PLAYER OF THE WEEK – New Mexico State outside hitter Krista Altermatt has been named the Western Athletic Conference Volleyball Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 10-16. This is the first career WAC Player of the Week for the sophomore.
The El Dorado Hills, Calif., (Union Mine) native, had a career night against Fresno State to help the Aggies to a sweep in a conference opener. She returned to her home state and dominated, setting new career highs for herself in kills with 21 and hitting percentage finishing the night with a .594 hitting percentage. Game one saw Altermatt come out swinging as she batted down nine kills and hit .750 on twelve attacks. Altermatt continued her stellar conference play against Nevada on Saturday, Sept.15, with 16 kills and 13 digs for her third double-double of the year. The sophomore ended the week hitting .397 with 43 kills and 30 digs. She averaged 4.78 kills per game last week, while she averages 3.18 kpg this season.
The Aggies swept three teams during the fourth week of play, making it a total of six teams they have swept so far this season. This is the second consecutive season that NMSU has came up with sweeps in their first two conference match-ups, while beating UTEP seven-straight times, sweeping them in six of those matches.
Other nominees included: Tiffany Hess of Fresno State led the Bulldogs with 72 assists and 11 digs as the Bulldogs went 1-2 ... Stephanie Brandt of Hawai‘i averaged 13.17 assists per game and 2.17 digs per game as the Rainbow Wahine started conference play 2-0 ... Shannon Phillips totaled 36 kills over the weekend including a 22-kill performance against Fresno State, scoring a double-double against the Lady Bulldogs ... Teal Ericson of Nevada had 32 kills and 11 digs as the Wolf Pack split matches last week ... Amanda Nielson of Utah State had 30 kills and 20 digs as the Aggies started WAC play 2-0.
WEEK FIVE IN THE WAC – Week five sees conference play in full swing. Four teams are looking for their first WAC wins this season.Two of those teams, Boise State and Louisiana Tech are at home this week. The Broncos will host Fresno State and Nevada, while the Lady Techsters host No. 13 Hawai‘i and Utah State. Idaho and New Mexico State are also at home this week.
WAC SHOWDOWN – The two ranked teams in the WAC, No. 13 Hawai‘i and No. 25 New Mexico State will face each other for the first time this season in Las Cruces on Sept. 22. Last season, New Mexico State stopped the Rainbow Wahine’s streak of 114 consecutive WAC victories, Friday, Oct. 13, 2006 at Las Cruces High in front of a crowd of 2,803. The Aggies stopped the Rainbow Wahine in five games. In Honolulu, Hawai‘i defeated New Mexico State, 3-1. The Rainbow Wahine also defeated the Aggies, 3-1 in the WAC tournament in Reno.
TWO WAC TEAMS EARN TOP 25 RANKINGS – The American Volleyball Coaches Association/CSTV released its poll on Monday, September 17 with the New Mexico State Volleyball team at No. 25. Hawai‘i moved up to No. 13 this week. Last week, the Rainbow Wahine were No. 15.
The Aggies, who are 10-2 overall and opened up Western Athletic Conference play with sweeps over Fresno State and Nevada, gained 115 total points to get the No. 25 ranking. Head coach Mike Jordan was happy to hear the news of being in the top-25 again.
This is the second consecutive year NMSU has reached the top-25, getting as high as No. 21 in 2006. They finished the 2006 year at No. 23, while entering the 2007 season receiving votes, as they have done all season.
The Aggies’ only losses came at the hands of No. 1 Nebraska and No. 7 Texas, who was No. 6 at the time of the match. NMSU is one of only two Western Athletic Conference teams to currently be ranked.
ALL AGGIES START 2-0 – For the third-straight year Utah State has started Western Athletic Conference play with a 2-0 record. Overall, it is the eighth time in school history that USU has begun league play with a 2-0 record. New Mexico State also started the season 2-0 with wins against Fresno State and Louisiana Tech. Hawai‘i is the only other undefeated team in WAC action.
WAC IN THE NCAA STATS – In this week’s NCAA stats, No. 25 New Mexico State is sixth in the nation in assists per game (15.88 apg) behind No. 1 Nebraska. The Cornhuskers average 16.75 this season. The Aggies are also sixth in the country in kills per game, averaging 17.05 kpg. Once again, Nebraska is first averaging 17.96 kpg. Individually, Haley Larsen is third in the nation in kills per game, averaging 5.28 kpg. Louisiana Tech’s Shannon Phillips is eighth in the nation in kills per game, averaging 5.14 kpg, while Hawai‘i’s Jamie Houston is 16th (4.90). Nevada’s Teal Ericson rounds out the list of WAC athletes ranked in the top 20 in kills per game (18th, 4.84 kpg).
NEVADA’S MILLER RECORDS 1,000TH ASSIST – Nevada senior setter Ashley Miller recorded her 1,000th assist versus Louisiana Tech on Sept. 13 becoming just the eighth setter in school history to reach the lofty plateau. Miller’s 1,060 assists ranks eighth in school history and is 585 back of former Pack setter Phylis Bustamante’s(1986-87) 1,645 for seventh. Currently her 11.46 assists per game ranks third in the WAC.
SPARTANS RE-WRITE HISTORY– For only the third time in school history, two Spartan players recorded double-digit blocks in a match. Against San Francisco, Brianna Amian had 14 blocks, while Keri Anglin added 12. Ironically, the last time this feat happened was against San Francisco on September 6, 2005, as Dyana Thompson recorded 12 blocks, and Niki Clement added 10 blocks. The first time was September 19, 1987, when Kari Roberson had 12 blocks and Kim Hicks had 11 blocks in a 3-1 win over San Diego State. Jennifer Senftleben is now fourth all-time in career kills at San Jose State with 1,445. She moved into fourth place last week against San Francisco.
SAN JOSE STATE WINS SECOND-CONSECUTIVE TOURNAMENT - San Jose State hit .307 as a team to defeat Weber State, 25-30, 30-24, 30-25, 30-21, Saturday evening at the UVU/La Quinta Inn & Suites Invitational. San Jose State won the tournament title after three teams, Arizona State, Utah Valley and San Jose State, all finished with a 2-1 tournament record. The Spartans won the tie-breaker by going 8-5 in games, while Arizona State was 7-5, and Utah Valley was 8-7. Keri Anglin was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, while Jennifer Senftleben and Colleen Burke were named to the all-tournament team.
Haley Larsen had 35 kills to help the University of Idaho volleyball team rally to a 3-2 victory over UC Davis at the 2007 Hallmark Inn Aggie Tournament. Larsen’s performance was the second best in school history as she garnered over half of Idaho’s 69 kills in the match. The 35 kills was the highest in the WAC this season and third-highest in the country. Her strong performance led to her being third in the nation in kills per game, averaging 5.52 kpg.
HAWAI‘I RANKED IN PRESEASON POLL – Defending Western Athletic Conference volleyball champion Hawai‘i has been selected in a poll by the league’s coaches to defend its crown in 2007 and take home its 12th-straight regular-season title. The Rainbow Wahine received eight of the nine first-place votes with San Jose State earning the other first-place vote. Hawai‘i earned 64 total points followed by New Mexico State with 55. San Jose State under the direction of new head coach Oscar Crespo finished tied for third with Idaho with 44 points. Nevada was picked fifth with 36, while Boise State was picked sixth with 30. Utah State finished in seventh place with 22 points with Fresno State earning 20 points, good for eighth. Louisiana Tech was picked ninth with nine points.
Hawai‘i is coming off a 29-6 season in 2006 that saw the Rainbow Wahine earn their 11th-consecutive WAC regular-season title with a 15-1 record. Hawai‘i also captured its seventh WAC Tournament title. The Rainbow Wahine advanced to the NCAA Regional Finals before losing to UCLA. New Mexico State also advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2006.
The 2007 WAC season begins August 24 with all nine teams in action. After five seasons in Reno, the WAC Volleyball Tournament moves to Las Cruces, N.M. on the campus of New Mexico State. The nine-team tournament will be held November 15-17.
SAN JOSE STATE CAPTURES TOURNAMENT TITLE – With a 2-1 tournament record, the San Jose State volleyball team won the ASU/Bancorp South Classic despite a 26-30, 30-23, 26-30, 24-30 loss to host Arkansas State.
Junior middle blocker Colleen Burke was selected as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. She had 10 kills against Arkansas State and hit .457 for the weekend with only two hitting errors in 11 games played. Keri Anglin had two blocks against Arkansas State and led the team over the weekend with nine blocks. Jennifer Senftleben recorded 10 kills Saturday night and averaged 3.55 kills per game over the weekend.
VOLLEYBALL FORMAT – For the third-straight year the WAC will not compete in divisions. This season’s format will be a double-round robin. Each team will face the other eight at home and on the road. All nine teams will compete in the WAC Volleyball Tournament.
2007 WAC TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
November 15 (Quarterfinals)
Match 1 - No. 8 vs. No. 9
Match 2 - No. 4 vs. No. 5
Match 3 - No. 3 vs. No. 6
Match 4 - No. 2 vs. No. 7
Match 5 - Winner Match 1 vs. No. 1
November 16 (Semifinals)
Match 6 - Winner Match 3 vs. Winner Match 4
Match 7 - Winner Match 2 vs. Winner Match 5
November 17 (Championship)
Match 8 - Winner Match 6 vs. Winner Match 7
NEW MEXICO STATE TO HOST WAC VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT - The Western Athletic Conference announced, that pending board approval, New Mexico State University will host the 2007 WAC Volleyball Tournament, Nov. 15-17 at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces.
The 2007 Volleyball Tournament marks the third time New Mexico State has hosted a WAC Championship in the past nine months. In March, the Aggies hosted the 2007 WAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships and this April, the University Golf Course hosted the 2007 WAC Women’s Golf Championships.
Throughout the week, WAC teams and fans were treated to a variety of cultural events that showcased what the state of New Mexico and the city of Las Cruces are all about, including Native American and Hispanic Culture Days. Fans also had the chance to experience the newly-renovated Pan American Center first hand, including new concourses, concession stands, restrooms and a brand new center-hung scoreboard, which hangs above Lou Henson Court.
SAN JOSE STATE NAMES CRESPO HEAD COACH - San Jose State University has named Oscar Crespo as its new women’s volleyball head coach. Crespo, a 1990 graduate of San Jose State, becomes the sixth head coach in the program’s history.
Crespo spent the past seven years as a member of the University of Nevada volleyball coaching staff. From 2000-01, he was the Wolf Pack’s assistant head coach before being promoted to associate head coach prior to the start of the 2002 season.
His primary areas of focus at Nevada were athlete training and development; opponent scouting and evaluation; recruiting; setter development; drill development and individual and team skill evaluation; development of defensive and offensive systems, and statistical analysis of individual and team play.
His recruiting expertise helped the Wolf Pack sign the 23rd-ranked volleyball recruiting class for 2006 according to PrepVolleyball.com. Crespo was instrumental in Nevada’s recent success of participating in four of the last six NCAA Tournaments.
REGIONAL SITES SELECTED - The NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Committee has announced the following sites for regional competition of the 2007 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championships.
Regionals (4) December 7-8, 2007
Host: University of Florida
Stephen C. O’Connell Center
Host: Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pennsylvania
Host: Stanford University
Host: University of Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin Field House
Boise State Broncos (3-7, 0-2 WAC)
Boise State freshman Lauren Hamm is having strong rookie campaign ... Hamm is third in the conference in digs, averaging 4.52 dpg ... this week, the Broncos look for their first conference win of the season ... Boise State also looks to break a sixth-match losing streak ... the Broncos host Fresno State and Nevada this week ... both the Bulldogs and the Wolf Pack are 1-1 in conference play after one week.
Fresno State Bulldogs (3-9, 1-1 WAC)
After going 1-1 in the WAC opening weekend at home, the Fresno State volleyball team looks to make a statement on the road as they travel to the Gem State to take on Boise State and the University of Idaho ... Fresno State will play the Broncos Thursday (Sept. 20) at 6 p.m., at Bronco Gym before playing the Vandals in Moscow, Saturday (Sept. 22) at 7 p.m. ... Fresno State’s Lisa Gera is second in the WAC in digs per game behind, New Mexico State’s Krystal Torres ... Gera averages 4.68 digs per game ... in conference matches, senior Tiffany Hess is third in assists, averaging 12.00 apg.
Hawai‘i Rainbow Wahine (8-3, 2-0 WAC)
Hawai‘i is currently riding a 101-match conference home winning streak, including all 92 home matches that UH has played in the WAC ... No. 13 Hawai‘i heads out on its first road trip of the season, playing three matches in five days at Louisiana Tech, No. 25 New Mexico State and San Jose State ... Hawai‘i is coming off two wins over Idaho and Boise State to start Western Athletic Conference play, running their conference home winning streak to 103 matches, including all 92 home matches UH has played in the WAC.
Idaho Vandals (3-7, 0-1 WAC)
Haley Larsen is ranked No. 3 in the nation for kills per game (5.28) for the second-consecutive week ... Idaho plays three games at home this week after playing seven of its first 10 games on the road this season ... Idaho is 2-0 in matches in which it won the first game ... the Vandals hold a 46-30 overall record at Memorial Gym under current head coach Debbie Buchanan, including a 30-14 mark at home since 2003.
Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters (5-9, 0-2 WAC)
Louisiana Tech will face the Northwestern State Lady Demons (3-5) Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m. before continuing with a very challenging WAC schedule ...the Lady Techsters fought a couple of hard matches this past weekend losing in four games at Nevada and in three games against Fresno State both on the road ... Shannon Phillips is second in the WAC in kills per game, averaging 5.14 kpg ... the senior has a total of 252 kills this season ... she is also ninth in hitting percentage (.274).
Nevada Wolf Pack (4-5, 1-1 WAC)
Senior Karly Sipherd has 40 solo blocks which puts her in sole possession of the number 10 spot in school history ... senior Ashley Miller recorded her 1,000th career assist versus LTU and now has 1,060 which ranks eighth in school history ... Miller had a string of five consecutive double-doubles snapped vs. NMSU ... senior outside hitter Teal Ericson’s 32 kills in the Pack’s two WAC matches last week moved her past former teammate Carly Sorensen (2003-2006) into fifth on the career list ... Sorensen totaled 1,207 kills in her four seasons and Ericson has 1,227 kills nine matches into her senior year ... she needs 91 kills to pass Jennifer White(1990-93) for the fourth spot.
New Mexico State Aggies (10-2, 2-0 WAC)
New Mexico State is ranked No. 25 in this week’s AVCA/CSTV Coaches’ poll ... this is the second consecutive year NMSU has reached the top-25, getting as high as No. 21 in 2006 ... they finished the 2006 year at No. 23, while entering the 2007 season receiving votes, as they have done all season ... the Aggies’ only losses came at the hands of No. 1 Nebraska and No. 7 Texas, who was No. 6 at the time of the match ... NMSU is one of only two WAC teams to currently be ranked along with No. 13 Hawai‘i ... New Mexico State is sixth in the nation in assists per game (15.88) and kills per game (17.05).
San Jose State Spartans (6-5, 0-1 WAC)
Brianna Amian tied two school records against San Francisco on Wednesday, September 14 ... she had 14 block assists in the five-game match to tie the school record set by Liz Hudson against Idaho on November 24, 2001 ... Amian also tied the total block record set by Hudson and Mandy McMahon, who had 14 blocks at Fresno State on October 7, 1983 ... Amian also contributed eight kills, five digs and two assists ... the Spartans had a season-best 19.5 blocks in the match and out blocked the Dons 19.5-9 ... Keri Anglin recorded her first career double-double with 13 kills and 12 blocks against San Francisco.
Utah State Aggies (5-6, 2-0 WAC)
Senior opposite side hitter Amanda Nielson continues her climb in several career, ranking fourth all-time at Utah State in attack attempts (2,945), fourth in service aces (102), fifth in kills (986), sixth in total blocks (288) and seventh in block assists (266) ... junior outside hitter Melissa Osterloh recorded her team-leading fifth double-double of the season against San Jose State as she had 11 kills and 10 digs in the match ... Utah State is 37-61 (.378) on the road over the last eight years, which includes a 22-38 (.367) record against league opponents ... thus far this year, USU is 1-2 in road matches.