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This Week in WAC Volleyball
Courtesy: WAC

PLAYER OF THE WEEK – San Jose State’s outside hitter Niki Clement has been named the Western Athletic Conference Volleyball Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 22-28. This is the first career WAC Player of the Week for the junior. This was the Spartans first player of the week honor since Carrie Nash won the award in November of 2004.

The Long Beach, Calif., (Long Beach Poly) native, helped lead San Jose State to three victories over Fresno State, Boise State and Idaho. The junior averaged 5.15 kills and 4.46 digs per game for the week. She recorded double-doubles in all three matches and led the Spartans in kills against Boise State and Idaho. The junior had a career-best 27 kills in the win over Idaho where she also had a career-high 61 kill attempts. She added three blocks, one solo and two assists, in the win over Idaho, recording 24 kills in a win over Boise State and adding a career-best 27 digs. Clement served the final seven points in game five against Boise State for the win. She added 16 kills and 12 digs in a three-game win over Fresno State.

Other nominees included: Jamie Houston of Hawai‘i had 36 kills and 15 digs in two WAC wins last week ... Karly Sipherd of Nevada had 31 kills in two Wolf Pack sweeps last week ... Amanda Nielson of Utah State led the Aggies to three wins with 83 kills and 37 digs in 13 games.

WEEK ELEVEN IN THE WAC – This week in the WAC, Hawai‘i will travel to Nevada to take on the Wolf Pack. Nevada has won three-straight matches.  Hawai‘i will also face Fresno State on the road Second-place New Mexico State will also take to the road, facing rival UTEP along with Boise State and Idaho. Either Louisiana Tech or Boise State will break its losing streak, as the two will face off in Boise. Red-hot San Jose State will travel to Fresno State and Nevada.
HAWAI‘I NEARS WAC TITLE – No. 11 Hawai‘i can clinch their 12th-straight WAC title this week, if it can pick up wins at Nevada on Nov. 1 and at Fresno State on Nov. 2. The Rainbow Wahine have won a WAC title since 1996.  The Rainbow Wahine are also looking to win their eighth-straight WAC Tournament title. Hawai‘i is coming off a strong weekend, where they swept through No. 13 New Mexico State and Louisiana Tech to take a two-match lead in the conference standings.

UTAH STATE ON A ROLL – Utah State has won five-straight matches and is 14-10 on the season after recording a four-game win against Fresno State Saturday night. USU, who is tied for third-place in the WAC with a 9-4 league record, is led by senior opposite side hitter Amanda Nielson who has recorded 24 or more kills in each of her last five matches, including 26 against the Bulldogs.

IN THE POLLS – New Mexico State remained at No. 13 after falling to No. 11 Hawai’i last week. The Aggies, who are 19-4 lost to No. 11 Hawai’i twice this season, but took the first match to five games. The Aggies have won eight of the last 10 matches with their last two losses coming at the hands of the Rainbow Wahine. The No. 13 ranking is the highest NMSU has ever been ranked. This is the second consecutive year NMSU has reached the top-25, getting as high as No. 19 in 2006. They finished the 2006-year at No. 23, while entering the 2007 season receiving votes, as they have done all season.
 Hawai‘i remained No. 11 in the polls after the win against the Aggies. In the RichKern.com poll, the Rainbow Wahine are also No. 11, while the Aggies are No. 14.

WAC IN THE TOP TEN – No. 20 New Mexico State ranks seventh in the nation in both assists (15.76 apg) and ninth kills (17.01 kpg). Nebraska leads the nation in both categories, with 16.82 apg and 18.30 kpg, respectively. Idaho’s Haley Larson is fourth in the nation in kills, averaging 5.40 per game. Hawai‘i’s Jamie Houston is sixth in kills per game (5.34 kpg).

WAHINE IN THE WAC – Hawai‘i had an amazing streak of 114 consecutive wins in conference play that ran from Oct. 17, 1998 to Oct. 13, 2006, when the Rainbow Wahine fell to New Mexico State in five games in Las Cruces, N.M. The streak spanned seven years and 361 days, beating 17 different teams. The loss occurred on the 58th road match during the streak, on the 29th different road trip that the Rainbow Wahine had taken. Although the overall streak has ended, UH still has a very impressive streak of 107 consecutive conference matches at home, dating back to the 1994 season. Of those 105, 96 of those wins have occurred in WAC play, as the Rainbow Wahine have yet to lose a WAC match at home.

AGGIES GO FOR THE KILL – New Mexico State’s Amber Simpson, Kim Oguh, Lindsey Yon and Krista Altermatt are part of the 2007 200-kill club. Yon leads the way with 342, followed by Altermatt (271), Oguh (270) and Simpson (231). Senior Anna Callis could be the next to join the elite group as she has 151.

PACKING THE STANDS – Hawai‘i continues to lead the nation in attendance. The Rainbow Wahine have led the nation in attendance since 1995. Hawai‘i has drawn 97,42 4fans so far this season for an average of 6,495 fans. New Mexico State is 18th in the nation attendance with a total of 17,653 fans for an average of 1,765. Last week’s battle between Hawai‘i and New Mexico State in Honolulu drew 7,538 fans which was the eighth highest crowd this season.

AGGIE VISION– With great success, Aggie Vision has provided three matches on television for New Mexico State volleyball. The first match televised was on Sept.  4 against New Mexico, the second came on Sept. 11 versus UTEP, while the third was on Sept. 27 against Boise State. Future matches that will be televised include the following: Louisiana Tech at NMSU on Oct. 11 at 7:00 p.m.; Nevada at NMSU on Oct. 18 at 7:00 p.m. All times are mountain times.

HALEY’S COMET – Haley Larsen eclipsed 30 kills for the second time this season with 31 kills vs. San Jose State (Oct. 11). She had a season-high 35 kills at UC Davis (Sept. 8), which currently ranks as the third-highest kills total in the NCAA this season.  Larsen is ranked No. 4 in the nation for kills per game (5.46) this week. She has been ranked in the top four for six consecutive weeks and was ranked as high as No. 2 earlier this season.

WOLFPACK’S MILLER DISHES OUT 1400TH ASSIST  –  Nevada senior setter Ashley Miller dished out her 1,400th assist in the Pack’s 3-0 win over Idaho last week.  In 43 matches during the 2005 and 2007 seasons with 2006 being a redshirt year she has totaled 1,479 career assists to rank eighth in school history.  She could pass Phylis Bustamante’s(1986-87) total of 1,645 into seventh if she averages 28 assists per match over the final six of the season.   This season she is averaging just under 36 assists per match. The Pack could play more than six matches depending on how far they advance in the season ending WAC Tournament.  Her 11.75 assists per game this season and 11.71 assists per game in WAC play rank fourth in the conference.

TICKETS ON SALE FOR WAC VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT – Tickets for the 2007 Western Athletic Conference Volleyball Tournament are now on sale to the public. The volleyball tournament is Nov. 15-17 at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces, N.M. It is the first time that the volleyball tournament has been held in Las Cruces after being in Reno for five-straight years.

For all-session tickets, there will be an “Early Bird” promotion (20% off regular price) until Sept 30, 2007. Ticket prices during this promotion are $20 for adults and $16 for senior citizens (age 65 and over) and $8 for children (18 and under) for an all-session pass (eight matches; four sessions).

Beginning Oct 1, 2007 the regular price all-session tickets and single-session tickets will be available. All-session tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for children. All seats are general admission. Single session tickets are also available for $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens and $4 for children.

All-session tickets for the volleyball tournament may be purchased by calling 1-866-672-8524 or calling the Pan American Center Ticket Office at 505-646-1420. Single-session tickets are available online at www.ticketmaster.com (there is an additional service charge for Ticketmaster online sales). Single-session tickets are also available by calling 915-544-8444 or 505-532-2060. Pan American Ticket Office hours are Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m.– 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

NEVADA’S ERICSON APPEARS IN SPORTS ILLUSTRATED FACES IN THE CROWD – Nevada senior outside hitter Teal Ericson has added another honor after being named the Oct. 15 Sports Imports/AVCA Division I National and WAC Player of the Week as she appears in the lastest issue of Sports Illustrated in the Faces in the Crowd section.  In the Wolf Pack’s match against Fresno State, Ericson hit .500 on 24 kills, while also tallying three digs and one block assist in the 3-0 win. Against Utah State, she garnered 14 kills, three digs and three block assists to lead her team to its second sweep in a row. She combined for 38 kills on the weekend, moving her into fourth on the Wolf Pack’s all-time kills list with 1,348.  For the week, Ericson averaged a .433 hitting percentage, 6.33 kills and 6.67 points per game. Ericson is the second player from Nevada to earn the Sports Imports/AVCA Division I National Player of the Week honors, and the first since Michele More on September 3, 2002. The WAC honor was the third for Ericson with the other two coming last season.

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.

November 15 (Quarterfinals) 
Match 1 - No. 8 vs. No. 9, 9:30 a.m.  
Match 2 - No. 4 vs. No. 5, 12:00 p.m.
Match 3 - No. 3 vs. No. 6, 2:30 p.m.
Match 4 - No. 2 vs. No. 7, 5:00 p.m.
Match 5 - Winner Match 1 vs. No. 1, 7:30 p.m.

November 16 (Semifinals)
Match 6 - Winner Match 3 vs. Winner Match 4, 5:00 p.m.
Match 7 - Winner Match 2 vs. Winner Match 5, 7:30 p.m.

November 17 (Championship)
Match 8 - Winner Match 6 vs. Winner Match 7, 7:00 p.m.

LARSEN HAS BREAKOUT PERFORMANCE – 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.

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.

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
Gainesville, Florida

Host: Pennsylvania State University
Rec Hall
University Park, Pennsylvania

Host: Stanford University
Maples Pavilion
Stanford, California

Host: University of Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin Field House
Madison, Wisconsin

Boise State Broncos (4-17, 1-10 WAC)
Boise State’s lone conference win came against Fresno State on Oct. 4 ... after winning two matches to start the season, the Broncos have lost 19 of their last 21 matches ... this week, Boise State looks to break its eight-match losing streak against No. 13 New Mexico State and Idaho ... both the Vandals and the Broncos are looking to break long losing streaks ... junior Mandy Klein is seventh in the WAC in assists per game averaging 10.18 apg.

Fresno State Bulldogs (5-19, 3-9 WAC)
Fresno State looks to break a four-match losing streak this week at home against San Jose State and No. 11 Hawai‘i ... last week, the Bulldogs lost in four games to Utah State in Logan and were swept by Cal State Bakersfield and San Jose State ...  sophomore Lisa Gera is second in the WAC in digs per game, averaging 5.10 dpg ... Tiffany Hess (8.14 apg)  and Kasey Van Grouw (7.73 apg) are ninth and 10th in the WAC respectively in assists per game behind Hawai‘i’s Stephanie Brandt (12.65 apg).
Hawai‘i Rainbow Wahine (18-4, 12-0 WAC)
The Rainbow Wahine are ranked No. 11 in the CSTV/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll this week ... Hawai‘i has enjoyed a successful run of 222-consecutive weeks in the poll, dating back to 1992, appearing in 356 of the 360 (.989) polls all-time ... UH is third in poll appearances, behind only Nebraska and Stanford, who have both appeared in all 360 polls ... the Rainbow Wahine also rank third to Stanford and Nebraska in weeks ranked in the top 10 (271) and rank third to Nebraska and UCLA in weeks ranked at No. 1 (48) ... in their 48 weeks as the No. 1 team in the country, UH boasts a 126-10 (.923) record.

Idaho Vandals  (9-13, 5-7 WAC)
Idaho looks break a season-high four-match losing streak ... the Vandals last win game on Oct. 11 against San Jose State in five games ... Haley Larsen continues to lead the WAC in double-doubles with 16 ... Larsen is fourth in the nation in kills per game, averaging 5.40 kpg ... this week, Idaho looks to break its losing streak at home against Louisiana Tech and No. 13 New Mexico State ... Kelsey James is fourth in the WAC in assists per game, averaging 11.88 apg ... teammate Anna McKinney is also climbing the charts ... the sophomore is third in the WAC in blocks per game, averaging 1.31 bpg.

Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters (6-20, 1-12 WAC)
Shannon Phillips is tied for second in double-doubles this season with 11 ... Phillips is also fifth in kills per game, averaging 4.41 kpg ... the Lady Techsters look to break a seven-match losing streak ... the Lady Techsters last win came on Sept. 29 against Boise State in five games ... Louisiana Tech has won conference match in its last 29.

Nevada Wolf Pack (12-8, 9-4 WAC)
Nevada has a busy week with three matches in a five day span ...  the Wolf Pack start the week with a nonconference match at Sacramento State on Tuesday ...  the Pack then return home to close out the 2007 home schedule with two WAC matches with No. 11 Hawai‘i and San Jose State ...  Sacramento State is one of two non-conference matches the Pack have remaining on their schedule with the other being at Utah Valley University on Nov. 10 ...  in the first meetings of the season on the road the Pack lost 3-0 at then-No. 12 Hawai‘i but swept San Jose State 3-0.

New Mexico State Aggies (19-4, 10-2 WAC)
Coming into the eighth week of conference play, NMSU, at 19-4 and 10-2 in conference, is currently second in the WAC ... the Aggies sit behind Hawai’i who is 18-4, but is undefeated in WAC play ... the Aggies continue to lead the WAC in hitting percentage (.253), assists (15.76 apg), kills (17.01 kpg), and opponent hitting percentage (.154) ... NMSU is 10-3 in three-game matches, 7-0 in four-game matches and 2-1 in five-game matches, while 9-1 at home, 7-2 in away games and 3-1 at neutral sites ... the Aggies have won eight out of the last 10 matches.

San Jose State Spartans  (12-12, 6-7 WAC)
Six Spartans rank among WAC leaders this week. Colleen Burke leads the WAC in hitting percentage at .357, and is ninth in aces at 0.28 sapg ... Keri Anglin is seventh in hitting at .259, and blocking at 1.24 pg ... Emily Burke is fifth in assists at 11.34 pg ... Jennifer Senftleben is seventh in kills at 3.82 kpg, and ninth in points at 4.30 ppg ... Kristal Tsukano is sixth in digs at 4.15 dpg ... Niki Clement is 10th in digs at 3.44 pg ... as a team, the Spartans are second in digs (17.39 pg), third in hitting (.201), kills (15.09 pg) and assists (13.90 pg), fourth in aces (1.37 pg) and seventh in blocks (2.22 pg).

Utah State Aggies (11-10, 8-4 WAC)
Amanda Nielson is averaging 6.11 points, 5.12 kills, 2.42 digs, 1.04 blocks and 0.44 service aces per game, while junior outside hitter Melissa Osterloh is averaging 3.73 points, 3.14 kills, 2.90 digs and 0.62 blocks per game ... as a team, Utah State is hitting .174 on the season as compared to a .180 hitting percentage for its opponents ... since starting the season with a 2-6 record, USU has won 12 of its last 16 matches ... the Aggies are 26th in the nation in blocks per game, averaging 3.03 bpg.

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