Volleyball Hosts Idaho, Boise State This Week

This Week:
Thurs., Sept. 24 Idaho Spartan Gym 7:00 p.m. PDT

Sat., Sept. 26 Boise State Spartan Gym 1:00 p.m. PDT

SPARTANS OPEN WAC, HOME SCHEDULE: After starting the season with 10 consecutive road matches, the San Jose State volleyball team finally gets to play a match in Spartan Gym this week. The team also begins Western Athletic Conference play at the same time with matches against Idaho Thursday and Boise State Saturday.

TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets for all San Jose State home volleyball matches are $5 for adults and $3 for youth 12 and under. Kids wearing their volleyball jersey can buy $1 tickets at the door. Also, groups of 20 or more can buy discounted tickets of $3 per person. The ticket office opens one hour prior to first serve at Spartan Gym. For more ticket information, please call 408-924-SJTX (7589).

LIVE STATS: Live stats will be available for all Spartan home matches on www.sjsuspartans.com and go to “Live Stats”. Links for all home matches will appear on the page between 5-25 minutes before the match starts.

LIVE AUDIO: San Jose State will broadcast select matches on the Gold Zone on the Spartan web site (www.sjsuspartans.com) this season. This Thursday night’s match against Idaho will debut Spartan volleyball on the Gold Zone with Shawn Murphy calling the action. The match is available for free. KSJS, 90.5 FM, the San Jose State student station, will also broadcast the match. Their telecast can also be heard at www.ksjs.org.

ABOUT IDAHO: The Vandals enter Thursday night’s match with a 4-7 record and have lost the past six matches. The team has wins over Appalachian State, Lamar, Loyola Marymount and UNLV. Head coach Debbie Buchanan is in her 10th season at the school with a 138-139 coaching record. Sarah Cornwell leads the team in kills with 146, 3.32 ps, while Alicia Mila is second at 106, 2.72 ps. Anna Mckinney leads the team in blocking with 69, 1.57 ps.

The series is tied at 5-5. Idaho won both meetings last season.

ABOUT BOISE STATE: The Broncos begin the week with an 0-10 record and play at Hawaii Thursday night before traveling to San Jose for Saturday afternoon’s match. Head coach Shawn Garus is in his first year at the school. Alisha King leads the team with 71 kills, 2.22 ps, while Liz Harden is second with 70 kills, 2.06 ps. Breann Nesselhuf leads the Broncos with 23 blocks, 0.68 ps.

San Jose State leads the overall series, 16-3. The two teams split the two meetings last season, each winning on the other team’s home court.

SAN JOSE STATE HEAD COACH: Oscar Crespo is in his third season as head coach at his alma mater with a 27-43 coaching record. A 1990 graduate, Crespo was named head coach in March of 2007 as the program’s sixth head coach.

HOME SWEET HOME: San Jose State opens the home portion of its schedule this week with the two home WAC matches. This is the latest in the season the Spartans have played a home-opener in 10 years. The 1999 team opened the year on September 24, with a 3-0 win over Saint Mary’s. The latest for a home openers was October 1 in 1992 (L, 3-0, Long Beach State) and 1977 with the SJSU Invitational.

Ironically, the Spartans and Idaho are the only two teams who have not played a home match. The Vandals do not play at home until Thursday, October 1.

The 2009 season finds the Spartans playing one of its most challenging non-conference schedules in recent memory. San Jose State faced at least one team ranked in the top-25 of the AVCA Division I Coaches poll in each of the first four weekends. The Spartans started the season playing then fourth-ranked Washington and faced #11 Stanford the second weekend. San Jose State then played at #13 California before facing #18 UC Irvine and #23 San Diego this past weekend in San Diego.

12TH TRIPLE-DOUBLE IN SCHOOL HISTORY: In just her sixth match in a Spartan uniform, freshman setter Caitlin Andrade joined an elite club in San Jose State volleyball history with a triple-double at Saint Mary's.

Andrade is just the second setter in school history to record a triple-double and the eighth player overall to accomplish this feat for only the 12th time. Andrade recorded 32 assists, 12 digs and 10 kills in the three-set match.

Ironically, the last triple-double in school history was recorded last year against Saint Mary's at the Sacramento State Invitational. Former setter Emily Burke had 40 assists, 15 digs and 10 kills.

SPARTAN CAREER RANKINGS: Kristal Tsukano continues to move up the San Jose State career digs list this season. She started the year in sixth place and is now in third place in digs with 1,144 in her four-year career. Tsukano needs 268 more digs to tie Dawnis Wilson for second place all-time. Jessie Shull holds the San Jose State career record at 2,260 digs.

1. Jessie Shull 2260 2003-06
2. Dawnis Wilson 1412 1988-91
3. Kristal Tsukano 1144 2006-08
4. Joslynn Gallop 1052 1997-00
Christina Lukens 1052 1999-02
6. Barbara Higgins 1039 1984-87
7. Jeanine Haldi 982 1999-02
8. Darcy Walker 981 1996-99
9. Danielle Spier 978 1984-87
10. Savannah Smith 947 1998-01

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Kristal Tsukano was the only Spartan named to an all-tournament team this year. She was named the Molten/Hilton Garden Inn All-Tournament Team.

Seniors Kristal Tsukano and Thao Pham are giving their thoughts on the 2009 season and what is happening with the Spartan volleyball team. Stay tuned to the Spartan web site at www.sjsuspartans.com to see what the two Spartan seniors are talking about this week.

JAPHET LEADS TEAM IN KILLS: Freshman Taylor Japhet leads the Spartans in kills with 87, 2.56 per set. She had 17 against Seattle and 11 versus Eastern Washington.

TSUKANO RECORDS FIRST DOUBLE-DOUBLE: It took the fourth season, but senior Kristal Tsukano recorded her first double-double of her Spartan career. She had a career-best 11 kills and 18 digs against Eastern Washington.

FRESHMEN, NEWCOMERS MAKE AN IMMEDIATE IMPACT: The first weekend of play was dominated by the play of freshmen and newcomers. Freshman Taylor Japhet led the team with 17 kills against Seattle and leads the team with 30 kills. Freshman Alex Akana led the Spartans with nine kills against San Diego State and seven kills at #4 Washington. Freshman setter Caitlin Andrade leads the team with 62 assists including 30 against San Diego State. Freshman Katie Turner had 10 or more digs in all three matches including 15 against the Aztecs. Sophomore transfer Asia Casino had a team-best 29 assists at Seattle.

NEVADA UNION CONNECTION: For the second consecutive season, San Jose State head coach Oscar Crespo signed a former Nevada Union High School graduate. Taylor Japhet joins the team this season after former high school teammates Sarah McAtee and Kylie Miraldi joined the Spartans last year.

KAMEHAMEHA PLAYERS: The Spartans have also had success recruiting players from Kamehameha High School on the island on Oahu. Alex Akana and Caitlin Andrade join fellow Kamehameha graduate Kristal Tsukano at San Jose State.

FOUR PLAYERS NAMED ACADEMIC ALL-WAC: Four returning Spartan players received Academic All-WAC honors last year. Kylie Miraldi, Thao Pham, Kristal Tsukano and Courtney Zellmer all had a 3.00 or better grade point average.

TSUKANO RECEIVES ACADEMIC HONOR: Kristal Tsukano was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII Third Team, as selected by the district's College Sports Information Directors, last year

Tsukano is a biological science major and a three-time Academic All-WAC selection.

AUDIO BROADCASTS: Six home Spartan matches will be broadcast on the Gold Zone at www.sjsuspartans.com. The matches include - Sept. 24, Oct. 15, Oct. 17, Nov. 5, Nov. 7 and Nov. 19.

KSJS, 90.5 FM, the San Jose State student radio station, is planning to broadcast four home matches - Sept. 24, Oct. 13, Oct. 15 and Nov. 2.

The 2009 WAC Volleyball Tournament will move to a neutral site this year and include the top-six teams in the conference standings. The tournament will be played at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nov. 23-25.

All-session tickets are $45 and can be purchased over the phone (888-234-2334) or online (www.orleansarena.com/event-calendar/wac-volleyball-tournament).

The WAC Tournament was played at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas from 1996-98 when UNLV was a member of the conference.

The WAC Volleyball Tournament is a single-elimination event with the top two seeds receiving first-round byes and the champion earning the conference’s automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Monday, Nov. 23 (Quarterfinals)
No. 3 Seed vs. No. 6 Seed 5 p.m.
No. 4 Seed vs. No. 5 Seed 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov 24 (Semifinals)
Winner Match 1 vs. No. 2 seed 5 p.m.
Winner Match 2 vs. No. 1 Seed 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 25 (Championship)
Winner Match 3 vs. Winner Match 4 6:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

*times local and subject to change

UP NEXT: The Spartans play just one WAC match next Thursday, October 1, at Utah State. First serve is set for 7 p.m. MDT.