Volleyball Hosts Two WAC Foes This Week

This Week:
Thurs., Oct. 30
Fresno State
Spartan Gym
7:00 p.m. PDT

Sat., Nov. 1
Spartan Gym
7:00 p.m. PDT

SPARTANS HOST TWO WAC FOES: After playing two nationally ranked teams last week, San Jose State returns home for two Western Athletic Conference matches at Spartan Gym. The Spartans host Fresno State on Thursday and Idaho on Saturday.

TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets for all San Jose State home volleyball matches are $5 for adults and $3 for youth 12 and under. Kids wearing their volleyball jersey can buy $1 tickets at the door. Also, groups of 20 or more can buy discounted tickets of $3 per person. The ticket office opens one hour prior to first serve at Spartan Gym. For more ticket information, please call 408-924-SJTX (7589).

ABOUT FRESNO STATE: The Bulldogs enter the match with a 5-14 overall record and a 2-8 WAC mark. The team lost in Hawaii, 3-1, Sunday afternoon. Head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell is in her first year at the school and has a 48-33 coaching record in three seasons. Brianna Clarke has 207 kills, 2.96 per set, while Baylee Platt has 197 kills, 3.08 per set.

San Jose State leads the overall series, 44-21, and has won the past five meetings including a 3-0 win at Fresno State on September 27. In that match, Kelly Crow led the Spartans with 11 kills and 10 digs.

ABOUT IDAHO: The Vandals enter the week with a 14-7 overall record and a 7-3 WAC mark. The team plays at Utah State on Thursday before traveling to San Jose. Idaho swept Boise State, 3-0, last Saturday. Head coach Debbie Buchanan is in her ninth year at the school with a 129-129 coaching record. Haley Larsen leads the WAC in kills with 351, 4.39 per set.

San Jose State has the slight 5-4 advantage in the all-time series. Idaho won the earlier meeting this season, 3-1. Brianna Amian led the Spartans with 13 kills and added eight digs.

SAN JOSE STATE HEAD COACH: Oscar Crespo begins his second 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 22-28 coaching record in two seasons.

The Spartans played two nationally-ranked teams last week. The team faced Santa Clara last Tuesday and lost 25-22, 13-25, 20-25, 22-25.

Kelly Crow led San Jose State with 15 kills and added seven digs. Colleen Burke added eight kills and two blocks. Kylie Miraldi led the team with five blocks and added seven kills, while Brianna Amian added seven kills and five digs. Nia Freeman added seven kills, four blocks and two digs from the right side.

The Spartans won the first set, 25-22. The two teams tied seven times, but San Jose State did not let Santa Clara take a lead. The Spartans led by as many as five points at 9-4. The two teams were tied at 19-19, but Emily Burke recorded a kill to extend the Spartan lead to 23-20, and Crow recorded a kill to give San Jose State the win. The Spartans hit .448 for the set with 16 kills on 29 attempts and only three hitting errors.

Last Friday, San Jose State played at Hawaii and lost 25-12, 25-22, 26-24. Hawaii natives Brianna Amian and Kristal Tsukano recorded the Spartans top performances in the match. Amian led the team in kills with eight and blocks with four assists. Tsukano led the team with 11 digs.

CAREER RANKINGS: Four current Spartans rank among San Jose State career leaders. Niki Clement is ninth in kills with 1,154. She needs 83 kills to move into eighth place with Barbara Higgins at 1,237. Clement is sixth in kill attempts at 3,090. Clement is 10th in block assists with 227, and is four total blocks shy of the top-10. She begins the week with 263 total blocks.

Colleen Burke moved into 10th place in career kills in last week’s match at Hawaii. She enters the week with 1,102 kills. Burke is also second in hitting percentage at .313, eighth in block assists at 263 and tied for eighth in total blocks at 282.

Two Spartans are in the top-10 in career assists. Emily Burke is ninth with 1,907 assists, while Brittany Collet is 10th with 1,546 assists.

1,000 CAREER KILL CLUB: For only the second time in school history, two Spartan volleyball players joined the 1,000 career kill club in the same season. They became the 1th and 12 Spartan players to accomplish this milestone.

Niki Clement recorded her 1,000th career kill against Arizona on August 29. Colleen Burke hit the 1,000 career kill mark against Sacramento State on September 6.

The only other time in school history that this happened was during the 1986 season when All-American Lisa Ice and Christa Cook recorded their 1,000th career kills.

SERVING NINE CONSECUTIVE: During the third set of the Idaho match on October 11, Courtney Zellmer served nine consecutive points for the Spartans. San Jose State was down 20-14, before making a run to take the lead. Zellmer served nine consecutive points, including a service ace to give San Jose State a 24-20 lead en route to a 25-21 win. During the run, Colleen Burke had three kills and Emily Burke added a kill.

A perfect set is hard to do in volleyball. San Jose State had one against Boise State on October 9. The Spartans had a perfect hitting set with 19 kills on 37 attempts and no errors for a .514 percentage. San Jose State was also a perfect 11-of-11 on sideouts, meaning Boise State did not score any points off of their serves.

STRONG SERVING NIGHT: In the victory over Louisiana Tech, San Jose State recorded a season-best 11 service aces. Colleen Burke led the team with five aces, including three in a row in the second set. Thao Pham added two service aces, while Kelly Crow, Courtney Zellmer, Emily Burke and Kristal Tsukano each added one ace.

ALL HITTERS ON BOARD: San Jose State had one of its best hitting nights of the season against Louisiana Tech. The team hit .336 with 49 kills on 110 attempts and only 12 errors. Three Spartans hit .500 or better in the match - Kylie Miraldi at .667 (8-0-12), Kelly Crow at .630 (17-0-27) and Colleen Burke at .533 (8-0-15).

CROW TEAM LEADER FOR SPARTANS: Kelly Crow continues to have a strong season for San Jose State. She leads the team in kills with 282, 3.44 per set. She also has 191 digs, 2.33 ps, and is hitting .248 for the season. Crow also leads the team in WAC play in kills with 130, 3.71 ps.

COLLET STRONG IN TWO WAC ROAD WINS: Brittany Collet had two strong performances for the Spartans in the team’s wins at Nevada and at Fresno State. She came off the bench in the first set against Nevada and recorded her first double-double of the year and the ninth of her career with 49 assists and 15 digs. Collet started at setter at Fresno State and ended the match with 28 assists and eight digs. For the two matches, she averaged 9.62 assists, 2.88 digs and 0.25 aces per set.

TRIPLE-DOUBLE ACCOMPLISHMENT: Emily Burke recorded a triple-double against Saint Mary’s on September 5. She became the only setter in Spartan history to accomplish this feat. Burke had 40 assists, 15 digs and 10 kills in the match. The triple-double feat has only been accomplished in 11 matches in school history.

MIRALDI HOME DEBUT FULL OF BLOCKS: Freshman Kylie Miraldi made her collegiate home debut a memorable match on September 1. Against St. John’s, she had a team-best two solo blocks and six block assists for eight total blocks. Miraldi added three kills and an assist in three sets played that day.

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM SELECTIONS: Kelly Crow and Colleen Burke were named to the Four Points Sheraton LAX/LMU Volleyball Classic All-Tournament team. Emily Burke was named to the Sacramento State Invitational All-Tournament team. Niki Clement and Kelly Crow were named to the Sheraton Four Points Wildcat Classic All-Tournament team.

EMILY BURKE HONORED BY WAC: Emily Burke was named Western Athletic Conference Volleyball Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 1-7. This is the first WAC Player of the Week honor for Burke.

She tallied 146 assists, 33 digs and 21 kills over four matches that week. Burke averaged 10.43 assists and 2.36 digs per set. She was named to the Sacramento State Invitational All-Tournament Team after becoming the first setter in school history to record a triple-double in a match. Burke accomplished the feat against Saint Mary’s7 with 40 assists, 15 digs and a career-high 10 kills. She also hit .571 on the match. She added a double-double vs. Sacramento State, finishing with 48 assists and 11 digs.

BURKE, CLEMENT NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-WAC TEAM: Colleen Burke and Niki Clement were named to the 12-person Preseason All-Western Athletic Conference volleyball team as selected by the conference’s nine head coaches.

Burke was a first team All-WAC selection last season and led the team in hitting with a .343 percentage, the fourth-best in school history. She is second all-time in hitting with a .314 percentage and recorded her 1,000th career kill this season to join an elite club at San Jose State. Burke averaged 2.61 kills and 0.70 blocks per game last year.

Clement was a second team All-WAC pick last year. She averaged 3.37 kills and 3.40 digs per game last season. She joined the group of former Spartans with 1,000 or more career kills this season.

WAC TOURNAMENT IN HAWAII: The 2008 WAC Volleyball Tournament moves to the Stan Sheriff Center on the University of Hawaii Manoa campus. The tournament will be held on November 20, 21, and 23.

LIVE STATS: All home San Jose State volleyball matches will have live statistics available on the Spartan web site at www.sjsuspartans.com.

UP NEXT: The Spartans play two matches next week. The team starts on the road at Utah State on Thursday at 7 p.m. MDT. San Jose State then returns to Spartan Gym for the final home match of the season against Nevada on Saturday, November 8, at 2 p.m. Prior to the match, this year’s senior class will be honored - Amber Biddle, Colleen Burke, Niki Clement, Brittany Collet, Kelly Crow and Nia Freeman.