No. 2 Stanford (1-0) vs. Pacific (3-1) - 7 p.m. PT | Pac-12 Network
Sept. 4 - Maples Pavilion - Stanford, Calif.
THIS WEEK: The second-ranked Stanford women’s volleyball team (1-0) will play host to Pacific (3-1) on Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. in Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal will then travel to Austin, Texas for the fourth annual Nike Volleyball Big Four Classic. Stanford will take on No. 8 Florida (3-0) on Saturday, Sept. 7 and No. 6 Texas (2-1) on Sunday, Sept. 8.
SCOUTING PACIFIC: Pacific opened the 2013 campaign with a 3-1 record, including an upset over then-No. 14 Michigan State (25-21, 25-17, 25-23). Sophomore opposite Kat Schulz nabbed Hokie Invitational all-tournament honors over the weekend, racking up 40 kills and 37 digs. Middle blockers Jennifer Sanders (1.42 bps) and Gillian Howard (1.58 bps) were also solid for the Tigers last weekend. Sophomore Kimmy Whitson and freshman Jessica Diederich split time at setter, recording 5.92 and 4.17 assists per set, respectively.
THE SERIES WITH THE TIGERS: Stanford is 29-22 all-time against Pacific. The Cardinal last met the Tigers in the 2012 Stanford Invitational at Maples Pavilion. Stanford swept Pacific, 25-16, 25-22, 25-17, led by Carly Wopat’s 17 kills, six blocks and .667 hitting percentage. 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 Wednesday’s match live on the Pac-12 Network. Friday and Saturday’s matches in Austin, Texas will be aired on the Longhorn Network. KZSU radio will also be broadcasting all three 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.
RETURNING ALL-AMERICANS: Stanford returns a pair of All-America middle blockers in 2013. Senior Carly Wopat was a first team selection by the AVCA and Volleyball Magazine, while sophomore Inky Ajanaku was an honorable mention pick by the AVCA. Wopat led the Pac-12 and was ninth in the nation with a .399 hitting percentage, while ranking third in the conference with 1.45 blocks per set. Ajanaku was third in the Pac-12 with a .374 attck percentage to go with 2.42 kills per set and 1.23 blocks per set.
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.
PAC-12 COACHES’ POLL: Stanford was chosen by the league’s coaches to defend its Pac-12 title. The Cardinal garnered 120 points and 10 first-place votes in the preseason poll. USC (111) finished second, picking up two first-place votes. Washington was selected third, while Oregon and UCLA rounded out the top 5. Seven conference teams advanced to the postseason in 2012, while the Pac-12 has won six of the last 12 NCAA titles. The coaches have correctly chosen the conference champion in 15 of the previous 24 polls.
2012 IN REVIEW: In 2012, Stanford (30-4) posted its 16th 30-win season in school history and appeared in its 32nd straight NCAA Tournament. The Cardinal captured its 15th Pac-12 title with a 19-1 record, its sixth in the past seven years, and its 18th conference championship overall. Carly Wopat and Inky Ajanaku were named First Team and AVCA All-Americans, respectively. The pair were joined by Jordan Burgess and Brittany Howard on the All-Pac-12 Conference Team. Head coach John Dunning earned his fourth career Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors.
CARDINAL TIES: Three of Stanford’s four freshmen have strong ties to the University. Most notably is freshman Kelsey Humphreys whose mother, formerly Wendy Rush, was a four-time All-America setter for the Cardinal from 1984-87 and is a member of the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame, and her father, Brad, was a member of the Stanford football team. In addition, both Grace Kennedy and Merete Lutz’s parents graduated from Stanford. Kennedy’s sister, Victoria, won two NCAA championships with the Stanford women’s water polo team (2011 & 2012), while Lutz’s brother, Karsten, is a member of the Cardinal rowing team.
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.
PAC-12 NETWORKS: Stanford is slated to have 17 of its matches this season aired on the Pac-12 Networks this season, including 15 of its 20 conference match-ups. In total, the Pac-12 Networks will be showing 90 women’s volleyball matches this seaon, up from 82 in 2012.
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 28 years as a head coach, he is 778-163 (.827), giving him a winning percentage that ranks amongst the top-5 all-time for Division I coaches. Dunning is 341-61 in his 12 seasons on The Farm, leading all active coaches in the conference by winning percentage (.848).
HALL OF FAMER: Head coach John Dunning was one of three inductees who were selected to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Hall of Fame class of 2011. He, along with Liz Masakayan and Gerald `Gerry’ Matacotta, were honored at the 2011 Final Four in San Antonio, Texas.