Sept. 12, 2012
THIS WEEK: The No. 7 Stanford women's volleyball team will compete in the Pac-12/WCC Challenge. The Cardinal play host to San Francisco on Friday, Sept. 14 in Maples Pavilion and then travels to Moraga, Calif., on Saturday, Sept. 15 to take on Saint Mary's. Both matches are slated for 7 p.m.
LOOKING AHEAD: Stanford opens Pac-12 play next week, welcoming Bay Area rival Califrornia on Wednesday, Sept. 19. The Cardinal will then travel to Salt Lake City, where it faces Utah on Friday, Sept. 21. Both matches will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.
CATCH THE CARDINAL: Fans can catch Friday's match against the Dons on Gametracker available via gostanford.com. The match against USF will be steamed live at this link: http://pac-12.com/live/gostanford.aspx KZSU radio will be broadcasting both matches at 90.1 FM or online at http://kzsu.stanford.edu/.
KIDS FREE: Friday's match versus USF is Kid's Day at Maples Pavilion ! All kids 14 and under who register online and bring a voucher will receive free general admission to the match. Register here.
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.
STANFORD INVITATIONAL RECAP: The Cardinal claimed the 2012 Stanford Invitational championship, going 3-0 in the tournament at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal swept Santa Clara and Pacific, and defeated Loyola (Chi.) in four sets. Junior Carly Wopat led the team offensively, hitting .513 and averaging 4.92 points, 3.67 kills and 1.50 blocks per set. She was named the tournament's MVP, while sophomore libero Kyle Gilbert and freshman setter Madi Bugg were selected to the all-tournament team.
NIKE BIG FOUR CLASSIC:
Stanford finished 1-1 in the third annual 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.
SHARING THE WEALTH: Six different Stanford players are averaging at least 2.00 kills per set this season. No other team in the conference can match that number. Junior Carly Wopat leads the team with 2.91 kills per set, while freshman Jordan Burgess is posting 2.89 kills per set. Senior Hayley Spelman, sophomore Morgan Boukather and rookies Inky Ajanaku and Brittany Howard are also averaging at least 2.00 kill per set.
CONFERENCE LEADERS: As a team, Stanford ranks among the top-5 in the conference in digs (2nd), assists (4th), kills (4th) and hitting percentage (4th). Individually, sophomore Morgan Boukather is second in hitting percentage (.452), while junior Carly Wopat is seventh (.390). Wopat ranks second in blocks (1.50), while freshman Madi Bugg is 10th in assists (8.08). Sophomore libero Kyle Gilbert ranks 10th in digs (3.28).
CONFERENCE HONORS: Rookie setter Madi Bugg was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week on Sept. 10, marking the first Cardinal player to receive the honor in program history. Bugg helped lead the team to a 3-0 record in the Stanford Invitational, averaging 11.40 assists, 3.20 digs and 1.20 blocks per set. She also averaged 2.00 points per set, hit .429 and was selected to the all-tournament team.
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. 7 this week. The Cardinal went 3-0 last week in the Stanford Invitational. Nebraska remained in the No. 1 spot in the poll, while UCLA moved to No. 2. USC, Penn State and Washington round out the Top 5. Five Pac-12 squads are ranked in the Top 10.
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 754-161 (.824), giving him a winning percentage that ranks amongst the top-5 all-time for Division I coaches. Dunning is 317-59 in his 12 seasons on The Farm, leading all active coaches in the conference by winning percentage (.843).
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.
SCOUTING SAN FRANCISCO: USF enters the weekend with a 7-3 overall record, including a five-set win over then-No. 25 California on Sept. 1. As a team, USF is hitting .250, while holding its opponents to a .180 hitting percentage. Senior outside hitter Jocelyn Levig leads the team with 3.74 kills and 1.97 digs per set. Freshman outside hitter Ester de Vries is posting 2.85 kills per set, while sophomore middle blocker Valentina Zaloznik is hitting a team-best .332 to go with 2.66 kills per set. Sophomore libero Rebecca Kopilovitch anchors the defense with 4.09 digs per set.
THE SERIES WITH THE DONS: Stanford is a perfect 18-0 all-time against USF. The Cardinal swept the Dons in the most recent meeting between the teams on Sept. 18, 2010 in San Francisco.
SCOUTING SAINT MARYS: Saint Mary's has started the 2012 campaign with a 5-4 record, with all four of its losses coming to ranked opponents. Saturday's match against the Cardinal is the team's home opener at McKeon Pavilion. SMC is led this season by its upperclassmen - seniors Lauren Corp and Gabby Jolly and junior Kristina Graven. Jolly, a middle blocker, leads the team with a .364 attack percentage and 1.26 blocks per set to go with 3.11 kills per set. Graven paces the squad with 3.29 kills per set and 2.96 digs per set, while Corp is averaging 3.07 kills and 2.32 digs per set. Redshirt freshman Dalas Dodd controls the offense with 11.86 assists per set. She is also averaging 2.07 digs and 0.86 blocks per set.
THE SERIES WITH THE GAELS: Stanford leads the all-time series against Saint Mary's 11-2. The teams met in the season opener at the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational on Aug. 24. The Cardinal swept the Gaels, 25-14, 25-16, 25-20, at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu. Junior Carly Wopat led the team with 10 kills, six blocks and five digs. Senior Hayley Spelman added eight kills and six blocks in the win. Gabby Jolly led the Gaels with eight kills and three blocks.