No. 3 Stanford (22-5, 15-3 Pac-12) at Arizona (19-11, 9-9 Pac-12) - 5 p.m. PT
Nov. 27 - McKale Center - Tucson, Ariz.
THIS WEEK: The No. 3 Stanford women’s volleyball team (22-5, 15-3 Pac-12) travels to Tucson, Ariz., for its lone match of the season against the Arizona Wildcats (19-11, 9-9 Pac-12) on Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 5 p.m. PT. The Cardinal will then return to The Farm to play host to rival California (17-10, 10-8 Pac-12) on Friday, Nov. 29 in the regular season finale for both squads.
SCOUTING ARIZONA: Arizona enters the final week of the regular season with a 19-11 overall record and a 9-9 mark in the Pac-12. The Wildcats are holding their opponents to a .168 hitting percentage on the year and averaing 17.09 digs per set, ranking first in the conference in both categories. Junior outside hitter Madi Kingdon leads the Pac-12 with 5.14 points per set and ranks third with 4.37 kills per set. Sophomore Olivia Magill is eighth in the conference with a .340 hitting percentage and 10th with 1.18 blocks per set. Senior libero Candace Nicholson anchors the defense and is sixth in the Pac-12 with 4.31 digs per set.
THE SERIES WITH THE WILDCATS: Stanford holds a 60-6 all-time record over Arizona. Wednesday will be the first meeting between the schools this season. The Cardinal swept the season series in 2012, earning a four-set win in Tucson and a 3-0 win at Stanford.
CATCH THE CARDINAL: Fans can catch Friday’s match live on the Pac-12 Networks. KZSU radio will be broadcasting both matches at 90.1 FM or online at http://kzsu.stanford.edu/. Live stats for the match will also be accessible on GoStanford.com.
LOOKING AHEAD: The 64-team field for the 2013 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship will be announced on Sunday, Dec. 1 at 6:30 p.m. PT on ESPNU. Stanford will head to the tournament for the 33rd consecutive year. The Cardinal and Penn State are the only two programs in the nation to have appeared in all 32 NCAA Championships.
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 then-No. 3 Washington and Washington State last week in Maples. Senior Rachel Williams led the Cardinal with 3.67 kills and 3.33 points per set, while hitting .475 in the two matches. For her efforts she was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week and the Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week.
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 jumped up to No. 3 in the AVCA top 25 this week. Texas, Penn State sit ahead of the Cardinal, while Missouri and Washington round out the top 5. Three Pac-12 squads are ranked in the top 25, while Oregon and California are also receiving votes.
RPI: In the latest Rating Percentage Index (RPI), the Cardinal came in at No. 7. Texas remained in the top spot in the poll, while Penn State, Washington, Florida, Missouri and USC sit ahead of Stanford. Three Pac-12 squads are ranked in the top 10 and seven in the top 30.
SENIOR CLASS AWARD: Senior middle blocker Carly Wopat has been named a top 10 finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, which focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. The winner will be announced at the Final Four in Seattle in December.
BLOCK CITY: Stanford’s team blocks per set mark of 3.04 leads the Pac-12 and ranks third in the nation. Senior Carly Wopat leads the conference and ranks 14th nationally with 1.44 blocks per set, while sophomore Inky Ajanaku is averaging 1.40 blocks per set (3rd Pac-12, 18th nationally). As a team, the Cardinal registered a season-high 18 blocks at Oregon (11/14).
CONFERENCE HONORS: Senior middle blocker Carly Wopat has been named the Pac-12 Offensive (10/14) and Defensive (11/18) Player of the Week this season, while senior Rachel Williams earned Offensive honors (11/25). Stanford now has 87 weekly awards all-time, which paces the Pac-12. Wopat has now been recognized six times by the conference in her career (4 offensive, 2 defensive), while Williams picked up her second honors.
SPREAD OFFENSE: Stanford setter Madi Bugg has controlled the offense this season, ranking second in the Pac-12 and 11th in the nation with 11.65 assists per set. She has been spreading the love amongst her teammates in the process as five Cardinal players are averaging at least 2.50 kills per set - Carly Wopat (260k/2.95kps), Brittany Howard (253/2.81kps), Rachel Williams (242k/2.72kps), Jordan Burgess (241k/2.65kps) and Inky Ajanaku (217k/2.52kps).
1,000 KILL CLUB: Senior outside hitter Rachel Williams joined an elite group of players as she registered her 1,000th career kill at UCLA on Oct. 2. Senior middle blocker Carly Wopat joined her on that list against Washington on Oct. 20. The pair are two of just 10 active Pac-12 players to have reached that plateau and become the 13th and 14th Stanford players since 1986 to accomplish the feat. They are also just the second classmates in Cardinal history to each tally 1,000 career kills (Foluke Akinradewo ‘08 and Cynthia Barboza ‘08 were the first).
Stanford Players with 1,000 Career Kills Since 1986
1. Ogonna Nnamani (2001-04) 2450
2. Alix Klineman (2007-10) 2008
3. Logan Tom (1999-02) 1939
4. Kristin Klein (1988-91) 1909
5. Kristin Folkl (1994-97) 1833
6. Kristin Richards (2003-06) 1819
7. Bev Oden (1989-92) 1753
8. Foluke Akinradewo (2005-08) 1682
9. Cynthia Barboza (2005-08) 1639
10. Kerri Walsh (1996-99) 1553
11. Cary Wendell (1992-95) 1353
12. Rachel Williams (2010-13) 1126
13. Carly Wopat (2010-13) 1099
14. Teresa Smith (1984-87) 1070
CLIMBING THE CHARTS: Senior Carly Wopat ranks among the top 10 in school history with 585 career blocks, moving past Cardinal great Foluke Akinradewo (‘08) for the third-most in program history. She now trails Kim Oden (1982-85) and Bev Oden (1989-92) who totaled 665 and 650 blocks, respectively. Her 1.38 career blocks per set average would be the third-best mark in school history.
SENIOR STATEMENT: Senior outside hitter Rachel Williams is one of the Cardinal leaders this season with 2.72 kills per set. She posted double-doubles in three consecutive matches (vs. Pacific, Florida & Texas) and leads the team with nine 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 second on the Pac-12 charts with 4.98 digs per set. She set a new career high and tied the school’s single match record with 33 digs against USC on Oct. 30. Gilbert is averaging 4.00 digs per set for her career, ranking second in program history behind Gabi Ailes (4.57).
HOME SWEET HOME: Maples Pavilion gives the Cardinal a true home court advantage as Stanford won 24 consecutive home matches from Sept. 7, 2012 to Oct. 25, 2013. Stanford is now 27-1 at home since the start of the 2012 campaign.
CONFERENCE CHARTS: Senior middle blocker Carly Wopat leads the Pac-12 with a .452 hitting percentage this season and is 10th with 3.92 points per set. Sophomore Inky Ajanaku is second in the conference with a .432 attack percentage. Sophomore setter Madi Bugg is sixth in the conference with 0.31 aces 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: Head coach John Dunning captured his 800th career victory on Nov. 22 as the Cardinal swept Washington State at Maples Pavilion. In 29 years as a head coach, he is 800-168 (.826), giving him a winning percentage that ranks amongst the top-5 all-time for Division I coaches. Dunning, who is just the fourth active NCAA Division I head coach to reach the 800-win plateau, is 363-66 in his 13 seasons on The Farm, leading all active coaches in the conference by winning percentage (.846).