Tucson, Ariz.Senior outside hitter Niki Clement joined an elite club at San Jose State Friday night when she recorded her 1,000th career kill in a Spartan uniform. However, the Spartans lost the match, 25-19, 25-13, 28-26, to host Arizona at the Sheraton Four Points Wildcat Classic.
Clement led the Spartans with nine kills in the match. She enters Saturday’s match with 1,005 career kills and becomes just the 11th player in the school’s 35 years of volleyball competition. Clement needs just 41 kills to tie Melissa Myers for 10th on the all-time kill list. Myers recorded 1,046 kills from 1995-98.
“I am really happy for Niki, and this is a huge accomplishment for her, especially because of her size and moving from middle to the outside,” said San Jose State head coach Oscar Crespo. “She joined an elite club and has the opportunity to move up the career list. Niki is in very nice company and has played hard and deserves this recognition.”
Others contributing for the Spartans included Kelly Crow who had seven kills and three digs. Kristal Tsukano had nine digs and three assists. Nia Freeman led the team with two solo blocks. Emily Burke had 21 assists, three digs and four kills.
“We played good in the third game,” said Crespo. “We settled down on the court after realizing that we could play with them. We had the opportunity to push it to a game four.
“Arizona has a big block and really concentrated on our hitters. Niki and Kelly played solidly against the block even if their offense numbers may not show it.”
San Jose State (1-1) returns to action Saturday morning with a match against Weber State at 10:00 a.m.
Sheraton Four Points Wildcat Classic
Arizona def. San Jose State 25-19, 25-13, 28-26.
Kills SJSU Niki Clement 9.
ARIZ Tiffany Owens 13.
Records San Jose State 1-1; Arizona 2-0.
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