Volleyball Begins WAC Play At Home This Week

This Week:
Thurs. Sept. 23    Boise State    Spartan Gym    7:00 p.m. PDT
Sat. Sept. 25    Idaho    Spartan Gym    7:00 p.m. PDT

  San Jose State returns to Spartan Gym this week to open Western Athletic Conference play.  The team hosts Boise State and Idaho to open the schedule.  The Spartans begin the week with a 5-8 record after finishing 1-2 last weekend at the UNLV Classic.

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.

RADIO INFORMATION:  Both matches this week will be broadcast by KSJS, 90.5 FM, the San Jose State student radio station.  A live stream can also be found on the station’s website at www.ksjs.org.

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 BOISE STATE:  The Broncos enter Thursday night’s match with a 12-2 overall record after the team finished 3-0 at the NFINITY Wildcat Classic last weekend with wins over High Point (3-1), Eastern Michigan (3-0) and Davidson (3-0).  Head coach Shawn Garus is in his second season at the school.  Sadie Maughan leads the WAC in hitting percentage at .397, while Alisha Young is the team leader in kills with 171, 3.56 ps.  Breann Nesselhuf leads the conference in assists with 549, 11.44 ps.  Maughan is the current WAC Player of the Week after being named the Most Valuable Player of the NFINITY Wildcat Classic

    San Jose State holds a 16-5 advantage in the all-time series, but Boise State has won three of the past four meetings.

ABOUT IDAHO:  The Vandals begin the week with a 5-6 overall record after going 1-2 last weekend at the Gonzaga Tournament, defeating Gonzaga, 3-2, but falling to Seattle, 1-3, and Wyoming, 0-3.  Idaho plays at Fresno State Thursday night before traveling to San Jose.  Head coach Debbie Buchanan is in her 11th season at the school.  Allison Walker leads the team in kills with 139, 3.76 ps, while Kelsey Taylor is the blocking leader at 44, 1.16 ps. 

    Idaho leads the overall series, 7-5, and has won five of the past six matches.

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 33-68 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 was named the all-tournament team at the UNLV Classic.

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 128 kills, 3.05 per set, and has 99 digs, 2.36 per set.  After coming off the bench the first two matches of the season, Blume has started the past 11 for the Spartans.  She has recorded two double-doubles this season including season-bests of 20 kills and 19 digs against Portland State where she hit .375 (20-5-40).  Blume hit .370 last weekend against Cal State Northridge (13-3-27).

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. 

ANDRADE SETTING HER WAY:  Spartan setter Caitlin Andrade is averaging 9.52 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 30, 0.65 per set.  She recorded a career-best eight block assists against Gonzaga and added three versus UCLA.

10 PLAYERS NAMED ACADEMIC ALL-WAC:  For the first time in school history, 10 Spartan volleyball players received Academic All-WAC honors.  Student-athletes must maintain a 3.0 or better grade point average and participate in at least 50% of a team’s contests.  Those honored were Alex Akana, Caitlin Andrade, Asia Casino, Taylor Japhet, Sarah McAtee,     Kylie Miraldi, Thao Pham, Kristal Tsukano, Katie Turner, Courtney Zellmer.

2010 WAC TOURNAMENT:  The 2010 WAC Volleyball Tournament will be held Nov. 22-24 at the Orleans
Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., and will include the top six teams in the regular-season standings. The championship match will be televised live on ESPNU.

    All-session tickets are $45 and can be purchased through each institution’s ticket office. For more information on the WAC Volleyball Tournament, visit www.wacsports.com.

UP NEXT:  San Jose State goes on the road for three WAC matches.  The team plays at Nevada on Thursday, September 30, at 7 p.m., at Utah State on Saturday, October 2, at 7 p.m. MDT and at Idaho on Monday, October 4 at 7 p.m. PDT.