April 12, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. - Head coach John Dunning has announced the schedule for the 2011Stanford women's volleyball season. Competing in one of the nation's toughest conferences, the Cardinal will look to defend five consecutive league titles in the newly formed Pac-12 Conference, make a run to its 19th Final Four and battle for its seventh NCAA Championship.
Stanford opens the season on Friday, Aug. 26 at the Rice Nike Invitational in Houston, Texas against host Rice. The Cardinal will also face 2010 NCAA Tournament participants Delaware and Alabama A&M on Saturday, Aug. 27.
The team is then scheduled to host back-to-back tournaments starting with the Stanford Invitational, Sept. 2-3 at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal will take on Notre Dame on Friday and Duke on Saturday. Saint Mary's will also participate in the tournament, facing Duke on Friday and Notre Dame on Saturday.
The following weekend, Stanford will host perhaps the most competitive preseason tournament of the season. The Cardinal will welcome four-time defending national champion Penn State, 2010 Final Four participant Texas and last year's number one overall seed Florida for the second annual Nike Volleyball Big Four Classic (Sept. 9-10). Last year, Stanford won the inaugural tournament in Gainesville, Fla., sweeping Texas and Penn State, snapping the Nittany Lions' 109 match win streak in the process.
Stanford will begin the first season of Pac-12 Conference play on the road at Bay Area rival California, Tuesday, Sept. 13. The Cardinal will then play host to new members, Utah and Colorado, that weekend, Sept. 16-17. Stanford will be defending five consecutive conference championships, while competing in a league that sent six of its 10 teams to the NCAA Tournament in 2010.
The Cardinal will continue Pac-12 play in Los Angeles, facing UCLA and 2010 Final Four participant USC, Sept. 23-24. Stanford then returns to The Farm to host the Arizona schools, Sept. 30 - Oct. 2.
The Washington schools visit in mid-October (Oct. 14-15) before the Los Angeles schools make their yearly visit the last weekend of the month (Oct. 28-29).
After back-to-back weekends on the road in Colorado/Utah and at the Washington schools, the Cardinal will play its final three conference games at Maples Pavilion. Stanford will host the Oregon schools Nov. 18-20 and rival California on Nov. 25.
The NCAA Tournament begins with opening rounds, Dec. 1-4. NCAA Regional action will take place the following week, Dec. 9-10, with Florida, Hawai'i, Kentucky and Minnesota serving as the host sites. The Final Four is set for Dec. 15-17 in San Antonio, Texas.
Stanford returns 10 of the letterwinners that led the team to its fifth-straight Pac-10 title and 30th consecutive NCAA appearance.