Volleyball Set For 2012 Season Opener Friday vs. Delaware

Aug. 21, 2012

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LET THE SEASON BEGIN
San Diego State will begin its 2012 volleyball season on Friday, Aug. 24, when it hosts Delaware as part of the three-team Aztec Invitational. That match gets underway at 7:00 p.m. on Aztec Court in Peterson Gym. The other tourney participant, 17th-ranked California, will play a pair of matches on Saturday against Delaware at 1:00 p.m. and vs. San Diego State at 7:00 p.m.

FOR OPENERS
San Diego State's record in season openers stands at 19-17 since the sport began at SDSU in 1976. This will mark the Aztecs' 13th season opener at home in the past 13 years (since 1999). SDSU has a record of 15-13 when it begins the season in Peterson Gym.

AZTEC VETERANS
SDSU returns five starters plus the libero from a team that compiled a mark of 16-16 (8-8 MWC). Of the 17 players on this year's roster, 11 were members of the SDSU program last season. Among the returning starters are outside hitters Summer Nash (2.78 kps, 0.87 dps, 0.52 bps and Raegan Shelton (2.91 kps, 0.74 dps, 0.38 bps) along with middle blockers Andrea Hannasch (2.94 kps, 1.17 bps) and Emily Harris (1.92 kps, 1.17 bps). Setter Johnna Fouch (11.30 apg, 2.52 dps, 0.52 bps) is also back as is libero Kristi Jackels, who averaged 4.33 digs per set. Other returnees who saw significant playing time include outside hitter Chaiymin Steel (1.77 kps, 1.12 dps, 0.50 bps) plus defensive specialists Kyla Oropeza (1.24 dps) and Courtney Vaccarello (1.40 dps).

PRESEASON ALL-MWC
Junior middle blocker Andrea Hannasch and setter Johnna Fouch have been named to the preseason all-Mountain West team. Hannasch was named to the all-MW squad in 2011 after a season that included averages of 3.04 kills, 0.80 digs and 1.08 blocks per set in conference play. Joining Hannasch on the preseason all-league squad is junior setter Johnna Fouch, who was an all-MW honoree last season after leading the conference in assists at 11.80 2hile averaging 2.61 digs and 0.61 blocks in Mountain west action.

MOVING UP THE CHARTS
Three current Aztecs moved into the top 10 on the SDSU career lists in various categories last season and should move up as the 2012 season progresses. Andrea Hannasch's three-year total of 357 block assists ranks eight on the SDSU all-time list, just three behind the number-seven spot (360) held by Nicole Akporiaye (199-2002). Kristi Jackels has compiled 1,365 digs during her time as an Aztec to rank fourth in that category. With five digs she will pass Juliana Cezar (1993-96) to take over the number-three position on the list. Setter Johnna Fouch's two-year mark if 2,439 assists place her eight. The seventh spot is held by Leah Lathrop (2005-08) with 2,624 assists.

TRANSFERS
The Aztecs have added a trio of transfers from other four-year schools to the 2012 SDSU roster including two from the San Diego area. Chloe Mathis is a sophomore setter who spent the last season at the University of Arizona where she was named to the Pac-12 all-freshman team. Mathis is from La Jolla, Calif., and attended Last Jolla Country Day High School. Halle Aiken is redshirt freshman outside hitter who spent the 2011 campaign at UC Santa Barbara, but did not compete for the Gauchos. Aiken graduated from Steele Canyon High School in nearby Spring Valley.

RETURNING LEAGUE LEADERS
The Aztecs return four players who finished among the top 10 in the Mountain West overall stats in various categories during the 2010 season. Setter Johnna Fouch was first in the MWC in assists with an average of 11.32 per set. Andrea Hannasch finished seventh in hitting percentage (.307), third in blocks (1.17 per set), eighth in kills (2.94 per set) and sixth in points (3.80 per set). Libero Kristi Jackels was fourth in digs with an average of 4.33 per set and seventh in service aces at 0.25 per set. Raegan Shelton averaged 2.91 kills per set to rank 10th in that category and was ninth in points at 3.29 per set. Emily Harris finished the year ranked sixth in blocks (1.06 per set) and fourth in hitting percentage (.328).