Volleyball Looks To Keep Winning With Two Road Matches

This Week:
Thurs., Oct. 22 Louisiana Tech Ruston, La. 7:00 p.m. CDT
Sat., Oct. 24 New Mexico State Las Cruces, N.M. 1:00 p.m. MDT

After three home matches last week, San Jose State goes back on the road for the next two weeks to play four Western Athletic Conference matches. The Spartans go out of the Pacific time zone this week to play at Louisiana Tech on Thursday at 7 p.m. Central time and at New Mexico State Saturday at 1 p.m. Mountain time.

LIVE STATS: Live stats are available for both matches this week at www.latechsports.com and www.nmstatesports.com. The Spartan site will have a link located at “Live Stats.”

Both matches this week will have either live audio or video available on the internet. The Louisiana Tech match will have a video stream available on www.latechsports.com. The New Mexico State match will have live audio available at www.nmstatesports.com.

WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: For her play on the court last week, Caitlin Andrade was named the WAC Player of the Week. She tallied 133 assists, 49 digs, 14 kills and eight service aces over three matches. Andrade posted three double-doubles last week and has six consecutive dating back to Sept. 26. In the first match of the week against Sacramento State, she just missed a triple-double, finishing with 46 assists, a season-best 18 digs and eight kills. Andrade followed that up with 33 assists and 16 digs in a loss to New Mexico State. She saved her best for last and posted career highs of 54 assists and four service aces to go with 15 digs and five kills in a five-set win over Louisiana Tech. For the week, Andrade averaged 9.50 assists, 3.50 digs, 1.00 kills on .323 hitting and 0.57 service aces.

ABOUT LOUISIANA TECH: The Lady Techsters enter the week with a 12-12 overall record and a 2-6 WAC mark, tying for seventh in the standings. The team lost at Hawaii Monday night (3-0) before hosting the Spartans Thursday night. Head coach Matt Sonnichsen is in his season year at the school. Nataliya Panova leads the team with 190 kills, 2.21 ps.

San Jose State has won all 13 meetings in the series. The Spartans won this past Saturday night, 23-25, 25-21,25-19, 21-25, 15-12.

ABOUT NEW MEXICO STATE: The Aggies enter the week with an 11-7 overall record and a 6-2 WAC mark, good for second in the conference standings. The team hosts Fresno State Thursday night before hosting the Spartans on Saturday. Head coach Mike Jordan is in his 13th year at the school and has a 258-112 record. Junior Kayleigh Giddens is fourth in the WAC in kills with 200, 3.57 ps, while Krista Altermatt has 177 kills, 2.77 ps.

New Mexico State holds a 17-9 advantage in the series and has won the last 15 meetings, dating back to the 1994 season. The Aggies won last week’s contest, 25-11, 25-16, 19-25, 25-23, in Spartan Gym.

SAN JOSE STATE HEAD COACH: Oscar Crespo is in his third season as head coach at his alma mater with a 28-49 coaching record. A 1990 graduate, Crespo was named head coach in March of 2007 as the program’s sixth head coach.

VICTORY!: It took five sets and over two hours, but the Spartans got their first victory of the year over Louisiana Tech last Saturday night. Four Spartans recorded double-figure kills, led by Taylor Japhet and Kylie Miraldi who each 16. Krista Miller had a season-best 12 kills, while Alex Akana added 11. Miraldi hit a team-best .520 with her 16 kills on 25 swings and just three hitting errors.

On the blocking front, Akana led the team with five blocks, one solo and four assists. Japhet had four block assists, while Miller and Miraldi each added two block assists.

Caitlin Andrade recorded her sixth consecutive double-double with 54 assists and 15 digs and added five kills and four service aces. Kristal Tsukano had six kills, 15 digs and four assists, while Thao Pham led the team with 20 digs.

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.

JAPHET LEADS TEAM IN KILLS: Freshman Taylor Japhet leads the Spartans in kills with 164, 2.60 per set. She had double-figure kills in seven matches - 17 against Seattle, 16 versus Boise State and Louisiana Tech, 14 at Utah State, 11 versus Eastern Washington and 10 against UC Irvine and Sacramento State

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 lost a close five-set match to Sacramento State at home last Tuesday. The team finishes the regular season at CS 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 1,242 in her four-year career. Tsukano needs 170 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 1242 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.

ROAD TRIP!: The Spartans played 12 of their first 14 matches of the 2009 season on the road, including the first 10 matches. The team opened its home schedule with two WAC matches before playing single road matches each of the past two weeks. After playing three matches at home last week, San Jose State is back on the road for the final two weeks of October but plays four of its final seven matches in November at Spartan Gym.

ANDRADE’S DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Caitlin Andrade begins the week with a six-match streak of recording a double-double. She started the streak in September with 49 assists and 11 digs against Boise State on the 26th. Andrade then went on the road and had 31 assists and 10 digs at Utah State and 12 assists and 10 digs at #4 Hawaii. She returned home and had three double-doubles last week.

HOME SWEET HOME: This year’s home-opener was the latest in 10 years when the team played Idaho on September 24. The 1999 team opened the year on September 24, with a 3-0 win over Saint Mary’s. The latest for a home opener was October 1 in 1992 (L, 3-0, Long Beach State) and 1977 with the SJSU Invitational.

In just her sixth match in a Spartan uniform, 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.

TSUKANO RECORDS FIRST DOUBLE-DOUBLE, NOW HAS THREE: It took her fourth season, but senior Kristal Tsukano recorded her first double-double of her Spartan career with 11 kills and 18 digs against Eastern Washington. She recorded her second double-double against Boise State with 14 kills and 13 dig and third versus Sacramento State with 15 kills and 17 digs.

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.

AUDIO BROADCASTS: Three remaining home Spartan matches will be broadcast on the Gold Zone at www.sjsuspartans.com - Nov. 5, Nov. 7 and Nov. 19.

KSJS, 90.5 FM, the San Jose State student radio station, is broadcasting one more home match on 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 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

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 continue on the road with matches at Nevada on Thursday, October 29, and at Fresno State on Saturday, October 31. Both matches begin at 7 p.m.

San Jose State returns home on Monday, November 2, to face #3 Hawaii in Spartan Gym at 7 p.m.