Volleyball Plays Final WAC Road Matches

This Week:
Thurs., Nov. 12 Idaho Moscow, Idaho 7:00 p.m. PST
Sat., Nov. 14 Boise State Boise, Idaho 7:00 p.m. MST

SPARTANS FINAL WAC ROAD TRIP: San Jose State makes it final road trip to visit Western Athletic Conference foes when the team plays at Idaho and Boise State. These are the final two conference road matches this season, and the team has just one road match left at Cal State Bakersfield on November 21.

Live stats are available for the Boise State match at www.broncosports.com. A link is provided on the Spartan web site under “Live Stats.”

The Vandals enter the match with a 13-13 overall record and a 9-4 WAC mark, good for third place in the conference standings. The team went 1-1 last week, winning at Louisiana Tech, but falling in five sets at New Mexico State last Saturday night. Head coach Debbie Buchanan is in her 10th year at the school with a 147-145 coaching record. Idaho leads the nation in blocking at 3.15 per set, led be Anna McKinney with 151, 1.45 per set, and Debbie Pederson with 149, 1.45 per set. Sarah Conwell is third in the WAC in kills with 398, 3.83 ps.

Idaho leads the overall series, 6-5, after winning the earlier meeting, 3-1, in Spartan Gym on September 24.

ABOUT BOISE STATE: The Broncos enter the week with a 6-19 overall record and a 6-7 WAC mark, tying for fourth in the standings. The team hosts Hawaii Thursday night before the Spartans visit on Saturday. Head coach Shawn Garus is in his first year at the school. Alisha King leads the team with 240 kills, 2.67 ps, followed closely by Sadie Maughan who has 239 kills, 2.60 ps. Maughan leads the team with 97 blocks, 1.05 ps.

San Jose State leads the overall series, 16-4, but Boise State won the earlier meeting this season, 3-2, in Spartan Gym on September 26.

Oscar Crespo is in his third season as head coach at his alma mater with a 28-56 coaching record. A 1990 graduate, Crespo was named head coach in March of 2007 as the program’s sixth head coach.

ANOTHER STRONG HITTING WEEK FOR MIRALDI: Last week, Kylie Miraldi posted two more matches with .400 or better hitting percentage nights. She started the week hitting .444 against #3 Hawaii with 10 kills on 18 attempts and just two errors. Against Utah State, she hit .407 with 15 kills on 27 attempts and four errors.

Caitlin Andrade was “that close” to her second triple-double of the season against Utah State last Thursday. She had 33 assists and 15 digs in the match and came so close to double-digit kills. Andrade ended the match with eight kills on 10 attempts with no hitting errors for an .800 hitting percentage.

For the first time this season, Kylie Miraldi recorded an error-free hitting match. She recorded 14 kills on 28 attempts with no errors at Fresno State on October 31.

It took five sets and over two hours, but the Spartans got their first victory of the year over Louisiana Tech on October 17. 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 223, 2.53 per set. She had double-figure kills in 10 matches - 17 against Seattle, 16 versus Boise State and Louisiana Tech, 14 at Utah State and at New Mexico State, 12 at Louisiana Tech, 11 versus Eastern Washington and Nevada 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 on October 13. The team finishes the regular season at CS Bakersfield on November 21.

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 1,268 in her four-year career. Tsukano needs 97 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 1315 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.

WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: For her play on the court last week, Caitlin Andrade was named the WAC Player of the Week for Oct. 12-18. She tallied 133 assists, 49 digs, 14 kills and eight service aces over three matches. Andrade posted three double-doubles on 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.

GOES WITH THE FLOW: This season, senior Kristal Tsukano has played all over the floor. Projected as the starting libero before the season started, she started the first match at libero but was forced to move to outside hitter after injuries depleted the Spartan hitting corps. Tsukano moved back to libero on October 31. She has recorded double-digit digs in three of the four matches since the move.

STARTING AGREES WITH HER: Sarah McAtee made her first collegiate start at Fresno State on Halloween and has started every match since then. In her first start, she had a career-best eight kills on 17 attempts and just three errors. She also added a career-high three block assists in the match. McAtee had a career-best 10 kills on 19 attempts against Utah State. Against Nevada, she added three block assists, nine digs and two aces.

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 the first two weeks of October. After playing three matches at home, San Jose State played four road matches over the final two weeks of October. The team plays four of its final seven matches in November at Spartan Gym.

AKANA’S BEST HITTING NIGHT: At Nevada, Alex Akana recorded her best hitting night of the season. She hit .636 with eight kills on 11 attempts and just one error. Akana has one match this season with no hitting errors as she hit .550 at Saint Mary’s (11-0-20). She has four matches with just one error.

Caitlin Andrade’s six-match streak of recording a double-double ended at Louisiana Tech. 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 against Sacramento State, New Mexico State and Louisiana Tech. Andrade begins the week with seven double-doubles on the season.

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.

NEVADA UNION CONNECTION: 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: The remaining home Spartan match on November 19 will be broadcast on the Gold Zone at www.sjsuspartans.com.

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 return to Spartan Gym for the final home match of the season against Fresno State on Thursday, November 19, at 7 p.m. Seniors Thao Pham and Kristal Tsukano will be honored prior to the match. San Jose State concludes the regular season at Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday, November 21 at 1 p.m.