Seattle-Four freshmen made their debut in a Spartan volleyball uniform Friday night, but #4 Washington was too strong for San Jose State in a 25-10, 25-14, 25-19 match at The Invitational at Seattle, Wash.
Alex Akana, Caitlin Andrade, Taylor Japhet and Katie Turner stepped onto the court for the first time in a San Jose State uniform. Akana, playing in the middle, led the Spartans with seven kills and hit .462 with 13 attempts and only one hitting error. Andrade, the starting setter, recorded 20 assists, six digs and one block assist. Japhet, on the outside, was second on the team with five kills and added a dig. Turner led the team with 12 digs and added two kills. Asia Casino, a transfer from UC Davis, also put on the Spartan uniform for the first time and played one set with two digs.
"I am really pleased with the way our freshmen played tonight," said San Jose State head coach Oscar Crespo. "They were extremely composed on the court and did not outwardly show that we were playing the number-four team in the country. We could have fallen apart at times, but they are extremely competitive and believe we can win."
Others contributing included Kylie Miraldi and Courtney Zellmer with four kills each. Miraldi added a block, while Zellmer had five digs. Kristal Tsukano added 10 digs, while Thao Pham had five digs. Sarah McAtee also saw action but did not record any statistics.
The Spartans stayed with the fourth-ranked Huskies in the first and third sets. The two teams traded the lead three times in the first set and four times in the third set including 12 tied scores.
"We played very well tonight even though the scores may not show it," stated Crespo. We had leads in two sets and were composed and mature on the court for as young as we are. We played with intensity throughout the match."
San Jose State continues play in the tournament Saturday with two matches at Seattle University. The Spartans play for WAC foe San Diego State at 1 p.m., followed by the Redhawks at 7 p.m. Due to technical difficulties, there will not be live stats for the matches. The website will be updated with set scores periodically throughout the matches.
The Invitational at Seattle, Wash.
Bank of America Arena
#4 Washington def. San Jose State - 25-10, 25-14, 25-19.
SJSU - Alex Akana 7.
UW - Jill Collymore 12.
San Jose State 0-1; Washington 1-0.
# # #