Aztecs Off To Hawaii For Verizon Volleyball Challenge

Complete Release and Season Statistics Get Acrobat Reader

San Diego State makes its first road trip of the 2012 season when it travels to Hawaii to compete in the four-team Verizon Volleyball Challenge. The other tourney participants include defending national champion and third-ranked UCLA, ninth-ranked Hawai'i and Idaho. SDSU's opening match will be against tournament host Hawai'i on Friday (Sept. 7) at 7:00 p.m. (HST) at the Stan Sheriff Center. The complete tourney schedule is as follows:
Friday, September 7
     UCLA vs. Idaho................5:00 p.m.
     San Diego State vs. Hawai'i...7:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 8
     UCLA vs. San Diego State......5:00 a.m.
     Idaho vs. Hawai'i.............7:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 9
     Idaho vs. San Diego State.....3:00 p.m.
     UCLA vs. Hawai'i..............5:00 p.m.

After starting the season with five consecutive ins including a victory over 17th-ranked California, San Diego State is receiving votes in this week's AVCA national poll. The Aztecs are third among teams receiving votes with 41 points behind Ohio State (71) and California (59).

Sophomore outside hitter Michelle Waber and junior middle blocker Emily Harris were named to the all-tournament team at last weekend's Aztec challenge. Waber averaged 3.22 kills, 2.00 digs and .056 blocks per set while hitting .309 over the Aztecs three matches. Harris recorded a .417 hitting percentage and averaged 1.80 kills and 1.50 blocks per set.

Sophomore Michelle Waber, a transfer from the University of Hawai'i, has had an impressive start to her SDSU career. She was named tournament MVP for the second straight weekend at last weekend's Aztec challenge. After five matches, Waber is averaging a team-leading 3.82 kills per set and checks in with marks of 1.59 digs and 4.24 points per set. She had a career-high 20 kills in the victory over No. 17 Cal on Sept. 1 en route to being named MVP of the Aztec Invitational.

Senior Andrea Hannasch continued her stellar start to the 2012 season at last weekend's Aztec Challenge. Over SDSU's three matches she hit .500 while averaging 2.80 kills and 1.40 digs per set. On the season she is hitting at a .521 clip and is averaging 3.22 kills and 1.28 blocks per set. Hannasch has also recorded 4.22 points per set.

Emily Harris has emerged as the team's leading blocker averaging1.44 per set. She notched nine block assists in the victory over Cal on Sept 1, one shy of her career high. She also recorded 10 kills in that match and hit .368.

Defensive specialist Justin Ricigliano made her first appearances of the year in two of the sets vs. Cal on Aug. 25. She served the final two points in SDSU's wins in the third and fifth sets, including an ace in the third set. Against Utah State this past Saturday (Sept 1), she set new career best with eight digs and two service aces. During last weekend's three matches she then averaged 2.00 digs per set.

SDSU has used a rotating setter system thorough its first five matches with Johnna Fouch as the starter and Chloe Mathis coming in at every rotation. Fouch is averaging 6.94 assists and 1.39 digs per set while Mathis is recording 5.12 digs and 1.56 digs per set. In addition, a third setter, freshman Tanna Aljoe, saw her first action of the year this past weekend in matches against Sacred Heart and Montana. Aljoe played in a total of three sets and averaged4.67 assists and 1.00 digs per set.

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 377 block assists ranks sixth on the SDSU all-time list. The number-five spot is held down by Carrie Mapes (1994-97) with 381. Kristi Jackels has compiled 1,426 digs during her time as an Aztec to rank third in that category. Jackie Mendez (1985-88) ranks second with 1,678 career digs. Setter Johnna Fouch's two-year mark if 2,564 assists place her eight. The seventh spot is held by Leah Lathrop (2005-08) with 2,624 assists.

SDSU's 5-0 start marks the first time it has begun the season with five straight wins since the 2001 campaign ... SDSU has used the same starting lineup in all five of its matches. That includes Andrea Hannasch, Michelle Waber, Summer Nash, Johnna Fouch, Emily Harris and Chaiymin Steel along with Kristi Jackels at libero ... The Aztec have hit over .300 as a team in three of their five matches including a high of .438 vs. Montana ... Setter Johnna Fouch equaled her career best with three service aces in the match against California (Aug. 25) ... Chaiymin Steel tied her SDSU career high with 10 kills in the win over Utah State on Sept. 1 ... SDSU captured the championship of the Aztec Invitational for third straight year.