Oct. 11 - Maples Pavilion - Stanford, Calif. -Pac-12 Networks
Oct. 12 - Maples Pavilion - Stanford, Calif.
THIS WEEK: The No. 8 Stanford women’s volleyball team (10-3, 3-1 Pac-12) plays host to Utah (13-3, 2-2 Pac-12) on Friday, Oct. 11 and Colorado (11-3, 3-1 Pac-12) on Saturday, Oct. 12 in Maples Pavilion.
SCOUTING UTAH: Utah enters the weekend with a 13-3 overall record and a 2-2 mark in the Pac-12. As a team, the Utes rank in the top 5 in the conference in blocks (3rd), opponent hitting percentage (4th) and service aces (4th). Senior middle blocker Erin Redd-Brandon leads the team and ranks second in the Pac-12 with 1.38 blocks per set. She is also averaging 2.25 kills per set on a .337 attack percentage. Right side Shelby Dalton leads the Utes with 2.79 kills per set and posts 1.10 blocks per set. Junior middle blocker Bailey Bateman is seventh in the conference with 1.23 blocks per set. Sophomore Kendall Cygan and junior Kalee Kirby share time at setter with 5.77 and 5.45 assists per set, respectively.
THE SERIES WITH THE UTES: Stanford is 6-1 all-time against Utah. The teams only met once last season with the Cardinal posting a four-set win (17-25, 25-22, 25-23, 27-25) in Salt Lake City. Stanford’s only loss to Utah came during the 2000 campaign, a five-set win for the Utes at home.
SCOUTING COLORADO: Colorado is coming off a four-set win over then-No. 1 Washington last week and stands at 11-3 overall and 3-1 in the Pac-12. The Buffaloes also upset then-No. 11 UCLA in a five-set thriller the week before. As a team, Colorado is outhitting its opponents .255 to .167 on the season. Junior outside hitter Taylor Simpson leads the team and ranks eighth in the Pac-12 with 3.68 kills per set. She is also 10th in the conference with 4.18 points per set. Sophomore setter Nicole Edelman controlls the offense with 10.57 assists per set, ranking sixth in the Pac-12. Senior middle blocker Nikki Lindow adds 2.09 kills and 1.30 blocks per set.
THE SERIES WITH THE BUFFALOES: The Cardinal is a perfect 9-0 all-time against the Buffaloes. Last season, Stanford defeated Colorado in four (21-25, 25-19, 25-13, 25-16) on Senior Night in Maples Pavilion.
CATCH THE CARDINAL: Fans can catch Friday’s match live on the Pac-12 Network. Saturday’s match will be shown on a live webstream via GoStanford.com (link on schedule page). KZSU radio will be broadcasting both matches at 90.1 FM or online at http://kzsu.stanford.edu/. Live stats for the match will be accessible on GoStanford.com.
PROMOTIONS: Friday’s match has been tabbed Super Spikers Day. All Stanford Super Spikers will receive free admission with a voucher. On Saturday, head coach John Dunning will be holding a Chalk Talk at 5 p.m. in Kissick Auditorium. Saturday is also Autograph Night. It will be the only organized autograph night of the season so don’t miss out!
SOCIAL NETWORKING: Fans will have access to unique behind-the-scenes content on the team this season by liking Stanford Women’s Volleyball on Facebook or following the team on Twitter and Instagram (@StanfordWVB). Instagram will house the Cardinal’s off the court photos and videos all season long.
LOOKING AHEAD: Stanford will hit the road again next week, travelling to the Pacific Northwest. The Cardinal will face Washington State on Friday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. and No. 6 Washington on Sunday, Oct. 20 at 4:30 p.m. Both matches will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.
LAST WEEK: The Cardinal continued Pac-12 play in Los Angeles last week, splitting the two matches. Stanford swept UCLA on Wednesday in Pauley Pavilion, but was swept by then-No. 2 USC in the Galen Center on Friday. It marked the first time since the 2011 season that the Cardinal had been swept in a match. Senior middle blocker Carly Wopat led the team, hitting .541 and averaging 4.00 kills, 4.83 points and 1.17 blocks per set in the two matches.
NATIONAL POLL: Stanford dropped one spot to No. 8 this week in the AVCA top 25. USC reclaimed the top spot in this week’s poll, while Florida, Texas, Penn State and Hawai’i round out the top 5. Six Pac-12 squads are ranked in the top 25, while California and Colorado are receiving votes.
RPI: The first Rating Percentage Index (RPI) of the season was released on Monday and the Cardinal came in at No. 6. Texas topped the poll, while USC, Hawai’i, Florida and Penn State sit ahead of Stanford.
1,000 CLUB: Senior outside hitter Rachel Williams joined an elite group of players last week as she registered her 1,000th career kill at UCLA. She is one of just three active Pac-12 players to have reached that plateau and becomes the 13th Stanford player since 1986 to accomplish the feat.
BLOCK CITY: Stanford’s team blocks per set mark of 3.10 is the best in the nation. The Cardinal has upped that mark to 3.31 in its four Pac-12 matches this season. Senior Carly Wopat leads the conference and is 15th nationally with 1.39 blocks per set, while sophomore Inky Ajanaku is third in the Pac-12 and 20th in the nation with 1.36 blocks per set.
SPREAD OFFENSE: Stanford setter Madi Bugg has controlled the offense this season, ranking second in the Pac-12 and sixth in the nation with 11.79 assists per set, spreading the love amongst her teammates in the process. Five Cardinal players are averaging at least 2.00 kills per set - Carly Wopat (3.24), Rachel Williams (3.05), Brittany Howard (2.84), Jordan Burgess (2.37) and Inky Ajanaku (2.33).
CLIMBING THE CHARTS: Senior Carly Wopat already ranks among the top 10 in school history with 515 career blocks. Recently, she moved from sixth place to fourth on the Cardinal’s career charts, passing former All-American Kerri Walsh (‘00) and Laura Olesen (‘90). Her 1.36 career blocks per set average would be tied for third in school history with Kim Oden (‘86).
SENIOR STATEMENT: Senior outside hitter Rachel Williams is one of the Cardinal leaders this season with 3.05 kills per set. She posted double-doubles in three consecutive matches (vs. Pacific, Florida & Texas) and leads the team with five overall. Her 21 kills against then-No. 8 Florida are the most by a Cardinal player this season.
DOMINANT DEFENSE: Junior libero Kyle Gilbert has led the defensive side of the ball for the Cardinal this season and ranks third on the Pac-12 charts with 4.54 digs per set. She collected a season-high 29 digs at California (9/25), leading all players. Gilbert is averaging 3.77 digs per set for her career, ranking second in program history.
LEADING THE CONFERENCE: Senior middle blocker Carly Wopat leads the Pac-12 and third in the nation with a .494 hitting percentage this season. Sophomore Inky Ajanaku is third in the conference with a .427 attack percentage, and 15th in the nation. Wopat is also ninth in the Pac-12 with 3.24 kills per set and 4.32 points per set.
HEAD COACH JOHN DUNNING: Now in his 13th season at the helm of the Cardinal program, head coach John Dunning is one of the most accomplished coaches in the collegiate volleyball world. Dunning has four national championships under his belt, has taken teams to nine Final Fours and carried six of his 12 Stanford teams to the national championship match.
MILESTONE FOR DUNNING: John Dunning secured his 700th career win during the 2010 season and will likely capture win No. 800 during 2013. In 29 years as a head coach, he is 788-166 (.826), giving him a winning percentage that ranks amongst the top-5 all-time for Division I coaches. Dunning is 351-64 in his 13 seasons on The Farm, leading all active coaches in the conference by winning percentage (.846).