Nov. 23, 2012
BERKELEY, Calif. -The second-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team concluded the regular season with a 25-20, 25-22, 25-19 win at California, Friday, at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif. The Cardinal moves to 27-3 overall and 19-1 in the Pac-12, while the Bears drop to 15-15 overall and 9-11 in the conference.
Stanford was led by freshman middle blocker Inky Ajanaku, who totaled 10 kills, four blocks and a career high four assists. Junior Carly Wopat added eight kills on 15 swings with no errors for a .533 attack percentage, while freshman Jordan Burgess finished with eight kills and 10 digs. Junior Rachel Williams recorded seven kills and four blocks, while freshman Brittany Howard tallied six kills and nine digs.
Freshman setter Madi Buggcontrolled the offense with 24 assists and registered seven digs, four kills and two blocks. Sophomore libero Kyle Gilbert recorded 25 digs to lead all players, marking the 13th time this season she has reached the 20-dig plateau. As a team, Stanford hit .267, while Cal posted a .165 attack percentage in the match.
Stanford captured a 25-20 win in the opening set over Cal. The Cardinal outhit the Bears, .316 to .225, and recorded three blocks. Stanford, which led the entire set, got four kills from Howard and three from Ajanaku, while Burgess and Wopat each had two. Defensively, Gilbert collected six digs to lead the team, while Ajanaku and Bugg tallied two blocks apiece. Cal's Shannon Hawari paced the Bears with six kills.
The Cardinal came from behind to capture the second set, 25-22. Cal jumped out to an early lead, but a block by Williams and Wopat tied the set at 20-20. The pair then recorded two kills each and connected on another block to propel Stanford to the victory. Stanford posted a .216 hitting percentage in the set, while holding Cal to a .098 clip. The Cardinal defense kept the team close, led by 11 digs from Gilbert. Howard and Wopat racked up four digs apiece. Offensively, Williams led the way with four kills, while Ajanaku, Burgess and Wopat put down three each. Cal outside hitter Adrienne Gehan registered five kills to lead the Bears.
Stanford completed the sweep with a 25-19 victory in the third set. The score remained close early as the Bears tied it up five times. However, a 4-1 run in the middle of the set put the Cardinal on top for good. Stanford limited itself to just two attack errors in the third, hitting .286. Cal committed six attack errors in the set, posting a .190 hitting percentage. Ajanaku led the Cardinal with four kills, while Burgess and Wopat registered three apiece. Gilbert racked up eight digs on defense. Gehan and Hawari finished with 10 kills each to lead Cal.
Stanford will learn its postseason fate on Sunday, Nov. 26 as the 64-team field for the 2012 NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship will be announced at 1 p.m. PT on ESPNU. The Cardinal will head to the tournament for the 32nd consecutive season. Stanford and Penn State are the only two teams in the nation to appear in all 32 tournaments.