Volleyball Hosts #7 Hawaii Tuesday Night

This Week:
Tues., Oct. 25    #7 Hawai’i    Spartan Gym    7:00 p.m. PDT
Thurs., Oct. 27    Nevada    Reno, Nev.    7:00 p.m. PDT
Sat. Oct. 29    Fresno State    Fresno, Calif.    7:00 p.m. PDT

SPARTANS HOST HAWAI’I, PLAY FINAL ROAD MATCHES:  In a matter of five days this week, San Jose State hosts #7 Hawai’i and plays its final two regular season road matches.  The team faces the Rainbow Wahine Tuesday night in a Western Athletic Conference match at Spartan Gym.  The Spartans then play at Nevada on Thursday and at Fresno State on Saturday to finish off the regular season road schedule.  San Jose State is currently tied for fifth in the WAC standings with Utah State at 4-5.  The top-six teams advance to WAC Tournament at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, November 21-23.

WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK:  Freshman Savanah Leaf was named the WAC Player of the Week after leading the Spartans to a 2-0 week with wins over Utah State and Idaho.  She averaged 3.56 kills, 3.44 digs, 0.44 blocks and 4.06 points per set. Against Utah State, Leaf posted her fifth double-double of the season with 13 kills and 14 digs to go along with four blocks and three assists. Against Idaho, she had a match-high 19 kills and 17 digs for her sixth double-double of the year. It was the first time the Spartans have won two WAC home matches in the same week since the 2007 season.

LIVE STATS: This week’s matches will have live stats with links available on the Spartan website at www.SJSUSpartans.com and go to “Live Stats.”

LIVE AUDIO:  The San Jose State-Hawai’i match will be broadcast on KSJS-FM, 90.5 FM, the student radio station. 

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 home Spartan volleyball matches are available at the door on match day or payable through Ticketmaster.com.  Prices are $5 for adults, $3 for youth 12 and under and $1 for club players in their jersey.  Doors open at 6 p.m.

ABOUT #7 HAWAI’I:  The Rainbow Wahine enter the match with a 21-1 overall record and in first place in the WAC with a 9-0 record.  The team’s only loss (3-1) came against UCLA in early September.  Head coach Dave Shoji is in his 37th season at the helm of the program.  All-American Kanani Danielson leads the team with 302 kills, 4.03 per set.  Emily Hartong leads the WAC in hitting percentage at .396, while Brittany Hewitt has a conference-best 107 blocks, 1.43 ps.
    Hawai’i holds a 65-4 advantage in the season series.  The Spartans last win in the series came in 1993 when the team won 3-2 at The Event Center.

ABOUT NEVADA:  The Wolf Pack enter Thursday night’s match with a 4-16 overall record and a 1-7 WAC mark.  The team split a pair of matches, defeating Seattle 3-0 before falling at Fresno State 3-1.  Head coach Ruth Lawanson is in her first year at the helm of the program.  Janelle Batista leads the team with 179 kills, 2.75 ps, while Tessa Lea’ea is hitting .333 with 177 kills.
    San Jose State leads the series, 24-16, and won the earlier meeting this season, 3-0, on October 1.

ABOUT FRESNO STATE:  The Bulldogs begin the week with a 10-11 overall record and a 4-4 WAC mark, good for fourth in the standings.  Head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell is in her fourth year at the helm of the program.  Brianna Clarke leads the team with 181 kills, 2.35 ps, and blocks at 74, 0.96 ps.
    San Jose State leads the overall series, 45-26, but the Bulldogs have won the past five meetings between the two teams including a 3-2 win on September 29 at Spartan Gym.

SAN JOSE STATE HEAD COACH:  Oscar Crespo is in his fifth season as head coach at his alma mater.  A 1990 graduate, Crespo has a 45-95 coaching record in five seasons.

LAST WEEK RECAP:  The Spartans won a pair of home WAC matches for the first time since the 2008 season.  San Jose State started the week by taking a four-set match from Utah State.  Savanah Leaf led the team with 13 kills, 14 digs and four blocks, one solo and three assists.  Kylie Miraldi hit .429 for the match (10-1-21), and Kiely Pieper had a team-best 15 digs.
    The Spartans then won the odd sets against Idaho last Saturday to win in five sets.  Three players recorded double-doubles, four had double-digit kills and five had double-digit digs.  Hanah Blume and Krista Miller each recorded 20 digs, while Leaf, Caitlin Andrade and Miller had double-doubles.

With the final two regular season road matches this weekend, San Jose State finishes its road regular season the earliest in school history (conference and postseason tournaments excluded.)  Twice in school history, the team played just one road game in the month of November - 2004 in Hawai’i and 1983 at Pacific.

ANDRADE CLOSES IN ON FIFTH & FOURTH AMONG CAREER ASSISTS LEADERS:  After starting the season in 10th place, Caitlin Andrade has the chance to move into fourth place on the San Jose State career assists list by the end of the week.  She begins the week with 2,528 assists, just 20 assists away from Kristina Conrad in sixth place at 2,548. and 27 assists from Teri DeBusk in fifth place at 2,555.  Starting the year in 10th place, Andrade moved from 10th to eighth place during the Pacific match with 51 assists.  She moved into seventh with 12 against Sacramento State and sixth with 39 against Utah State.

ASSISTS (since 1984)    TOTAL    YEARS
  1.  Michelle Sarkees    5482    1996-99
  2.  Melizza Benitez    3257    1992-95
  3.  Savannah Smith    3040    1998-01
  4.  Teri DeBusk    2555    1984-85
  5.  Kristina Conrad    2548    2003-06
  6.  Caitlin Andrade    2528    2009-C
  7.  Danielle Spier    2461    1984-87
  8.  Susie Laymon    2330    1986-89
  9.  Jennifer Liston    2102    1991-92
10.  Emily Burke    2092    2007-08

BLOCKING NUMBERS UP:  This year’s Spartan block is the best for San Jose State since 2008.  The team enters this week’s matches with 151 blocks with at least six matches remaining in the season.  The total number of blocks is the most since 2008 when the team recorded 189.  Kylie Miraldi leads the team with 65 blocks, eight solo and 57 assists, while Alex Akana follows closely with 64.  Both of their season totals are the highest for their Spartan career.  The last time the team had at least two players with 50+ blocks was 2008 with Nia Freeman (81), Colleen Burke (67) and Brianna Amian (57).

WAC OPENERS:  For the first time since the 2007 season, the team started WAC play on the road.  For the past three years, San Jose State opened conference at home.  The Spartans opened 2007 play at Utah State where the team lost 3-1.  Since joining the conference, San Jose State is 5-10 in WAC openers and last won a WAC opener in 2005 with a 3-2 home win over Idaho.

WINNERS - HILTON STOCKTON INVITATIONAL:  With a 3-1 record last week, San Jose State won the Hilton Stockton Invitational title with wins over host Pacific, CSU Bakersfield and UC Riverside.  The Spartans had not won a tournament title since the 2007 season when the team won the ASU/Bancorp South Classic and the UVU/La Quinta Inn & Suites Invitational.  San Jose State opened the tournament with a 3-1 win over host Pacific, defeated CSU Bakersfield, 3-0, dropped a four-set match to Loyola Marymount before winning against UC Riverside, 3-1. 

Two Spartans were honored for their performances at the Hilton Stockton Invitational.  Kylie Miraldi was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament after hitting .378 and recorded 24 blocks including 14 block assists against UC Riverside and three solo blocks versus Pacific.  Caitlin Andrade was named to the all-tournament team after recording double-doubles in three of the four Spartan matches.  She averaged 9.47 assists, 3.73 digs and 0.66 blocks for the weekend.

MIRALDI TIES TWO SJSU MATCH RECORDS:  Senior Kylie Miraldi tied two San Jose State match records with her 14 block assists against UC Riverside.  She tied current teammate Briana Amian and Liz Hudson for the block assists record, and Amian, Hudson and Mandy McMahon for the total blocks record.  Below are the two records and when they were set.

Match:    14 - Kylie Miraldi, vs. UC Riverside, 9/17/2011
    14 – Brianna Amian, vs. San Francisco, 9/12/2007
    14 - Liz Hudson vs. Idaho, 11/24/2001


14 (0 solo, 14 assists) - Kylie Miraldi, vs. UC Riverside, 9/17/2011
14 (0 solo, 14 assists) - Brianna Amian, vs. San Francisco, 9/12/2007
14 (0 solo, 14 assists) - Liz Hudson, vs. Idaho, 11/24/2001
14 (5 solo, 9 assists) - Mandy McMahon at Fresno State, 10/7/1983

UP NEXT:  After three matches in five days this week, the team will have next week off before returning to action for the final three regular season matches at Spartan Gym.  The Spartans host New Mexico State on Thursday, November 10, Louisiana Tech on Saturday, November 12, and Texas Tech on Tuesday, November 15.