Sept. 10, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. - The third-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team topped No. 7 Florida, 25-17, 25-20, 20-25, 21-25, 15-13, Saturday, in the tournament championship of the Nike Volleyball Big Four Classic at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal (6-0) completes an undefeated preseason for the second straight year, while the Gators fall to 7-2.
Sophomore outside hitter Rachel Williams was named the tournament's MVP. The Los Gatos, Calif., native posted a double-double, her third of the season, with 23 kills and 14 digs. Sophomore Carly Wopat finished with 13 kills, six digs and six blocks, while junior middle blocker Jessica Walker tallied nine kills, three blocks and three service aces.
Setter Karissa Cook recorded her fourth double-double of the year with 48 assists and 10 digs. Freshman defensive specialist Kyle Gilbert registered 14 digs, tying Williams for the most of the team. Junior libero Hannah Benjamin chipped in with 10.
The Gators were led by senior Kelly Murphy's triple-double of 14 kills, 29 assists and 10 digs. Senior outside hitter Kristy Jaeckel added 20 kills and 16 digs, while junior Tangerine Wiggs added 18 kills and five digs.
Stanford jumped out to an early lead in the opening set and never looked back as the Cardinal won 25-17. Stanford hit .250, while holding Florida to a .152 clip. The Cardinal capitalized on 10 Gator errors and was led by Wopat's six kills. Williams chipped in with three kills and two digs, while Cook posted eight assists and two digs. Freshman Kyle Gilbert led the defense with five digs. Florida was led by senior Kelly Murphy's four kills.
Despite being out hit in the second, Stanford maintained the lead throughout the set for a 25-20 victory. Neither team hit over .200 in the set. The Cardinal collected 13 digs, three blocks and five service aces, while taking advantage of 12 Florida errors. Williams paced the team with five kills and three digs, while junior middle blocker Jessica Walker
put down three kills. Tangerine Wiggs led the Gators with five kills.
Florida avoided the sweep, capturing a 25-20 win in the third set. The Gators were on fire offensively, posting a .394 team attack percentage. Stanford committed 10 errors in the set, which had three tie scores and two lead changes. The Cardinal was led by Williams' seven kills, while Wopat had five. Florida's Kristy Jaeckel paced the Gators with seven kills in the third set.
Stanford's offense went flat in the fourth as Florida forced a fifth set with a 25-21 win in the fourth. The Gators held the Cardinal, which only registered eight kills, to a .049 attack percentage in the set. Wiggs and Jaeckel led Florida with seven kills each, while Williams tallied three for the Cardinal.
The Cardinal outlasted the Gators in the final set, 15-13. There were seven tie scores and four lead changes. Stanford posted a match-high .389 attack percentage in the set, while holding the Gators to a .222 clip. Williams led the team with five kills and Walker pitched in with two kills and a huge block. Murphy and Wiggs led the Gators with three kills each.
With the win, Stanford is now 4-0 in the Nike Volleyball Big Four Classic, having won the title last year in Gainesville, Fla., with sweeps of Texas and Penn State.
Texas defeated Penn State in the consolation match, 3-2, earlier in the evening.
Joining Williams on the all-tournament team from Stanford were Cook and Wopat. Also selected were Florida's Murphy and Jaeckel, Texas' Haley Eckerman and Penn State's Deja McClendon.
Stanford faces a quick turnaround as it travels to Berkeley, Calif., on Tuesday, Sept. 13 for a conference showdown with top-ranked California at 7 p.m. The Cardinal will then host Pac-12 newcomers Utah and Colorado on Sept. 16-17 at Maples Pavilion.