June 18, 2006
Nocera Umbra, Italy - Despite travel fatigue, a warm, muggy gymnasium and a talented opponent, the Stanford women's volleyball recorded its third victory in as many matches during its European trip on Sunday night with a 18-25, 25-23, 25-23, 21-25, 15-13 victory over the Italian Junior National team.
Kristin Richards recorded 15 kills while Foluke Akinradewo added 12 and Nji Nnamani collected ten kills to lead the Stanford attack.
The Cardinal collected 48 kills in 99 attempts.
Franci Girard keyed the Stanford attack with four of the team's eight kills in the fifth game, a 15-13 decision. The fifth game saw the Italian Junior National team jump to a 3-1 lead. Stanford took the lead for good at 6-5. The lead expanded to four points (12-8) before the Italians mounted a final comeback. At 14-11 in favor of Stanford, The Italians scored two straight points. But Foluke Akinradewo ended the two hour, 20 minute match with a kill that dropped to the center of the opponents court.
Pictures and statistics of the match are available at www.bringitusa.com/stanford2006.
Now the Daily Diary with Stanford's Cynthia Barboza "On the bus ride (three hours) from Rome to Nocera Umbra, I definitely didn't think about school. I read for about 30 minutes, then got a little car sick, and then decided to put on the IPod and catch some sleep. Tonight's match against the Italians was our closest match, but a great win for the Cardinal. The Italians are a good team. This trip has been a lot of fun.
Saturday was probably the coolest day. Several of us were able to climb to the top of St. Peter's Basilica and we were able to look down from the top of the Dome inside the church, and then we were also able to look out and see the entire city. It's an incredibly pretty city."
Editors Note: It is Sunday, June 18, and despite the lack of sleep and having to pack two weeks of clothes, the team was in a good mood as it embarked on the three hour bus trip from Rome to Nocera Umbra, which is 170 miles northeast of Rome. It's Father Day so Katie Goldhahn takes the opportunity to wish all the guys on the bus (single or married) a Happy Father's Day. This team has already taken hundreds of pictures of Rome that brings laughter and memories of a trip that has lasted only four days with ten more to go. The bus ride offers everyone a chance see the beautiful countryside landscape, a chance to talk about the recently completed school year, and Goldhahn's dream of living in a castle in Italy with two Ferrari's in the garage, a vineyard, etc. The language barrier can be a bit of a problem. Not much English is spoken, so you had better know a few Italian words and be familiar with the monetary denomination or else you're in trouble. Pizza has become a familiar staple while sight seeing. The pizza is obviously good, and price is inexpensive for a slice. It's the day after the World Cup match between the United States and Italy so the city of Rome is a bit quiet after the tense match the night before. The crowded restaurants and beach parties were plentiful as Italy tied the United States at the World Cup. Italy takes the World Cup very seriously. Nocera Umbra is the small town where Stanford played its third match of the trip against the Italian Junior National team. Nocera Umbra, which is nestled high in the hills, was founded by the Umbrians in the sixth century (BC) and became a municipality under the Romans. In 1700, it became an important city for its thermal spring baths. The tradition lives on today with the Terme del Cantino springs. After the match against the Italian Junior National team, both teams posed for a team picture, and exchanged well wishes. The language barrier was a bit of a problem. The Italians don't speak much English, and the Stanford team doesn't speak much Italian. But both teams still laughed at their attempts to conquer the language barrier. Both teams then ate dinner at the hotel. Stanford leaves early Monday morning for Ravenna for a match against another tough club team, Teodora Ravenna.