Volleyball Begins Homestand With Pacific, Fresno State

This Week:
Tues., Oct. 19    Pacific        Spartan Gym        7:00 p.m. PDT
Sat., Oct. 23    Fresno State    Spartan Gym        1:00 p.m. PDT

SPARTANS IN THE CONFINES OF SPARTAN GYM FOR NEXT TWO WEEKS:  San Jose State finishes month of October at home with four matches over the next two weeks.  This week, the Spartans host Pacific in a non-conference match on Tuesday before hosting Fresno State in a Western Athletic Conference match Saturday afternoon.  

LIVE STATS: This week's matches will have live stats with a link 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 PACIFIC:  The Tigers enter Tuesday night's match with an 11-8 overall record and are 4-4 in the Big West Conference.  The team split a pair of home conference matches over the weekend, losing in three to UC Santa Barbara but defeating Cal Poly 3-2.  Head coach Greg Gibbons is in his first year at the school.  Svenja Engelhardt leads the team with 331 kills, 4.53 ps, while Gabby Cowden is the team's leader in blocking with 62, 0.85 ps.

    Pacific holds a 38-9 lead in the series and won last year's meeting in Stockton.  The last time the two teams met in Spartan Gym, the match was interrupted in the second set with a 5.6 earthquake

ABOUT FRESNO STATE:  The Bulldogs begin the week with a 7-11 overall record and a 2-5 WAC mark after losing 0-3 Sunday at Hawaii.  The team plays at Cal State Bakersfield Wednesday night before traveling to San Jose.  Head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell is in her third year at the school.  Marissa Brand leads the team in kills with 204, 3.14 ps, while Brianna Clark is the team leader in blocks with 84, 1.29 ps.

    San Jose State holds a 45-23 lead in the overall series.  Fresno State won both meetings last season, but the Spartans had won seven of the previous eight meetings from 2005-08.

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 36-73 coaching record in four seasons.

HOME SWEET OCTOBER:  The Spartans can make an impact on their win-loss record in the month of October as the team plays six of its nine matches at Spartan Gym.  The team started the month with road matches at Utah State and Idaho, before playing at home against Louisiana Tech and New Mexico State.  After a week that saw just one road match at Hawaii, San Jose State is home the rest of the month.  The team plays its final non-conference match of the season on Tuesday night against Pacific.  The Spartans then play three home WAC matches against Fresno State this Saturday and next week against Utah State an Nevada.  San Jose State starts this week with a 6-4 home record

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 eight victory matches have gone the distance this year.  San Jose State is 3-1 in five-set matches, including a win over Idaho on September 25.  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 on September 25 to break an 18-match conference losing streak, dating back to th 2008 season.  Taylor Japhet led the team with a career high 19 kills, while Sarah Griest and Brianna Amian each added 11 kills.  The Spartans hit .252 for the match and outdug Idaho, 64-47.

ROAD WAC WOES ENDED!:  On October 2, 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 the first seven matches of the year, 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 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 her presence known on the 2010 Spartan team.  She leads the team with 194 kills, 2.81 per set, and has 159 digs, 2.30 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.  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 231, 3.21 ps.  She has recorded 10 or more digs in the past 12 of the past 14 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 9.51 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.  With at least nine matches remaining this season, Andrade is on pace to smash her season best 772 assists from last year.  She begins the week with 713 assists and needs just 191 assists to move into the top-10 all-time San Jose State career assists list.

AKANA LEADS THE BLOCK:  Sophomore Alex Akana leads the Spartans in blocks with 42, 0.56 per set.  She recorded a career-best eight block assists against Gonzaga and added six blocks at Utah State, one solo and five assists.

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 the Spartan Athletics Ticket Office. For more information on the WAC Volleyball Tournament, visit www.wacsports.com.

UP NEXT:  San Jose State continues its October homestand with two WAC matches.  The team hosts Utah State on Thursday, October 28, and Nevada on Saturday, October 30.  Both matches begin at 7 p.m., inside Spartan Gym, located on the corner of Fourth and San Carlos Streets.