Volleyball Faces New Mexico State At WAC Tournament

This Week:
Mon., Nov. 21    WAC Tournament    Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
    vs. #3 New Mexico State    5:00 p.m.
Tues., Nov. 22    WAC Tournament    Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
    Semifinal Matches        5/7:30 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 23    WAC Tournament    Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
    Championship Match (ESPNU)    6:00 p.m.

SPARTANS AT WAC TOURNAMENT:  San Jose State makes its 12th appearance at the Western Athletic Conference Volleyball Tournament, November 21-23, at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.  This will be the first appearance at the tournament for all Spartan players except for Brianna Amian who played in 2007 and 2008 and Kylie Miraldi who played in 2008.  San Jose State will face New Mexico State Monday in the first match of the tournament.  If the Spartans win, they will play second-seed Idaho Tuesday night at 5 p.m.  The championship match will be played Wednesday night at 6 p.m., and will be televised on ESPNU.  San Jose State enters the tournament with a two-match winning streak after defeating Texas Tech and Louisiana Tech in the team’s final two home matches of the year.

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

LIVE VIDEO:  The WAC and its Web parter NeuLion will stream the first two days of the tournament.  Viewers can sign up by visiting www.WAC.tv. Each day, fans can view both matches for $9.95.  Wednesday night’s match will be televised live on ESPNU.

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. 

  For her 17-kill performance against Texas Tech, Alex Akana was named the WAC Player of the Week.
     Akana led the Spartans to a five-set win over Texas Tech. She posted a career-high 17 kills on .500 hitting and added a team-high five blocks. Her final kill of the match, her career-best 17th, gave San Jose State the win over the Red Raiders.

ALL-CONFERENCE HONORS:  The 2011 WAC Volleyball All-Conference teams will be announced at the tournament banquet Sunday night.  Be sure to check www.sjsuspartans.com after 8 p.m., to see if any Spartans receive awards.

  The Aggies enter Monday’s match with a 21-8 overall record and a 10-4 WAC mark.  The team tied with Idaho for second place in the standings but lost the tiebreaker.  Head coach Mike Jordan is in his 14th year at the school.  Meredith Hays leads the WAC in kills with 429, 4.29 per set, while Michele Kuester is fourth in blocks with 114, 1.21 ps.
    New Mexico State leads the overall series 22-9 and has won the past 20 meetings.  San Jose State last won a match in the series in 1994, a 3-0 win in Las Cruces.  This will be the second meeting in 12 days, the last coming on November 10 at Spartan Gym.  The Aggies won 25-23, 27-25, 25-16.  Hanah Blume led the Spartans with nine kills, while Caitlin Andrade had a double-double with 18 assists and 14 digs. 
    The Aggies swept the Spartans, 3-0, on October 17, in Las Cruces.  Krista Miller hit .571 in the match with eight kills on 14 attempts with no errors.

POSSIBLE OPPONENT - IDAHO:  The Vandals enter the tournament with a 16-11 overall record and finished the WAC with a 10-4 mark.  The team earned the second seed by sweeping Utah State in the regular season to earn the tiebreaker over New Mexico State.  Head coach Debbie Buchanan is in her 12th season at the helm of the program.  Allison Walker leads the team with 389 kills, 4.18 ps, while Jenny Feicht leads the WAC in assists with 863, 11.06 ps.
    The two teams split the meetings this season, each winning on their homecourt.  Idaho won 3-0 on September 24, while the Spartans won 3-2 in Spartan Gym on October 21.

  Oscar Crespo is in his fifth season as head coach at his alma mater.  A 1990 graduate, Crespo has a 48-98 coaching record in five seasons.

SPARTANS AT THE WAC TOURNAMENT:  San Jose State is making its 12th appearance at the WAC Tournament.  The team has made it to the semifinal match seven times and the finals twice - 2001 against Hawaii at The Event Center, and 2003 also against Hawaii at the Virginia Street Gym in Reno, Nev.  A complete list of tournament appearances is on page 13.

LAST MATCH RECAP:  The Spartans needed five sets to defeat Texas Tech, 26-24, 15-25, 25-21, 27-29, 15-12, Tuesday night at Spartan Gym.  Alex Akana led the team with 17 kills and hit .500 for the match (17-3-28).  Caitlin Andrade had her eight double-double with 56 assists and 10 digs, while Samantha O’Connell recorded her first collegiate double-double with 14 kills and 15 digs.

EARLIEST ROAD FINISH IN SCHOOL HISTORY:  With the final two regular season road matches the final weekend in October, San Jose State finished 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 2,730.  She moved into fourth with 33 assists in a home match against #7 Hawaii.  She would need 310 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    2730    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 2007 when the team had 235.5.  The 2008 team recorded 189 blocks.  Alex Akana leads the team with 85 blocks, nine solo and 76 assists, while Kylie Miraldi follows closely with 75, 10 solo and 66 assists.  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. 

HILTON STOCKTON INVITATIONAL HONORS: 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:  Spartan players have recorded 20 double-doubles this season.  Taylor Japhet had her first double-double of the season with 19 kills and 10 digs against Denver.  Caitlin Andrade has eight 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.  Samantha O’Connell had her first double-double with 14 kills and 15 digs against Texas Tech.

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.