st kill of the night.

"This was a huge win for us on the road tonight," said Crespo.  "We played some very respectful teams this weekend.  I am very happy for our team."

Japhet, who was named to the all-tournament team, ended the night with 13 kills, nine digs and two block assists.  Kylie Miraldi, Caitlin Andrade and Krista Miller each had six kills in the win.  Andrade recorded 48 assists and eight digs, while Miller had 12 digs and four blocks.

The Spartans outblocked Arizona State, 11-8.  Alex Akana led the Spartans with nine blocks, one solo and eight assists.  Miller had four assists, while Japhet, Miraldi and Leaf each had two block assists.

"Our blocking started the match strong with two huge blocks. With the block, we created problems for Arizona State's attackers.  Alex had nice numbers for her and really played havoc with their middles," said Crespo. 

Other contributing to the win included Akana with four kills, Brianna Amian with three kills and a block assist and Katie Turner with 12 digs and three assists.

San Jose State returns to the state of Arizona next week for the Fiesta Bowl Tournament hosted by Northern Arizona.  The team faces the Lumberjacks next Friday night, followed by New Mexico and Hampton on Saturday.

ASU/Sheraton Classic

San Jose State def. Arizona State - 25-22, 25-22, 16-25, 25-23.

Kills - San Jose State - Savanah Leaf 21, Taylor Japhet 13.

Arizona State - Danica Mendivil 13; Ashley Kasti 10.

Records - San Jose State 1-2; Arizona State 2-1.


Denver def. San Jose State - 25-22, 25-22, 16-25, 25-19.

Kills - Denver - Alyssa Bonelli 11, Alex Turgeon 11, Kate Acker 10.

San Jose State - Taylor Japhet 19, Savannah Leaf 11.

Records - Denver 1-1; San Jose State 0-2.

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