THIS WEEK: The second-ranked Stanford women’s volleyball team (2-0) travels to Austin, Texas for the fourth annual Nike Volleyball Big Four Classic. Stanford will face on No. 8 Florida (4-0) on Saturday, Sept. 7 and No. 6 Texas (2-1) on Sunday, Sept. 8.
SCOUTING FLORIDA: Florida has opened the season with a 4-0 record, including three sweeps. As a team, the Gators are outhitting their opponents .353 to .126. Ziva Recek leads the team with 3.73 kills per set, while Chloe Mann is hitting .500 with 3.58 kills per set and a team-best 1.17 blocks per set. Taylor Brauneis is controlling the offense, averaging 11.00 assists per set.
THE SERIES WITH THE GATORS: Stanford is 5-3 all-time against Florida. The Cardinal and Gators last met in the 2012 Nike Big Four Classic in State College, Pa. Stanford topped Florida, 22-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-16, as Carly Wopat led the team with 17 kills, eight digs and seven blocks.
SCOUTING TEXAS: Texas, the 2012 NCAA Champion, has opened the 2013 campaign with a 2-1 record. The Longhorns entered the season as the No. 1 team in the nation before being knocked off by then-No. 11 Hawaii in Honolulu. Texas was selected to win the Big 12 Conference in a vote of the league’s coaches. Junior outside hitter Haley Eckerman (2.33 kps) was tabbed the conference’s Preseason Player of the Year, while senior Bailey Webster (3.25 kps) and junior Khat Bell (2.00 kps; 1.42 bps) joined her on the Preseason All-Big 12 team.
THE SERIES WITH THE LONGHORNS: The Cardinal leads the all-time series against the Longhorns 16-6 (.727). The most recent meeting between the squads came at the inaugural Big Four Classic in 2010 in Gainesville, Fla., when Stanford swept Texas (25-16, 25-11, 25-21). Senior Alix Klineman led the Cardinal with 10 kills and nine digs in the match as the Longhorns hit negative .012 for the match.
LOOKING AHEAD: Stanford will remian on the road, heading to our nation’s capital to play in the Service Academy Challenge, Sept. 12-13. The Cardinal will face Air Force, Army and Yale inside the Pentagon.
CATCH THE CARDINAL: Fans can catch this weekend’s matches on the Longhorn Network. KZSU radio will also be broadcasting both matches at 90.1 FM or online at http://kzsu.stanford.edu/. Live stats for the matches will be accessible on GoStanford.com.
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). Live updates will be tweeted during matches, while Instagram will house the Cardinal’s off the court photos and videos all season long.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Stanford women’s volleyball program has won more NCAA titles (6), won more NCAA Tournament matches (101), made more Final Four appearances (18), and been in the national championship match (14) more times than any other program in the nation. The Cardinal has captured 18 conference championships and produced 30 or more wins on 16 occasions. It is one of just two programs in the country to have appeared in all 32 NCAA Tournaments, having won all 32 of its first-round matches.
NATIONAL POLL: Stanford moved up to No. 2 this week in the AVCA top 25 after defending national champion and preseason No. 1 Texas was knocked off by Hawai’i. Penn State nabbed this week’s top spot in the poll, while USC, Minnesota and Washington round out the top 5. Five Pac-12 squads are ranked in the Top 12, while Arizona State and California are receiving votes.
SPREAD OFFENSE: Stanford setter Madi Bugg has controlled the offense this season (12.67 aps), and she has spread the love among her teammates. Four Cardinal players are averaging at least 2.50 kills per set - Brittany Howard (3.83), Carly Wopat (3.17), Rachel Williams (2.83) and Inky Ajanaku (2.50).
100 PERCENT: Through the first two matches of the season, the Cardinal has not committed a reception error in 91 attempts.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS: Senior Carly Wopat already ranks among the top 10 in school history with 471 career blocks. She needs just nine more to pass Jenn Harvey (‘03) for sixth all-time.
DOMINANT DEFENSE: Junior libero Kyle Gilbert has led the defensive side of the ball for the Cardinal this season. She has tallied 17 digs in each of the first two matches, registering the 900th of her career against Pacific on Sept. 4. Gilbert is averaging 3.69 digs per set for her career, ranking second in program history.
TAKING ON THE BEST: Once again, head coach John Dunning has lined up one of the most challenging schedules in the nation for the Cardinal. Stanford is slated to play 10 regular-season matches against teams ranked in the preseason poll, and 15 against teams that made appearances in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
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.