April 20, 2010
STANFORD, Calif. - Head coach John Dunning has announced the schedule for the 2010 Stanford women's volleyball season. Competing in one of the nation's toughest conferences, the Cardinal will look to defend four consecutive Pac-10 titles, make a run to its 19th Final Four and battle for its seventh NCAA Championship.
Stanford opens the season on Aug. 27 at the New Mexico Invitational in Albuquerque, playing matches against 2009 NCAA Tournament participants Tulane and New Mexico as well as Pepperdine to start the year (Aug. 27-29).
The team is then scheduled to host the Stanford Invitational, Sept. 2-4 at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal will face UC Irvine on Thursday and Marquette on Saturday. The Anteaters and Golden Eagles will play one another on Friday.
The following weekend, Stanford will participate in perhaps the most competitive preseason tournament of the season. The Cardinal will travel to Gainesville, Fla., to play in the Florida Invitational (Sept. 10-11). The tournament field boasts three-time defending NCAA Champion Penn State, the 2009 NCAA runner-up Texas Longhorns and NCAA Regional semi-finalist Florida.
In its final tune-up before the conference season begins, Stanford will play road games at 2009 NCAA Tournament participant Saint Mary's on Friday, Sept. 17, and at San Francisco on Saturday, Sept. 18.
The Cardinal will begin Pac-10 play on the road, traveling to Tempe, Ariz., Friday, Sept. 24, to take on the Sun Devils. Stanford will be defending four consecutive Pac-10 championships, while competing in the conference that sent eight of its 10 teams to the NCAA Tournament in 2009.
The Cardinal will open its home Pac-10 season with the Oregon schools on Oct. 1-2. The Washington schools will visit in the middle of October before Stanford plays a key match-up against regional finalist and rival California on Oct. 22. Traditional powers USC and UCLA will come to The Farm in early November, while the Arizona schools will make the trip the week of Thanksgiving.
The NCAA Tournament begins with opening rounds, Dec. 2-5. NCAA Regional action will take place the following week, Dec. 9-12, with Penn State, Washington, Texas and Dayton serving as the host sites. The Final Four is set for Dec. 16-18 in Kansas City, Mo.
Stanford returns nine of the letterwinners that led the team to its fourth-straight Pac-10 title and 29th consecutive NCAA appearance. Among the returners is a trio of seniors, including three-time All-American Alix Klineman, 2009 First Team AVCA All-American Cassidy Lichtman and Stanford's career digs leader Gabi Ailes.