Volleyball Heads To Utah State

This Week:
Thurs., Oct. 1 Utah State Logan, Utah 7:00 p.m. MDT

SPARTANS ON THE ROAD AGAIN: After two home matches last week, the San Jose State volleyball takes to the road again this week for one Western Athletic Conference match at Utah State Thursday night. The Spartans have their first Saturday without a match this season. The team actually has two consecutive Saturday’s off as the team plays at Hawaii next week on Friday, October 9, for the only match of the week.

LIVE STATS: Live stats will be available on the Utah State website at www.utahstateaggies.com. A link is also available on the San Jose State site at www.sjsuspartans.com and go to “Live Stats”.

LIVE VIDEO: Utah State offers fans an opportunity to watch a live video stream of Thursday night’s match. The feed is available for $9.95 through the Aggie web site at www.utahstateaggies.com.

ABOUT UTAH STATE: The Aggies enter the week with an 8-6 overall record and an 0-2 WAC mark. The team lost at New Mexico State, 3-0, and at Louisiana Tech, 3-2, last week. Head coach Grayson DuBose is in his fourth season at the school. Liz McArthur leads the team with 212 kills, 3.79 ps, while Shantell Durrant has a team-best 61 blocks, 1.20 ps.

San Jose State leads the overall series, 16-8-1. Utah State has won both regular season meetings each of the past two years, but the Spartans have upset the Aggies in the quarterfinals of the WAC Tournament each of the past two years.

SAN JOSE STATE HEAD COACH: Oscar Crespo is in his third season as head coach at his alma mater with a 27-45 coaching record. A 1990 graduate, Crespo was named head coach in March of 2007 as the program’s sixth head coach.

ROAD TRIP!: The Spartans play 12 of their first 14 matches of the 2009 season on the road. The team played its first 10 on the road, before two WAC matches at home. San Jose State now plays a single road match each of the next two weeks before returning home for three matches in five days the week of October 12. The team then goes back on the road for the final two weeks of October. San Jose Tate played four of its final seven matches in November at Spartan Gym.

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.

HOME DEBUT=BEST BLOCKING NIGHT: For the third consecutive year, a Spartan player has recorded one of their best blocking nights of their career in their home debut. This year, Krista Miller made her home debut on Thursday, September 24, against Idaho. She had a season-best seven block assists. Kylie Miraldi also had seven block assists in the match, a career-high for her. Last year, Miraldi recorded eight blocks, two solo and six assists, in her Spartan Gym debut. Two years ago, Brianna Amian made her Spartan Gym debut a record-setter. She tied the San Jose State single match block assists and total blocks records with 14 block assists against San Francisco.

TOUGH NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE:
The 2009 season found 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 in San Diego. San Jose State has two non-conference matches remaining - home with Sacramento State on October 13, and at Cal State Bakersfield on November 20.

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 1,180 in her four-year career. Tsukano needs 232 more digs to tie Dawnis Wilson for second place all-time. Jessie Shull holds the San Jose State career record at 2,260 digs.

DIGS TOTAL YEARS
1. Jessie Shull 2260 2003-06
2. Dawnis Wilson 1412 1988-91
3. Kristal Tsukano 1180 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.

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. Former setter Emily Burke had 40 assists, 15 digs and 10 kills.

K & T VOLLEYBLOG COMES TO THE WEB!: 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 volleyball home page on 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 112, 2.60 per set. She had 17 against Seattle, 16 against Boise State, 11 versus Eastern Washington and 10 against UC Irvine.

TSUKANO RECORDS FIRST DOUBLE-DOUBLE, NOW HAS TWO: 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. She recorded her second double-double last Saturday with 14 kills and 13 digs against Boise State.

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: Five remaining home Spartan matches will be broadcast on the Gold Zone at www.sjsuspartans.com - 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 three more home matches - Oct. 13, Oct. 15 and Nov. 2.

2009 WAC TOURNAMENT: 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 through the Spartan Ticket Office at 408-924-SJTX (7589).

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.

2009 WAC TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
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

TOURNAMENT LODGING:
Fans traveling to Las Vegas for the WAC Volleyball Tournament are encouraged to stay at the Orleans Hotel and Casino. Rates are $90.00 per night Friday and Saturday, November 20-21, and $35.00 per night Sunday through Wednesday, November 22-25, single or double occupancy, plus room tax and Resort Fee. For reservations, please call (800) 657-3267 and request WAC Volleyball Championship Fan Block or Group Code 9WACC11.

UP NEXT:
The Spartans play just one WAC match for the second consecutive week as the team travels to Hawaii for a match on Friday, October 9. First serve is set for 7 p.m. HDT/10 p.m. PDT.