Volleyball Advances To WAC Semifinals With Win Over Utah State

HonoluluFor the second consecutive year, San Jose State and Utah State battled to five sets in the quarterfinals of the Western Athletic Conference Volleyball Tournament Presented by the Harris Agency. And, for the second consecutive year, the Spartans were victorious, 16-25, 25-23, 25-16, 17-25, 15-8, at the Stan Sheriff Center.

San Jose State entered the tournament as the fifth-seed, while the Aggies were the fourth-seed. In the mild upset, second team All-WAC honoree Colleen Burke led the Spartans with a season-best 19 kills on 28 attempts. She hit a season-high .643 with her 19 kills on 28 attempts and just one hitting error.

“Colleen played exceptional for us tonight,” said San Jose State head coach Oscar Crespo. “She did a nice job blocking but her offense was a big for us in the victory today. Colleen was able to run the slide very nicely and kept the defense off-balance which was a big key in freeing up Kelly (Crow) on the left side.

First team All-WAC selection Kelly Crow recorded her 11th double-double of the season with 17 kills and 11 digs. Emily Burke added her fifth double-double of the year with 42 assists and 11 digs and also had eight kills, one block and one ace. Brianna Amian added seven kills and three digs, while Nia Freeman had a team-high five blocks and added six kills. Kylie Miraldi added four kills, four blocks and two digs.

With her 18 digs in the match, Kristal Tsukano became the sixth person in school history to record 1,000 or more digs in her Spartan career. She enters Friday’s match with 1,017 digs, good for sixth all-time.

“We had a very nice night tactically,” said Crespo. “We were very composed during the match and had a very strong night from the right side with Colleen, Kylie and Nia. We controlled the ball passing on our serve-receive and were able to run the offense through our middles which opened up the outside for us.”

San Jose State now advances to the semifinal match of the tournament for the third consecutive season and the sixth time in school history. The Spartans play top-seed New Mexico State Friday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. HST/7:00 p.m. PST.

“Tomorrow night will be a good match for us. We need to slow down their middles and focus on our offense in order to be successful,” said Crespo.

WAC Tournament
Honolulu, Hawaii

#5 San Jose State def. #4 Utah State 16-25, 25-23, 25-16, 17-25, 15-8.

Kills San Jose State Colleen Burke 19, Kelly Crow 17.

Utah State Melissa Osterloh 20.

Records San Jose State 13-16; Utah State 11-17.

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