Japhet, Akana Lead Volleyball Team In Matches On Saturday

Seattle, Wash.-Freshmen Taylor Japhet and Alex Akana led the Spartans in kills on Saturday, but the San Jose State volleyball team dropped two matches at The Invitational at Seattle, Wash.  The Spartans lost to Seattle Saturday night, 25-20, 17-25, 25-22, 25-19, and to San Diego State Saturday afternoon, 18-25, 25-12, 25-15, 25-22.

Japhet recorded a season-best 17 kills against Seattle.  She hit a team-best .387 in the match with 31 attempts and only five hitting errors.  Kylie Miraldi also recorded double-digit kills with 10 and hit .318 for the match (10-3-22).  Akana and Katie Turner each had five kills.

Defensively, Kristal Tsukano led the team with 11 digs and added three kills and a service ace.  Turner contributed 10 digs and an ace.  Thao Pham also recorded eight digs and two service aces as the Spartans recorded nine aces in the match.

Caitlin Andrade and Asia Casino handled the setting duties for the match.  Casino had a season-best 29 assists and added four digs and two aces.  Andrade played just two sets and recorded 12 assists.

After not leading in the first set, the Spartans took control of the second set with four straight points to begin.  San Jose State maintained the lead throughout the set and won 25-17 on a Miraldi kill.

The Spartans and Redhawks traded the lead three times in the third set and tied the score 10 times before Seattle took the lead at 18-17.  The Spartans got within one late at 21-20 on a Japhet kill before Seattle scored five of the next six points to win the set.

After Seattle got out to a 5-0 lead in the fourth set, the Spartans chipped away at the lead and Miraldi served four consecutive points to tie the set at 8-8.  However, the Redhawks took the lead for good to win 25-19.

Earlier Saturday, the Spartans lost to San Diego State, 3-1.  Akana led the Spartans with nine kills and three blocks.  She hit .286 for the match and added a service ace and a dig.  Japhet added eight kills, three digs and a block assist.  Miraldi recorded six kills and a team-best two solo blocks and three total blocks.

Others contributing included Andrade with 30 assists, five kills and four digs. Tsukano recorded a team-best 18 digs and added six kills and four assists.  Courtney Zellmer added eight digs, four kills and two blocks.  Krista Miller saw her first action in a Spartan uniform and had two digs, one service ace and one block assist.

The Spartans controlled the first set of the match, hitting .296 and committing just four hitting errors.  The team jumped out to a 6-1 lead and never looked back winning 25-18.

San Diego State then won the next three sets to take the match.  In the second set, San Jose State had a 1-0 lead, but the Aztecs then scored the next four points to take a 4-1 lead and won the set 25-12.  Aztec Andrea Hannasch served 10 consecutive points and the Spartans could get no closer than nine points in the set.

San Jose State battled in the fourth set, taking a 4-2 lead early in the match on a Tsukano kill.  The two teams battled back and forth before San Diego State took a 13-12 lead on a block and did not relinquish the lead.  The Spartans tied the score at 22-22 on consecutive Japhet kills, but the Aztecs scored the next three points for the win.

The Spartans return to the court next Friday and Saturday, September 4 and 5, at the 31st Annual Bank of Stockton hosted by the University of the Pacific.  San Jose State faces the host Tigers Friday night at 7 p.m., following the match-up of #5 Stanford against #8 Florida.  On Saturday, the consolation match begins at 5 p.m., followed by the championship match at 7 p.m.

The Invitational at Seattle, Wash.

Connolly Center

Seattle def. San Jose State - 25-20, 17-25, 25-22, 25-19.

Kills - SJSU - Taylor Japhet 17; Kylie Miraldi 10.

SU - Cristin Richards 11; Jordan Keller 10

Records - San Jose State 0-3; Seattle 1-2

San Diego State def. San Jose State - 18-25, 25-12, 25-15, 25-22.

Kills - SJSU - Alex Akana 9.

SDSU - Hannah Evans 16, Lauren Salisbury 10.

Records - San Jose State 0-2; San Diego State 2-0.

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