THIS WEEK:The eighth-ranked Stanford women’s volleyball team will play an exhibition match against Jiangsu, a team from China, on Wednesday, Sept. 5. The Cardinal will then host the Stanford Invitational, featuring Loyola (Chi.), Pacific and Santa Clara, Sept. 7-8. All matches will be played in Maples Pavilion.
LOOKING AHEAD: Stanford will face San Francisco and Saint Mary’s next weekend in the Pac-12/WCC Challenge. The Cardinal will host USF on Friday, Sept. 14 and travel to Moraga, Calif., to take on the Gaels on Saturday, Sept. 15.
CATCH THE CARDINAL: Fans can catch this weekend’s matches on Gametracker available via gostanford.com. KZSU radio will be broadcasting the Jiangsu match at 90.1 FM or online at http://kzsu.stanford.edu/.
SOCIAL NETWORKING: Become a fan of the Cardinal on Facebook by searching for the “Stanford Women’s Volleyball” page. Follow the Cardinal on Twitter @StanfordWVB to get updates on the team this season. Both sites will be updated live during matches this year and will feature unique content on the team.
NIKE BIG FOUR CLASSIC: Stanford finished 1-1 in last weekend’s Nike Volleyball Big Four Classic in State College, Pa. The Cardinal dropped a five-set match to then-No. 4 Penn State at Rec Hall, but bounced back to top No. 18 Florida in four sets. Junior Carly Wopat and sophomore Morgan Boukather were selected to the All-Tournament team.
RETURNING ALL-AMERICANS: Juniors Rachel Williams and Carly Wopat both secured AVCA All-America honorable mention honors in 2011. Wopat was also a Volleyball Magazine First Team All-American as a sophomore. The pair combined to produce 54 percent of the team’s kills, 50 percent of the team’s points and 75 percent of the team’s blocks in 2011.
TOP-RANKED FRESHMAN CLASS: Stanford’s class of 2016 has been tabbed the No. 1 ranked recruiting class in the nation by PrepVolleyball.com. It includes Inky Ajanaku (Tulsa, Okla.), Madi Bugg (Apex, N.C.), Jordan Burgess (Fort Myers, Fla.), Brittany Howard (Los Altos, Calif.) and Megan McGehee (Lee’s Summit, Mo.). All five players were high school All-Americans and ranked among the Top 15 on PrepVolleyball’s Senior Aces list.
ROOKIE DEBUTS: All five of Stanford’s freshmen made their collegiate debuts in the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational. Outside hitter Jordan Burgess recorded two double-doubles (vs. Albany and against Hawaii) and led the Cardinal in kills (30) and digs (28). Outside hitter Brittany Howard tallied the second-most kills at the tournament (25), while middle blocker Inky Ajanaku registered 18 kills and six blocks.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Stanford women’s volleyball program has won more NCAA titles (6), won more NCAA Tournament matches (98), made more Final Four appearances (18), and been in the national championship match (14) more times than any other program in the nation. The Cardinal has captured 17 conference championships and produced 30 or more wins on 15 occasions. It is one of just two programs in the country to have appeared in all 31 NCAA Tournaments, having won all 31 of its first-round matches.
NATIONAL POLL: Stanford moved up a spot in the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Top 25 to No. 8 this week. The Cardinal was 1-1 last week at the Nike Volleyball Big Four Classic. Nebraska remained in the No. 1 spot in the poll, while Penn State jumped to No. 2. UCLA, Texas and USC round out the Top 5. Five Pac-12 squads are ranked in the Top 25.
PAC-12 COACHES’ POLL: Stanford was chosen by the league’s coaches to finish second in the Pac-12 Conference. The Cardinal garnered 109 points and two first-place votes in the preseason poll. Defending national champion UCLA was picked to win the conference title, earning 10 first-place votes. 2012 Final Four participant USC was selected third, while Oregon and Washington round out the Top 5. Seven conference teams advanced to the postseason in 2011, while the Pac-12 has won six of the last 11 NCAA titles. The coaches have correctly chosen the conference champion in 15 of the previous 23 polls.
2011 IN REVIEW: In 2011, Stanford posted a 22-8 overall record and appeared in its 31st straight NCAA Tournament. The Cardinal defeated six ranked opponents and won nine matches by 3-0 margins. Rachel Williams and Carly Wopat were selected to the All-Pac-12 team, while Karissa Cook was an honorable mention pick. Redshirt freshman Lydia Bai was named to the All-Freshman team.
TAKING ON THE BEST: Once again, head coach John Dunning has lined up one of the most challenging schedules in the nation for the Cardinal. Stanford is slated to play 13 regular-season matches against teams ranked in the preseason poll, and 16 against teams that made appearances in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
PAC-12 NETWORKS: The launch of the Pac-12 television networks on August 15, 2012 marked the beginning of a new era for the Conference of Champions. Among the televised events will be 82 Pac-12 women’s volleyball matches. Stanford will take part in 15 of those broadcasts, starting with an exhibition match against Jiangsu, a team from China, on Sept. 5. The Pac-12 Networks will consist of one national and six regional networks devoted solely to the Pac-12 Conference.
HEAD COACH John Dunning: Entering his 12th season at the helm of the Cardinal program, head coach John Dunning is one of the most accomplished coaches in the collegiate volleyball world. Dunning has four national championships under his belt, has taken teams to nine Final Fours and carried six of his 11 Stanford teams to the national championship match.
MILESTONE FOR DUNNING: In 2010, Dunning secured his 700th career win. In 27 years as a head coach, he is 751-161 (.823), giving him a winning percentage that ranks amongst the top-5 all-time for Division I coaches. Dunning is 314-59 in his 12 seasons on The Farm, leading all active coaches in the conference by winning percentage (.842).
HALL OF FAMER: Head coach John Dunning was one of three inductees who were selected to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Hall of Fame class of 2011. He, along with Liz Masakayan and Gerald `Gerry’ Matacotta, were honored at the 2011 Final Four in San Antonio, Texas.
ABOUT JIANGSU: The Jiangsu women’s volleyball team was established in 1958 and has experienced tremendous success in China. All of the team members and coaches are citizens of Jiangsu Province, one of the most developed and affluent areas in the lower part of Yangtze river delta adjoining Shanghai City. The squad is coached by Mr. Yongye XUE, who was a national team member from 1978-83. During its time in the U.S., the team has defeated USC in four sets, UCLA in five sets, and swept Arizona and Pepperdine.
SCOUTING SANTA CLARA: The Broncos have begun the 2012 season with a 6-1 record with its only loss coming to North Carolina. Santa Clara is hitting .232 as a team and holding its opponents to a .176 clip. Sophomore outside hitter Taylor Milton leads the team with 3.00 kills and 2.30 digs per set. SCU has utilized two setters, junior Alyssa Anderson (6.50 assits per set) and sophomore Chelsea Heier (5.26 assits per set). Sophomore libero Katy Schatzman has racked up 129 digs in 30 sets (4.30 dps).
THE SERIES WITH THE BRONCOS: Stanford is 26-1 all-time against Santa Clara. The most reccent meeting between the two squads came during the 2008 Stanford Invitational, where the Cardinal recorded a sweep over the Broncos. SCU’s only win came in the second round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament, a four-set win at Maples Pavilion.
SCOUTING LOYOLA: The Ramblers are 5-2 overall entering the weekend’s tournament. Loyola is led by senior outside hitter Anna Eytchison who has posted 4.48 kills, 1.91 digs and 0.78 blocks per set. Freshman setter Brittany Brown has controlled the offense, registering 9.87 assists per set and 1.57 kills per set. Freshman libero Stephanie Kinane has a team-best 5.00 digs per set through the first seven matches.
THE SERIES WITH THE RAMBLERS: Saturday’s match marks the first meeting between the Cardinal and the Ramblers.
SCOUTING PACIFIC: Pacific enters the weekend with a perfect 6-0 record. The Tigers are hitting .233 as a team and recording over 2.00 blocs per set and 19.00 digs per set. Juniors Megan Birch and Jennifer Sanders have led the offense. Birch, an outside hitter, has tallied 3.32 kills per set, while Sanders, a middle blocker, is hitting .361 with 3.09 kills and 0.86 blocks per set. Senior Hannah Clancy is the Tigers’ setter, posting 10.68 assists per set and 3.14 digs per set.
THE SERIES WITH THE TIGERS: Stanford leads Pacific in the all-time series 28-22. The Cardinal captured a five-set win in the most recent meeting in 2004 in Stockton, Calif.