Thurs., Sept. 24 Fresno State
Save Mart Center Fresno, Calif. 7:00 p.m. PDT
Sat., Sept. 26 UNLV
Cox Pavilion Las Vegas, Nev. 1:00 p.m. PDT
SPARTANS OPEN MOUNTAIN WEST PLAY: The San José State volleyball team opens Mountain West play this week with two road matches. The team plays at Fresno State on Thursday and at UNLV on Saturday. The Spartans have won five of their past six matches.
ANDRADE NAMED MW DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Freshman libero Luiza Andrade was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week for matches played from September 14-20. This is her first weekly honor.
Andrade, from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, anchored the Spartan defense at the Chippewa Challenge as the team went 2-1 last weekend. She averaged 5.18 digs per set and was errorless in 38 reception attempts over 11 sets.
Twice at the tournament, she set a new career-high for digs in a match. Against Omaha on September 18, Andrade recorded 21 digs and added three assists. The next day against Evansville, she had a career-high 24 digs
MOUNTAIN WEST DIGITAL NETWORK: This week's matches will be streamed live on the Mountain West Digital Network at
LIVE STATS: Live stats for the match are available on the San José State website at www.SJSUSpartans.com.
ABOUT FRESNO STATE: The Bulldogs enter Thursday night's match with an 8-6 overall record after going 2-1 last weekend at the Fresno State Classic. The team hosts Fresno Pacific in and exhibition match Tuesday night before the Spartans come to town. Head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell is in her eighth year at the school with a 99-123 school record. Aleisha Coates leads the team with 153 kills, 3.06 per set, while Maggie Eppright leads the MW in digs with 254, 5.08 ps.
San José State holds a 46-29 lead in the all-time series, and broke a nine-match losing streak in the series last season with a 3-1 win at Spartan Gym on October 30, 2014.
ABOUT UNLV: The Rebels enter Saturday afternoon's match with a 7-5 overall record. The team went 1-2 last weekend at the Red Lyon Invitational, defeating Texas Southern, 3-0, but falling to #10 Arizona State, 3-0, and #6 Illinois, 3-1. Head coach Cindy Fredrick is in her fifth season at UNLV and her 29th as a head collegiate coach. She has a 81-54 school record. Bree Hammel leads the team with 137 kills, 3.11 per set, while Ashley Owens is second in the MW in blocks at 1.38 ps.
San José State leads the overall series, 6-3, but UNLV won both meetings, 3-0, last year.
HEAD COACH Jolene Shepardson: Spartan head coach Jolene Shepardson is in her second season at the helm of the program. She has a 12-32 record in two seasons at SJSU, and a 55-79 coaching record in five seasons.
MOST NON-CONFERENCE WINS SINCE 2006: San José State finished the non-conference portion of the schedule with an 8-5 record, the most wins in the non-conference season since 2006 when the team won 10 non-conference matches. The Spartans are also 6-0 in neutral-site matches played this season.
FOUR-MATCH WINNING STREAK LONGEST SINCE 2007: San José State won four consecutive matches for the first time since the 2007 season. The team defeated UMass Lowell, Quinnipiac, Holy Cross and Omaha from September 11-18. The Spartans have not won five consecutive matches since the 2004 season.
GAMA 10 BLOCKS: Nandyala Gama recorded a career-best 10 block assists against Holy Cross on September 12. She is the first Spartan to record 10 or more block assists in a match since Mary Alice O'Reilly had 10 block assists in a home match against San Diego State on November 7, 2013.
SERVING LEADS MW TEAMS: San José State lead the Mountain West in serving at 1.62 aces per set. The Spartans have recorded 81 aces in 50 sets played. Six players have 10 or more aces, led by Jamie Hirai with a team-best 14.
HIBBS TOP HITTER FOR SPARTANS: Sara Hibbs leads the team with 132 kills, 2.64 per set, and is hitting .306 for the season. She had her best hitting match of career against Evansville at .591 (14-1-22) and hit .565 versus Holy Cross (15-2-23).
DIGGIN' THE BALL: Luiza Andrade leads the team with 166 digs, 3.32 ps. She has recorded three matches with 20+ digs - 24 vs. Evansville, 21 against Omaha and 20 versus Quinnipiac. She has been the starting libero for the past six matches.
TOURNAMENT TITLE: For the first time since the 2011 season, the San José State won its first tournament title at the UMass Lowell Invitational. The team defeated UMass Lowell (3-), Quinnipiac (3-1) and Holy Cross (3-1). The Spartans last won a tournament title at the Hilton Stockton Invitational where the team was 3-1 on September 9 & 10, 2011.
ALL-TOURNAMENT SELECTIONS: Seven Spartan players were named to four all-tournament teams during the first four weeks of action. Sara Hibbs was named the Most Valuable Player of the UMass Lowell Invitational and was named to the San José State Invitational team. Nandyala Gama was named to the last two tournament teams - UMass Lowell Invitational and Chippewa Challenge. A complete listing can be found on page 3.
SEPTEMBER ON THE ROAD: This weekend marks the fourth consecutive road weekend for San José State. The team started the month in Texas at the UTRGV Tournament before traveling to Massachusetts for the UMass Lowell Tournament and to Michigan last weekend for the Chippewa Challenge.
HOME SWEET OCTOBER: After spending September on the road, the Spartans will play six of its 10 matches in Spartan Gym. The team starts the month with home matches against Air Force (1st) and New Mexico (3rd), then has for four consecutive home matches in the middle of the month- Wyoming (15th), Colorado State (17th), UNLV (22nd) and Fresno State (24th).
FIVE HITTERS, 10+ KILLS IN ONE MATCH: Five San José State hitters recorded 10 or more in the same match. In a 3-1 win over Omaha, Hana Tresnáková and Tyanna Roy led the team with 12 kills a piece. Sara Hibbs, Giulia Gávio and Nandyala Gama each added 10 kills.
BEST HITTING MATCHES OF SEASON: San José State has recorded the top-three hitting matches of the season in the last six contests. The team hit .298 (55-18-124) in a 3-1 win over Omaha on September 18, .284 (43-18-88) in a 3-0 win at UMass Lowell on September 11, and .281 (40-13-96) at Central Michigan on September 19.
UP NEXT: San José State returns to Spartan Gym for the first time since August 29. The team opens the home portion of the MW schedule with matches against Air Force on Thursday, October 1 at 6 p.m., and versus New Mexico on Saturday, October 3, at 1 p.m. Admission to all Spartan home matches is free.