Dec. 1, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - The second-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team downed Western Kentucky (25-15, 25-23, 25-15) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, Saturday, at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, Calif. The Cardinal (29-3) advances to its 10th regional under 12th-year head coach John Dunning. The Lady Toppers finish the season with a 33-4 overall record.
The win marked the 100th NCAA Tournament win for the Stanford program, which leads the nation. Freshman middle blocker Inky Ajanaku led the team Saturday with 11 kills on 15 swings with just two errors for a .600 hitting percentage. She also recorded nine blocks, one off of her career high. Freshman Brittany Howard added eight kills, eight digs and three blocks, while junior Rachel Williams tallied seven kills, five digs and five blocks.
Freshman setter Madi Bugg guided the Cardinal offense in the win, picking up 27 assists to go with four kills and three digs. Sophomore libero Kyle Gilbert finished with nine digs and seven assists. As a team, Stanford posted 15 blocks to just two by WKU. The Cardinal hit .349 in the match, while holding the Lady Toppers to a .125 attack percentage.
The Cardinal came out sluggish, but turned it around to win the first set 25-15. Stanford hit .345 in the opening set and picked up six blocks. The Lady Toppers tallied eight attack errors for a .033 hitting percentage. Ajanaku led the Cardinal with four kills and four blocks. Howard also registered four kills, while Bugg and Williams added two apiece. Heather Boyan led WKU with five kills on seven attempts.
Once again, the Cardinal had to come-from-behind to win the second set 25-23. WKU led by as many as three points several times during the set, which had nine tie scores and seven lead changes. The Lady Toppers improved on their hitting percentage from the first set, posting a .216 clip in the second. Stanford hit .290 and collected four more blocks. Williams paced the team with four kills, while Ajanaku added three. WKU was again led by Boyan, who recorded five kills, while Paige Wessel also tallied five kills for the Lady Toppers.
Stanford dominated the third set, hitting .423 with just one attack error. The Cardinal continued to play solid defense, picking up five blocks in the third. Ajanaku continued to lead the team, registering four kills and two blocks. Howard and Wopat added two kills each, while Wopat also registered three blocks. Boyan finished with 12 kills to lead WKU.
With the win, Stanford has advanced to the Berkeley Regional and will face 15-seed Iowa State on Friday, Dec. 7 at Haas Pavilion. Tickets for the Berkeley Regional can be purchased directly from Cal by calling 1-800-GO-BEARS or online at CalBears.com. All tickets are general admission.