Sept. 18, 2012
THIS WEEK:The sixth-ranked Stanford women’s volleyball team opens Pac-12 Conference play at home against Bay Area rival California on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. PT. The Cardinal will then head to Salt Lake City to battle Utah on Friday, Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. PT.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Cardinal will remain on the road next weekend as it travels to the desert to face Arizona and Arizona State. Stanford will play the Wildcats in Tucson, Ariz., on Friday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. The Cardinal and Sun Devils will face off in a Pac-12 Networks match on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. PT.
CATCH THE CARDINAL: Fans can catch both matches this week on Gametracker available via gostanford.com. KZSU radio will also be broadcasting both matches at 90.1 FM or online at http://kzsu.stanford.edu/. Additionally, both matches will be shown live on the Pac-12 Networks.
TICKET PROMO: Fans who attend Wednesday’s match can take their volleyball ticket to Cagan Stadium on Friday, Sept. 21 for free admission to the men’s soccer game versus Loyola Marymount.
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.
LAST WEEK: Stanford finished 2-0 in the Pac-12/WCC Challenge, sweeping USF at home and defeating Saint Mary’s in four sets on the road. Junior Carly Wopat led the team in kills in both matches, averaging 3.57 kills, 5.00 points and 1.86 blocks per set.
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: Five different Stanford players are averaging at least 2.00 kills per set this season. Junior Carly Wopat leads the team with 3.07 kills per set, while freshman Jordan Burgess is posting 2.74 kills per set. 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 (5th), kills (5th) and hitting percentage (3rd). Individually, sophomore Morgan Boukather is second in hitting percentage (.436), while junior Carly Wopat is fourth (.407) and freshman Inky Ajanaku is 10th (.374). Wopat leads the league in blocks (1.59), while freshman Madi Bugg is 10th in assists (8.88). Sophomore libero Kyle Gilbert ranks ninth in digs (3.42).
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. 6, matching its highest ranking this season. The Cardinal was 2-0 last week in the Pac-12/WCC Challenge. UCLA regained the top spot in the poll, while USC moved to No. 2. Nebraska, Penn State and Washington round out the Top 5. Five Pac-12 squads are ranked in the Top-8.
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 756-161 (.824), giving him a winning percentage that ranks amongst the top-5 all-time for Division I coaches. Dunning is 319-59 in his 12 seasons on The Farm, leading all active coaches in the conference by winning percentage (.844).
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 CALIFORNIA: Cal finished non-conference action with a 6-4 overall record and a 1-2 mark on the road. Due to injuries to several key players, Cal is unranked for the first time since 2002. Cal defeated Saint Mary’s last week, but was swept by USF in the Pac-12/WCC Challenge. As a team, the Golden Bears ranks third in the Pac-12 in digs (15.50) and seventh in blocks (2.71). Junior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan leads the squad with 3.39 kills and 2.61 digs per set. Fifth-year senior middle hitter Shannon Hawari is hitting .335 with 2.29 kills and 1.13 blocks per set. Junior USD transfer Joan Caloiro has controlled the offense at setter, ranking eighth in the conference with 9.50 assists per set. Freshman libero Mary McKennon has stepped in for the injured Robin Rostratter and is fifth in the Pac-12 with 3.95 digs per set.
THE SERIES WITH THE GOLDEN BEARS: Stanford leads the all-time series versus Cal, 61-11 (.847). However, the Golden Bears have gotten the best of the Cardinal over the last two seasons. Cal has won four matches in a row, all coming in four sets. Stanford’s last win over Cal was a five-set thriller on Nov. 27, 2009. The match, at Maples Pavilion, sealed Stanford’s fourth consecutive Pac-10 title in comeback fashion.
SCOUTING UTAH: The Utes enter the week with a 9-4 overall record. Friday’s match against the Cardinal is Utah’s Pac-12 home. The Utes have not played in the Huntsman Center since Oct. 1, 1993 against BYU. As a team, Utah is second in the Pac-12 and sixth nationally with 3.11 blocks per set. The Utes are led offensively by a pair of outside hitters. Sophomore Chelsey Schofield is averaging a team-best 3.46 kills per set, while junior Morgan Odale is turning in 2.76 kills and 2.46 digs per set. Sophomore middle blocker Bailey Bateman ranks third in the Pac-12 with 1.55 blocks per set, while junior middle blocker Erin Redd is tallying 2.52 kills and 1.09 blocks per set.
THE SERIES WITH THE UTES: Stanford is 5-1 overall against Utah. The Cardinal swept the Utes in both Pac-12 matches last season. Utah’s lone win came in 2000 when the Cardinal was ranked No. 1 in the country. The Utes claimed a five-set victory in Salt Lake City.