BACK ON THE ROAD: After sleeping in their own beds the past two weeks, the San José State volleyball team heads back out on the road for matches this week at UNLV on Thursday and at New Mexico on Saturday. The Spartans are currently tied for eighth in the Mountain West standings with Fresno State at 3-7. The team went 1-1 last week, upsetting defending MW Champion Colorado State, 3-2, last Thursday before falling to Wyoming, 3-0, on Saturday.
LIVE STATS: Live stat links for the matches are available on the San José State website at www.SJSUSpartans.com.
ABOUT UNLV: The Rebels enter Thursday night's match with a 19-3 overall record and are second in the conference standings with an 8-2 MW mark. The team split a pair of conference matches last week, winning at Air Force, 3-0, before falling 3-0 at Boise State on Saturday. Bree Hammel leads the team with 316 kills, 3.85 per set, while Ashley Owens and Elsa Descamps are the team's top blockers with 98 and 94 respectively.
UNLV won the earlier meeting, 3-2, at Spartan Gym on October 1 (25-19, 23-25, 25-22, 27-29, 15-11). Giulia Gávio led the Spartans with 19 kills and had her third double-double of the season with 18 digs.
The two middle blockers for San José State hit a combined .412 for the match, led by Nandyala Gama at .524 with 12 kills on 21 attempts and only one error. She also recorded her first collegiate double-double with a team-best 10 blocks, one solo and nine assists. Thaliana Grajeda hit .333 with 13 kills on 30 attempts and three errors.
Series Record - Tied at 6-6.
First Meeting -W, 3-1, October 11, 1996, The Event Center
Last Meeting - L, 3-2, October 1, 2016, Spartan Gym
Last SJSU Win - 3-2, WAC Tournament - Quarterfinal Match
November 24, 1998, MGM Grand Garden, Las Vegas, Nev.
Current Streak - L5 Last 10 meetings - 4-6
ABOUT NEW MEXICO: The Lobos begin the week with a 12-12 overall record and a 2-8 MW mark. The team is 10th in the conference standings and hosts Fresno State Thursday night. Cassie House leads the team with 304 kills, 3.53 ps, while Ashley Kelsey is second in the MW in digs with 386, 4.29 ps.
San Jose State won the earlier meeting, 3-2 (19-25, 24-26, 25-19, 29-27, 15-13), on September 29, in Spartan Gym. The Spartans outhit the Lobos, .311 to .219. Five Spartans recorded double-digit kills in a match. Hana Tresnáková led the team with 16 kills, followed by Nandyala Gama at 15, Latahevai Lousi and Giulia Gávio at 14 and Thaliana Grajeda at 11.
Breann Robinson recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 56 assists and a career and team-best 19 digs. Luiza Andrade was one assist short of her second double-double of the year with 17 digs and nine assists. She also had three of the team's six service aces.
Series Record - New Mexico leads 13-4.
First Meeting - L, 2-0, September 26, 1981, San Jose, Calif.
Last Meeting - W, 3-2, September 29, 2016, Spartan Gym
Last SJSU Win - 3-2, September 29, 2016, Spartan Gym
Current Streak - W1
Last 10 meetings -1-9
HEAD COACH Jolene Shepardson: San José State head coach Jolene Shepardson is in her third season at the helm of the program. She has a 27-55 record in three seasons at SJSU, and a 70-102 coaching record in six seasons.
SPARTANS COME BACK TO UPSET DEFENDING MW CHAMPS: After falling behind 0-2, San José State rallied to win the next three sets and upset Mountain West leader Colorado State 3-2 (16-25, 14-25, 27-25, 25-22, 15-11) on October 20 at Spartan Gym.
The Spartans won over Colorado State for the first time since the 1998 season (WAC Tournament, Quarterfinal match). San José State also ended the Rams 31-MW match winning streak dating back to November 1, 2014, and the 14-straight MW matches CSU had won on the road.
Giulia Gávio led all hitters with 18 kills and recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 11 digs. Summer Avery led the Spartans in hitting at .321 with 12 kills on 28 attempts and only three errors. Thelma Grétarsdóttir added eight kills, two digs and two blocks.
Setter Breann Robinson recorded 44 assists, six digs and four blocks (1-3). Nandyala Gama led the Spartan blocking attack with six block assists and added seven kills. Defensively, Luiza Andrade led the team with 14 digs, and Jamie Hirai added 10 digs.
San José State lost the first two sets, 25-16 and 25-14, and hit .054 for those sets combined, while Colorado State was hitting .393 and had only six hitting errors.
The Rams even opened up a 13-6 lead in the third set, but the Spartans would not retreat. The team kept chipping away at the Ram lead before tying the set at 20-20. Colorado State had match point at 24-23 but a Grétarsdóttir kill tied the set at 24-24. The Spartans took the lead for good on a Gávio kill and won the set on a Gávio service ace, 27-25.
The fourth set featured 10 lead changes and 16 tied scores. Neither team led by more than three points (23-20 by SJSU) during the set, and the Spartans scored the final two points on a Colorado State service error and an Avery kill, 25-22.
The final set was all Spartans from the first serve, jumping out to a 4-1 lead. Colorado State got as close as 6-5 and 8-7, but SJSU kept grinding away to win 15-11 on Gama's seventh kill of the night.