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Keeping Up with Kyle 2.0
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 09/02/2014

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December 4, 2014

Hey Stanford Family, Friends and Fans!

I hope you have all been following our success as we head into the postseason! Winning the Pac-12 last week was awesome! We clinched the championship after sweeping our Bay Area rivals, Cal. We did experience our first loss of the season, which was of course disappointing but gave us an opportunity to grow stronger in the weaknesses Washington exposed. We are excited to start the playoff grind as we have rededicated ourselves to hard work and dedication.

A few weeks ago, Morgan and I celebrated our Senior Night. It was a very emotional night, at least for me, as I came to realize that my days playing for this program are numbered. I could not be more thankful for the experiences and opportunities I’ve been given by attending Stanford University. I will truly miss my teammates and coaches, they have molded me into the person I am today and I greatly appreciate all the laughs, memories and relationships I formed during my time here.

Now, moving on from the sappiness… on Sunday we found out that our team earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament! What an amazing opportunity! We are so excited to start our postseason journey and we hope that you will follow us all the way to Oklahoma City! We start off the tournament by playing CSU Bakersfield. There is no easy route to getting to the Final Four, and each match will make us better!

Unfortunately, playoff time also means final exams. This next week will be tough both on the court and in the classroom as we guzzle down our coffee in between practices, weights, tutoring sessions, office hours, etc. We hope to see all of you at our games this weekend as we start our long and arduous journey into the NCAA tournament!

God Bless,
Kyle Gilbert

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November 2, 2014

Hello Stanford family, friends and fans!

We just finished up our match at Oregon where we finally got the sweep we’ve been looking for! The past month has been anything but relaxing and peaceful for the Card. We have been on the road three out of the four weekends in October which inconveniently matched up with midterms. We are ready to play at home without the extra pressure of midterm exams, papers or projects.

As tough as it is to play on the road, we really enjoy traveling to most of the places in the Pac-12. Right when we landed in Colorado, half of our team realized what an actual fall season looks like with the red and yellow leaves falling from the trees (no rhyme intended). Since a lot of us are from California, we rarely experience seasons. I know last Christmas in San Diego, my family and I enjoyed the 80 degree weather at the beach!

After Colorado we flew out to Utah where we got to spend a few hours at Grace’s house in Park City, Utah (some of us like to call it the G-Money palace). Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy cooked up some butternut-squash soup, which is by far a team favorite, as well as some steak and salad!

We made it through the Utah/Colorado trip without any disastrous incidences like last year! Our bus didn’t get stuck (2011 season), no one drank anyone’s contacts (2013), no one left their computer at airport security (2013), etc.

Another favorite trip of the teams is to the Oregon schools! We landed in Eugene late Thursday night and anxiously awaited our trip to the Pancake House the next morning! Per usual, Stanford volleyball demolished chocolate chip pancakes, Dutch Baby’s, omelets, bacon, coffee (tons of coffee), banana pancakes, scrambled eggs, etc. We were VERY full after breakfast so we all took naps and laid down for a while before our match at Oregon State.

After our match Friday night, we enjoyed a relaxing day on Saturday. We had a quick practice at the Matthew Knight Arena where we loosened up with a “shoot-off.” Brittany won and was awarded a pazookie from BJ’s that night! After practice, Inky and I traversed a solid .3 miles to pick up some of the best, most filling BBQ I’ve ever had. We both ordered the “Fall-off-the-bone ribs”… they weren’t kidding. We watched the Oregon vs. Stanford football game while inhaling our meal and went to film with satisfied tummies.

This morning, we played Oregon and were very happy with our play. We came out with a sweep which was our goal before the match! Next week, we host the Arizona schools and are in for another fight, as it always is in the Pac-12. Come support us on Wednesday and Friday as we look to remain undefeated!

God Bless,
Kyle Gilbert

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October 3, 2014

Hello Stanford Family, Friends and Fans!

It has been an incredibly hectic few weeks out here on the Farm! We are now into our second week of school, but man, it feels like week five with all the work that has been assigned!

As you know, we have been off to a great start to our season! We are undefeated! As a team, we are all very happy about our success but are still hungry to get better. We know we haven’t reached our full potential yet, and that’s what makes this season so exciting! The sky is the limit!

Last weekend was our first weekend completely off. We had no volleyball or film or weights or meetings or anything! I wish I could say I did a lot of fun stuff within those 48 hours, but sadly, I sat at my desk studying kinematics (physics). Probably the most exciting part of the weekend was Inky and my fantasy football team crushing it. With 156 points, we scored the most points in our league this week (thank you JJ Watt for your 80-yard pic six).

Anyways, our freshmen are settling in nicely. So far they haven’t been involved in any bike accidents, their assigned roommates have been great and they are loving their classes! Sidney is taking Chinese and Sarah is in a religious studies class. They have a wide spectrum of interests and they are glad that Stanford offers so many opportunities!

I had an interesting run-in my first day of school which really put things into perspective for me. As I was bent over and locking my bike to a rack outside of the math building, I hear a very hurried, loud, nasally, “Um, excuse me!!” I slowly straighten up and turn around to see a girl. It was obvious she was a freshman because she was rocking the lanyard around her neck with her bike key and student ID attached at the bottom. Typical. She also put a decent amount of time into her appearance that morning with a cute dress and flats. Me… I was in sweats and a t-shirt. We stare at each other and I finally respond, “…yes?” She then asked if she could park her bike next to mine. Apparently, I was taking up too much space being bent over and locking my bike and she really couldn’t wait another 30 seconds to get to class. All this time I understand her excitement, but as a senior on my last first day of school, my level of excitement wasn’t quite above the x-axis. She finally put the big, fat, red, juicy cherry on top of my morning by proceeding to ask this question: “Are you a freshmen too?!” I calmly responded, “Nope, I’m a senior. Welcome to Stanford.”

It is a strange feeling knowing that this is my last year at Stanford. I remember all of the excitement and nerves when I was beginning my freshman year here. Of course I rocked the lanyard. Of course I caused tons of bike accidents. And of course I was pumped up for classes every single day. That freshman girl was me three years ago and I am so excited for her to experience the most incredible, unique, prestigious university in the world. I wish everyone could experience Stanford because it really is an exceptional four years.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Please join us in person or afar in supporting the families affected by this disease by wearing as much pink as you can!

But TONIGHT we play Oregon! Both teams are undefeated and it will be a battle! If you can’t make it to Maples Pavilion, watch on ESPNU at 7pm PT! Or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

God Bless,
Kyle Gilbert

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September 2, 2014

Dear Stanford Family, Friends and Fans,

Welcome back to the second annual Keeping Up with Kyle blog! I’m so excited to be able to write about our team’s experiences for yet another season!

I thought I’d kick off this “Welcome back blog” by telling you a story about our very own Inky Ajanaku. As a team, we have heard legends of Inky blowing up her kitchen back home in Tulsa when she was attempting to cook. Well friends, the legend lives on, and this time, it revives at Stanford.

I believe it was last Tuesday morning and we all gathered in the Arillaga dining hall for breakfast. Usually, I go for the quick yogurt with granola and some scrambled eggs. Inky, however, chooses to be a little more fancy with her meals. This particular morning, she wanted to make a breakfast sandwich complete with a plain bagel, eggs, bacon, and cheese. Inky casually put her bagel into the toaster then wandered over to the hardboiled eggs and grabbed a few and put them in a bowl. She then proceeded to put this bowl in the microwave. After a few seconds of standing in front of the microwave, she hears my voice off in the distance, “Ink! Your bagel is on fire!”

It was true, the toaster was indeed spewing out smoke indicating that her bagel completely burned. She hurried over to the toaster and removed her bagel that was once white and fluffy, but was now thoroughly charred. As she removed the bagel and replaced it with another one, she remembered, “Oh shoot! My eggs!” She had left the hardboiled eggs in the microwave for about two minutes now. So she hustled back to the microwave only to find all but one of her eggs exploded. She took the eggs and sat down at our table. As Inky was telling us about her breakfast misfortune, I began to say “Inky! You can’t put hard-boiled eggs in the micro…”

My thoughts were interrupted by yet another explosion of her final hardboiled egg. She picked up the remaining egg and poked it with the fork and egg guts went flying everywhere. It literally sounded like a champagne bottle was being opened and egg yolks and whites went spewing into her eyes, hair and of course, my hair.

Don’t worry! Inky is fine, she made a bagel with peanut butter after that, although she was picking out egg whites from her eyes later that day at practice.

Anyway, we just returned home from our Iowa State and Nebraska trip! It was a great start for the Cardinal as we swept both teams on their home courts! Playing in front of that Nebraska crowd was the most surreal experience I had ever had in all my years of playing volleyball. It would be so much fun to play in front of a packed arena that continuously cheers throughout the entire match for every match! I can understand why other teams have such a hard time playing there because it is incredibly loud and overwhelming, but is so exciting!

Sunday, after our match, we were going to attend the men’s soccer game at University of Nebraska at Omaha, but unfortunately there was a thunder and lightening storm that postponed the game for three and a half hours so we weren’t able to attend. The Midwest storms make the showers in California look cute. I had never seen lightening so bright and frequent, or thunder so loud! It was pretty crazy!

Yesterday morning we had a very long day of traveling. We woke up bright and early to fly from Omaha to Chicago and then from Chicago to San Francisco. But we weren’t done after we returned home. Nope. We set our bags down in the locker room and hit the weight room. Taylor (our sports performance coach) took us through some deep stretching, which was much needed, then we lifted and conditioned! I’m not sure there are many other teams in the country that return from trips and then put in a quick lift in the weight room!

We play Penn State and Illinois this weekend! On Friday, it will be a huge match! #1 vs #2! Please come and support us! We are incredibly excited and have been preparing for this match for a long time.

Follow Stanford Women’s Volleyball on twitter (@StanfordWVB), Facebook and Instagram (@stanfordwvb)! This is going to be an incredible season so come and show your support as often as you can!

God Bless!
Kyle Gilbert


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