Volleyball At UNLV Classic This Weekend

This Week:
Fri. Sept. 17 UNLV Classic Las Vegas, Nev.

vs. Xavier 4:30 p.m.

Sat. Sept. 18 UNLV Classic Las Vegas, Nev.
vs. UNLV 12:30 p.m.
vs. Cal State Northridge 4:30 p.m.

FINAL NON-CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT THIS WEEK: San Jose State travels to Las Vegas this week for the UNLV Classic, the final non-conference tournament of the week. The Spartans enter the tournament with a three-match winning streak after going 3-0 at the SJSU Tournament last weekend.

LIVE STATS: All matches this weekend will have live stats with links available on the Spartan website at www.SJSUSpartans.com. The “Live Stats” button is located on the top right of the newly redesigned San Jose State Athletics site.

FACEBOOK/TWITTER: Follow the Spartan volleyball team and all San Jose State athletics teams on the web. Become friends with Sammy Spartan on Facebook and get the latest tweets on Twitter @SJSUAthletics.

ABOUT XAVIER:
The Musketeers enter Friday’s match with a 5-4 record and a three-match winning streak after defeating Army, UNC Wilmington and Butler last weekend. Head coach Mike Johnson is in his first season at the helm of the program. Shannon Voors leads the team with 129 kills, 3.79 per set, while Claire Paszkiewicz is the teams top blocker with 19.

This is the first meeting between the two teams.

ABOUT UNLV: The Rebels begin the weekend with a 3-5 record after finishing 1-2 at the UNLV Invitational. Head coach Allison Keeley is in her seventh season at the school. Sarah Nehf leads the team with 93 kills, 3.21 per set, while Madeline Westman is the team leader with 36 blocks, 1.24 ps.

San Jose State has won all four meetings. The teams last played each other during the 2004 season when the Spartans won 3-0 in Las Vegas.

ABOUT CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE: The Matadors begin the week with a 3-6 record and plays UCLA Tuesday night before the UNLV Classic. Head coach Jeff Stork is in his ninth year at the school. Natalie Allen leads the team in kills with 118, 3.28 per set. Lynda Morales is the team leader in blocks with 26, 1.13 ps.

Cal State Northridge holds a 7-6 advantage in the overall series. The two teams last played against each other in 2008 season at the Sacramento State Invitational. The Matadors won 3-2. The Spartans last won in the series during the 1995 season, winning 3-1 at Spartan Gym.

SAN JOSE STATE HEAD COACH: Oscar Crespo begins his fourth 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 32-66 coaching record in four seasons.

ONE FOR THE AGES: Through seven matches, San Jose State had not played a five-set match. Then came the Portland State match. The Spartans won the odd sets, the Vikings the even sets. The fifth set was going Portland State’s way as they had grown their lead to 14-8 before a kill by Spartan Alex Akana gave the serve back to San Jose State. Asia Casino reentered the match to serve for the Spartans and proceeded to serve seven consecutive points to give San Jose State a 16-14 win and a 3-2 match win. Over those seven points, Akana had two kills, Hanah Blume had two kills, Casino recorded an ace, and the team won on a Vikings hitting error.

ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS: Four Spartans have received all-tournament recognition this year. Courtney Zellmer was named to the North Dakota Classic All-Tournament team, while Hanah Blume received all-tournament honors at the SJSU/SMC Tournament. Alex Akana, Caitlin Andrade and Blume received all-tournament honors at the SJSU Tournament.

BLUME-ING ON THE OUTSIDE: Freshman outside hitter Hanah Blume is making an immediate impact on the 2010 Spartan team. She leads the team with 96 kills, 3.00 per set, and is second on the team in digs with 84, 2.62 per set. After coming off the bench the first two matches of the season, Blume has started the past eight for the Spartans. She has recorded two double-doubles this season including season-bests of 20 kills and 19 digs against Portland State. In that match, she hit .375 (20-5-40), and added a .348 against CSU Bakersfield (12-4-23).

DIGGIN’ THE BALL: Courtney Zellmer became one of only six players to record 35 or more digs in school history in the match against Gonzaga. Against the Zags, Zellmer recorded 35 digs in the four-set match. Her 35 digs are also the most by a Spartan player since the 2007 season when former Spartan Kristal Tsukano recorded 42 against Idaho.

GRIEST BLOCKING HER WAY:
Freshman Sarah Griest has started the past eight matches in the middle for the Spartans. She is second on the team in blocks with 17, 0.57 per set, and is averaging 1.47 kills per set. Griest recorded a season-best six block assists in a win over Seattle and added three blocks against CSU Bakersfield.

ANDRADE SETTING HER WAY: Spartan setter Caitlin Andrade is averaging 9.34 assists per set and collected a season-best 50 against Portland State. She also has two double-doubles on the season - 31 assists and 12 digs against Gonzaga and 47 assists and 17 digs versus Seattle.

AKANA LEADS THE BLOCK: Sophomore Alex Akana leads the Spartans in blocks with 21, 0.60 per set. She recorded a career-best eight block assists against Gonzaga and added three versus UCLA.

UP NEXT: San Jose State returns home to open the Western Athletic Conference portion of the schedule. The Spartans host Boise State on Thursday, September 23, and Idaho on Saturday, September 25. Both matches begin at 7 p.m., inside Spartan Gym, located on the corner of Fourth and San Carlos Streets.