No. 7 Stanford (7-2, 0-0 Pac-12) at California (7-2, 0-0 Pac-12) - 7:30 p.m. PT
Sept. 25 - Haas Pavilion - Berkeley, Calif. -Pac-12 Networks
THIS WEEK: The No. 7 Stanford women’s volleyball team (7-2, 0-0 Pac-12) travels to Berkeley, Calif., for the Big Spike on Wednesday, Sept. 25. It marks the Pac-12 opener for both the Stanford and Cal (7-2, 0-0 Pac-12). The Cardinal will then return to The Farm to play host to No. 16 Arizona State (11-1, 0-0 Pac-12) on Friday, Sept. 27 at 6 p.m.
SCOUTING CALIFORNIA: Cal opened the season with seven straight wins without losing a set. The Bears have dropped there two most recent matches to Kansas State (3-2) and at UC Davis (3-1). The Golden Bears are outhitting their opponents .317 to .161 this season and rank in the top 5 in the conference in assists (13.63 - 2nd), hitting percentage (.317 - 3rd), kills (14.57 - 3rd) and digs (15.30 - 4th). Senior setter Joan Caloiaro controls the offense, ranking third in the Pac-12 with 11.31 assists per set. She also paces the Bears with 0.34 aces per set. Senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan leads Cal and ranks third in the Pac-12 with 4.30 kills per set and 4.95 points per set, while also averaging 3.20 digs per set. Sophomore middle blocker Lara Vukasovic is second in the conference behind Carly Wopat in hitting percentage (.441).
THE SERIES WITH THE GOLDEN BEARS: Stanford leads the all-time series against California, 63-11 (.851). The Cardinal won both matches last season, sweeping the Bears in Berkeley and at Maples Pavilion.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Cardinal will travel to Los Angeles next week to contine Pac-12 play at No. 11 UCLA (9-1) and No. USC (10-1) on Oct. 2 and Oct. 4, respectively.
CATCH THE CARDINAL: Fans can catch Wednesday’s match live on the Pac-12 Network. KZSU radio will be broadcasting the match at 90.1 FM or online at http://kzsu.stanford.edu/. Live stats for the match 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). Instagram will house the Cardinal’s off the court photos and videos all season long.
LAST WEEK: Stanford swept Cal Poly and defeated Saint Mary’s, 3-1, at Maples Pavilion last week. Senior middle blocker Carly Wopat led the team with a .636 attack percentage, registering 22 kills on 33 attempts with just one error. Sophomore Inky Ajanaku added 2.00 blocks per set in the two matches to pace the squad.
RETURNING ALL-AMERICANS: Stanford has three returning All-Americans on its roster this season. Senior Carly Wopat, a two-time honoree, was a first team selection by the AVCA and Volleyball Magazine, while sophomore Inky Ajanaku was an honorable mention pick by the AVCA in 2012. Senior outside hitter Rachel Williams was an AVCA honorable mention selection in 2011. In total, the Cardinal has produced 31 All-Americans who have collected 70 total awards.
NATIONAL POLL: Stanford moved up to No. 7 this week in the AVCA top 25. Penn State remained in the top spot in this week’s poll, while Washington, Florida, USC and Texas all moved up a spot to complete the top 5. Six Pac-12 squads are ranked in the top 25, while California is receiving votes.
SPREAD OFFENSE: Stanford setter Madi Bugg has controlled the offense this season, ranking second in the Pac-12 and 16th in the nation with 11.37 assists per set, spreading the love among her teammates in the process. Five Cardinal players are averaging at least 2.00 kills per set - Rachel Williams (3.17), Carly Wopat (3.14), Brittany Howard (3.13), Inky Ajanaku (2.13) and Jordan Burgess (2.13).
CLIMBING THE CHARTS: Senior Carly Wopat already ranks among the top 10 in school history with 496 career blocks. She needs just seven blocks to pass Kerri Walsh (‘00) for fifth all-time at Stanford. Her 1.36 career blocks per set average is tied for third in school history with Kim Oden (‘85).
SENIOR STATEMENT: Senior outside hitter Rachel Williams is leading the Cardinal this season with 3.17 kills per set. She posted double-doubles in three consecutive matches (vs. Pacific, Florida & Texas) and leads the team with four overall. Her 21 kills against then-No. 8 Florida are a season-high and tied for the fourth-most kills by a Pac-12 player in a four-set match this season.
DOMINANT DEFENSE: Junior libero Kyle Gilbert has led the defensive side of the ball for the Cardinal this season and ranks fourth on the Pac-12 charts with 4.39 digs per set. She collected a season-high 24 digs in the loss at then-No. 6 Texas, leading all players. Gilbert is averaging 3.72 digs per set for her career, ranking second in program history.
LEADING THE CONFERENCE: Senior middle blocker Carly Wopat leads the Pac-12 and ranks third in the nation with a .513 hitting percentage this season. Sophomore Inky Ajanaku is ninth in the conference with a .410 attack percentage. The pair also rank in the top 10 in the Pac-12 in blocks per set with Wopat (1.36) ranking third and Ajanaku (1.27) fourth.
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.
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 785-165 (.826), giving him a winning percentage that ranks amongst the top-5 all-time for Division I coaches. Dunning is 348-63 in his 13 seasons on The Farm, leading all active coaches in the conference by winning percentage (.847).