Volleyball Hosts Final Three Matches

This Week:
Thurs., Nov. 10    New Mexico State    Spartan Gym    7:00 p.m. PST
Sat., Nov. 12    Louisiana Tech    Spartan Gym    7:00 p.m. PST
Tues., Nov. 15    Texas Tech    Spartan Gym    7:00 p.m. PST

SPARTANS HOST FINAL THREE REGULAR SEASON MATCHES:  In a matter of six days, the Spartans will plays its final three home matches of the season and will begin preparation for the 2011 Western Athletic Volleyball Tournament.  San Jose State hosts New Mexico State Thursday night, Louisiana Tech Saturday night, and Texas Tech next Tuesday, November 15.  All three matches will be play at Spartan Gym, located on the corner of Fourth and San Carlos Streets.

SENIOR NIGHT:  The three Spartan volleyball seniors will be honored prior to the Louisiana Tech match Saturday night.  Brianna Amian, Asia Casino and Kylie Miraldi will be playing in their final home WAC match in a Spartan uniform.  Amian is a five-year member of the team after redshirting in 2009.  Casino is a three-year member of the team after transferring from UC Davis.  Miraldi is a four-year starter for the Spartans at middle blocker.  Amian and Miraldi are part of a quartet that hold the San Jose State single-match record for total blocks at 14, and part of a trio that holds the SJSU single-match record for block assists at 14.

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.”

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 NEW MEXICO STATE:  The Aggies enter Thursday night’s game with a 20-7 overall record and a 9-3 WAC mark, good for second in the standings.  The team swept Fresno State and Nevada last week at home.  Head coach Mike Jordan is in his 14th year at the school.  Meredith Hays leads the WAC in kills with 406, 4.32 per set, while Michele Kuester is third in blocks with 109, 1.24 ps.
    New Mexico State leads the overall series 21-9 and has won the past 19 meetings.  San Jose State last won a match in the series in 1994, a 3-0 win in Las Cruces.  In the earlier meeting this season, the Aggies swept the Spartans, 3-0.  Krista Miller hit .571 in the match with eight kills on 14 attempts with no errors.

ABOUT LOUISIANA TECH:  The Lady Techsters begin the week with a 9-20 overall record and an 0-12 WAC mark.  The team plays in Hawaii Thursday night before traveling to San Jose.  Head coach Matt Sonnichsen is in his fourth year at the school and 13th as a head coach.  Clara Vido leads the team with 210 kills, 2.73 ps, while Caitlin Germany is the team’s leader in blocks with 59, 0.71 ps.
    San Jose State leads the series with a 15-2 record.  The Spartans won the earlier meeting, 3-0, as the team hit .354, and Alex Akana led the team with a .750 hitting percentage and Kylie Miraldi had 11 kills.

ABOUT TEXAS TECH:  The Red Raiders begin the week with a 15-11 overall record but a 1-10 record in the Big 12.  The team hosts Texas on Wednesday and Kansas on Saturday before traveling to San Jose for next Tuesday’s match.  Head coach Don Flora is in his first season as head coach at Texas Tech after spending the past two seasons as the assistant coach at New Mexico State.  Senior outside hitter Amanda Dowdy leads the team with 361 kills, 4.06 ps, while junior outside hitter Miara Cave is first in blocks with 87, 0.98 ps.
    San Jose State won the only meeting between the two teams, 3-1, at the Lady Ute Invitational to start the 1988 season.

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 46-97 coaching record in five seasons.

EARLIEST ROAD FINISH IN SCHOOL HISTORY:  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 FOURTH AMONG SJSU CAREER ASSISTS LEADERS:  After starting the season in 10th place, Caitlin Andrade is now fourth on the San Jose State career assists list with 2,622.  She moved into fourth with 33 assists in a home match against #7 Hawaii.  She would need 418 assists to move into third place.  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.  Caitlin Andrade    2622    2009-C
  5.  Teri DeBusk    2555    1984-85
  6.  Kristina Conrad    2548    2003-06
  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 168.5 blocks with at least three matches remaining in the season.  The total number of blocks is the most since 2008 when the team recorded 189.  Alex Akana leads the team with 72 blocks, eight solo and 64 assists, while Kylie Miraldi 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 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.

2011 WAC TOURNAMENT:  The 2011 WAC Volleyball Tournament will be held Nov. 21-23 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.

Tickets are currently on sale through the Spartan Athletics Ticket Office at (408) 924-SJTX.

Monday, Nov. 21 (Quarterfinals)
No. 3 Seed vs. No. 6 Seed    5:00 p.m.  
No. 4 Seed vs. No. 5 Seed    7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov 22 (Semifinals)
Winner Match 1 vs. No. 2 seed    5:00 p.m.  
Winner Match 2 vs. No. 1 Seed    7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 23 (Championship)
Winner Match 3 vs. Winner Match 4    6:00 p.m. (ESPNU)

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.

    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

FIRST WIN AT PACIFIC IN 21 YEARS:  With the 3-1 over Pacific at the Hilton Stockton Invitational, it marked the first time San Jose State has won at the Spanos Center since September 18, 1990.  Since 1990, the Spartans have played in Stockton eight times.

GREAT BLOCKING NIGHT:  With 16.0 team blocks against UC Riverside (1 solo, 30 assists), the Spartans collected the most blocks in a match in over four years.  In the match against the Highlanders, Kylie Miraldi tied the school match record with 14 block assists.  Savanah Leaf had seven block assists, while Caitlin Andrade added a career-best five block assists.  The last time San Jose State had at least 16 blocks was a 2-3 loss to San Francisco on September 12, 2007.  That night, the Spartans had 19.5 blocks in the match with three solos and 33 assists.  Current Spartan Brianna Amian tied the school record in her Spartan home debut with 14 block assists.

DOUBLE-DOUBLES:  Five Spartan players have recorded 13 double-doubles this season.  Savanah Leaf recorded her first two collegiate double-doubles with 11 kills and 14 digs against Denver and 21 kills and 14 digs against Arizona State.  Taylor Japhet had her first double-double of the season with 19 kills and 10 digs against Denver.  Caitlin Andrade has four double-doubles on the season, highlighted by 51 assists and 21 digs in win at Pacific.  Krista Miller had her first career double-double with 10 kills and 17 digs against UC Santa Barbara.  Kylie Miraldi recorded her first double-double with 11 kills and a school-record tying 14 blocks against UC Riverside.

MILLER NAMED ALL-TOURNAMENT:  Krista Miller was named to the Fiesta Bowl All-Tournament team.  She led the team in kills against Northern Arizona with nine and added nine kills and nine digs against New Mexico.  She added seven digs and five blocks against the Lumberjacks and recorded seven kills in a win over Hampton.
UP NEXT:  After finishing the home schedule with Texas Tech on Tuesday, November 15, the Spartans will prepare for the 2011 WAC Volleyball Tournament, November 21-23, at the Orleans Arena.