No. 7 Stanford (8-2, 1-0 Pac-12) vs. No. 16 Arizona State (12-1, 1-0 Pac-12) - 6 p.m. PT
Sept. 27 - Maples Pavilion - Stanford, Calif. -Pac-12 Networks
THIS WEEK: The No. 7 Stanford women’s volleyball team (8-2, 1-0 Pac-12) returns to The Farm to host to No. 16 Arizona State (12-1, 1-0 Pac-12) on Friday, Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. The Cardinal is coming off a 3-1 win at rival California on Sept. 25.
SCOUTING ARIZONA STATE: Arizona State enters Friday’s match with a 12-1 overall record, including sweeps over then-No. 24 Wichita State (8/31) and then-No. 2 Texas (9/13). The Sun Devils defeated rival Arizona, 25-22, 25-21, 26-24, at home on Tuesday to open Pac-12 play. No. 16 ASU is ranked in the top 25 for the first time since November 2002. The Sun Devils lead the Pac-12 in opponent hitting percentage (.103) and rank second in digs (15.76) and service aces (1.54). ASU is a young squad led by sophomore outside hitter Macey Gardner, who leads the conference in kills per set (4.89) and ranks second in points per set (5.32). Sophomore setter Bianca Arellano controls the offense with 10.74 assists per set, while sophomores Whitney Follette and Mercedes Binns are averaging 1.16 and 1.11 blocks per set, respectively. Senior libero Stephanie Preach leads the defense with 4.56 digs per set, ranking fourth in the Pac-12, and 0.34 aces per set (10th).
THE SERIES WITH THE SUN DEVILS: The Cardinal leads the all-time series against the Sun Devils 62-4 (.939). Stanford won both matches last season in four sets. The most recent ASU victory came during the 2000 season, when associate head coach Denise Corlett served as the interim head coach for Stanford. It was a four-set win for the Devils in Tempe.
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 Friday’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 11.65 assists per set, spreading the love amongst her teammates in the process. Five Cardinal players are averaging at least 2.00 kills per set - Carly Wopat (3.19), Rachel Williams (3.12), Brittany Howard (3.09), Jordan Burgess (2.29) and Inky Ajanaku (2.13).
CLIMBING THE CHARTS: Senior Carly Wopat already ranks among the top 10 in school history with 503 career blocks. At Cal on Sept. 25, she passed former Cardinal All-American Kerri Walsh (‘00) for fifth all-time at Stanford. She needs just five more blocks to move into fourth place on the charts. 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 one of the Cardinal leaders this season with 3.12 kills per set. She posted double-doubles in three consecutive matches (vs. Pacific, Florida & Texas) and leads the team with five 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 second on the Pac-12 charts with 4.75 digs per set. She collected a season-high 29 digs at California (9/25), leading all players. Gilbert is averaging 3.77 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 .484 hitting percentage this season. Sophomore Inky Ajanaku is 10th 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 (1.41) ranking second and Ajanaku (1.27) fourth.
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 786-165 (.826), giving him a winning percentage that ranks amongst the top-5 all-time for Division I coaches. Dunning is 349-63 in his 13 seasons on The Farm, leading all active coaches in the conference by winning percentage (.847).