Volleyball Home This Week

This Week:
Thurs. Oct 7    New Mexico State    Spartan Gym    7:00 p.m. PDT
Sat. Oct. 9    Louisiana Tech    Spartan Gym    7:00 p.m. PDT

BACK HOME IN OCTOBER:  San Jose State returns to Spartan Gym this week to begin a stretch that finds the Spartans playing six of its next seven matches at home.  The only road match over the next four weeks is next Friday at Hawaii.  This week, San Jose State hosts New Mexico State and Louisiana Tech in Western Athletic Conference matches.  The Spartan are also coming off the longest roadtrip of the season that saw the team go 1-2 with a win at Utah State last Saturday night.  Saturday night’s match has been designated a “Dig Pink” night to raise breast cancer awareness

DIG PINK:  This Saturday night’s match has been designated a “Dig Pink” night to help raise awareness and money in the fight against breast cancer.  Players will be wearing pink jerseys, and fans are encouraged to wear pink to the match.  Fans who want to donate to the Side-Out Foundation, an organization that awards grants to medical research organizations and entities dedicated to providing compassionate support to breast cancer patients and their families, should go to :  http://www.side-out.org/application/teams/team_page/2725.

LIVE STATS: Both 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.

TICKETS:  Tickets for this week’s matches are available at the door the day of the match or payable through Ticketmaster.com.  Prices are $5 for adults and $3 for youth 12 and under.

ABOUT NEW MEXICO STATE:  The Aggies enter Thursday night’s match with an 8-9 overall record and a 2-1 WAC  mark.  The team lost to Hawaii, 3-0, and Arizona, 3-1, last week.  Head coach Mike Jordan is in his 13th year at the school.   Kayleigh Giddens leads the WAC in kills with 279, 4.73 ps, and points with 308, 5.22 ps.  Setter Jennah DeVries is averaged 10.75 assists per match.

    New Mexico State leads the overall series, 18-9, and has won the last 16 meetings between the two teams dating back to the 1994 season.

ABOUT LOUISIANA TECH:  The Lady Techsters begin the week with a 10-8 overall record and an 0-3 WAC mark.  The team plays at Fresno State Thursday night before traveling to San Jose.  Head coach Matt Sonnichsen is in his second season at the school.  Taylor Fritz leads the team in kills with 161, 2.73 ps, while Kara Jones is second in kills with 138, 2.51 ps, and the team leader in blocks with 39, 0.71 ps. 

    San Jose State leads the overall series, 13-1, but the two teams split a pair of matches in the 2009 season.  Each won on their homecourt.

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 35-71 coaching record in four seasons.

WIN IN LOGAN:  For the first time since 1995, San Jose State won a match at Utah State.  The Spartans’ 3-1 win on October 2 is the first win against Utah State not at home or on a neutral court since 1995.  That year, both teams were members of the Big West Conference.  San Jose State won two matches in Logan that year.  Since those two wins, the Spartans have only defeated the Aggies inside Spartan Gym (2006) or on a neutral court (1999, 2007, 2008).

WE LIKE FIVE-SET MATCHES:  Three of the Spartans seven victory matches have gone the distance this year.  San Jose State is 3-1 in five-set matches, including a win over Idaho this past Saturday.  In all four five-set matches, the Spartans have started the evening by winning the first set, followed by a loss in the second set.  Then, the Spartans have split sets three and four, winning twice and losing twice.  In the fifth set, San Jose State has won three sets, 46-35. 

WAC WIN!:  The Spartans needed five sets against Idaho, but San Jose State defeated the Vandals, 25-17, 21-25, 18-25, 25-15, 15-8 this past Saturday evening.  Taylor Japhet led the team with a career high 19 kills, while Sarah Griest and Brianna Amian added 11 kills apiece.  The Spartans hit .252 for the match and outdug Idaho, 64-47.

ROAD WAC WOES ENDED!:  This past Saturday night, the Spartans stopped a streak they did not like.  For the first time since November 13, 2008, the Spartans won a road WAC match.  With the win at Utah State, San Jose State stopped a 10-match WAC road losing streak, dating back to a 3-2 win at Louisiana Tech on November 13, 2008.  The Spartans did defeat Utah State, 3-2, on  November 20, 2008, but that match was at the WAC Tournament in Honolulu.  San Jose State lost all nine WAC road matches last year and the final road match of 2008.

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 175 kills, 2.92 per set, and has 141 digs, 2.35 per set.  After coming off the bench the first two matches of the season, Blume has started every match since then.  She has recorded four double-doubles this season including the past two matches.  Blume recorded a season-best 20 kills in a win over Portland State and double-figure kills in nine matches.

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. 

TURNER DIGGING HER MARK:  Starting libero Katie Turner is the team’s leader in digs with 204, 3.24 ps.  She has recorded 10 or more digs in the past 11 matches.  Turner started the streak with a career-best 24 digs against Portland State.  She has a total of three matches with 20 or more digs - 23 against Boise State and 21 at Idaho.

ANDRADE SETTING HER WAY:  Spartan setter Caitlin Andrade is averaging 9.55 assists per set and collected a season-best 50 against Portland State, UNLV, Boise State and Idaho.  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 36, 0.55 per set.  She recorded a career-best eight block assists against Gonzaga and added six blocks at Utah State, one solo and five assists.

UP NEXT:  San Jose State plays just one match next week as the team travels to Hawaii for a WAC match on Friday, October 15.  First serve is set for 7 p.m. HDT/10 p.m. PDT.