Oct. 2, 2012
THIS WEEK:The seventh-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team (12-2, 4-0 Pac-12) will play host to No. 2 Oregon (13-0, 4-0 Pac-12) and Oregon State (12-4, 2-2 Pac-12). The Cardinal will face the Ducks on Friday, Oct. 5 at 5:30 p.m. and the Beavers on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 2 p.m. in Maples Pavilion.
LOOKING AHEAD: Stanford will remain at home next week as it welcomes No. 5 USC and No. 6 UCLA to The Farm, Wednesday Oct. 10 and Friday, Oct. 12, respectively. Both matches will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.
CATCH THE CARDINAL: Both matches will be televised live by the Pac-12 Networks. Fans can catch both matches 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/.
FRIDAY'S PROMOTIONS: Friday's match versus Oregon is the only Autograph Night of the year. Don't miss your chance to meet the team following the match. Friday is also Red Zone Night, so the first 100 Stanford students will get free pizza. Finally, Stanford BeWell participants receive four free tickets with voucher, which can be picked up with their confirmation number at the BeWell table.
SUNDAY'S PROMOTIONS: Fans who bring their football ticket from Saturday's game against Arizona will receive $1 general admission to the Oregon State match. Sunday's match is also Super Spikers Day, which grants free admission and a halftime contest for 2012 Super Spikers with a voucher.
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.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Stanford's 1992 team, which won the program's first NCAA title. The squad will be back on campus for homecoming festivities and will be honored between sets two and three at Friday's match versus Oregon. The Cardinal upset previously unbeaten UCLA in four sets in the championship match in Albuquerque, N.M.
SPECIAL GUEST: Three-time gold medalist and Stanford alum Kerri Walsh Jennings will be in attendance on Friday, Oct. 12 as teh Cardinal takes on defending national champion UCLA. She will be available before the match to sign autographs for fans.
RPI: The first RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) poll was released this week and the Cardinal came in at No. 2. Stanford is facing two teams this week ranked in the top 20 as Oregon is No. 8 and Oregon State is No. 20.
NATIONAL POLL: Stanford remained at No. 7 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association's Top 25. The Cardinal defeated Arizona and Arizona State in four sets on the road last week. Penn State held on to the top spot in the poll, while Oregon and Washington are tied for No. 2. Nebraska, USC and UCLA sit ahead of the Cardinal. Five Pac-12 squads are ranked in the Top-7.
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 3.11 kills per set, while freshman Jordan Burgess is posting 2.96 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 (1st), kills (3rd), assists (4th), blocks (4th) and hitting percentage (4th). Individually, Carly Wopat leads the league in blocks (1.66) and ranks second in hitting percentage (.396). Freshman Inky Ajanaku is third in hitting percentage (.393), while freshman Madi Bugg is eighth in assists (9.53). Sophomore libero Kyle Gilbert ranks 10th in digs (3.41).
TOP HONORS: Stanford freshman Jordan Burgess was selected as the Pac-12 Freshman and Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 24 after her efforts against Cal and Utah. The outside hitter averaged 4.57 kills, 4.29 digs, 0.86 blocks and 5.07 points per set. She finished with double-doubles and a career high of 16 kills in both matches.
FRESHMAN 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.
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.
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.
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 760-161 (.825), giving him a winning percentage that ranks amongst the top-5 all-time for Division I coaches. Dunning is 323-59 in his 12 seasons on The Farm, leading all active coaches in the conference by winning percentage (.846).
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 OREGON: Oregon enters the weekend still undefeated on the season (13-0) and 4-0 in the Pac-12. The Ducks lead the nation in kills (15.72) and assists (14.65) per set, while ranking fifth in hitting percentage (.318). An experienced team, Oregon is led by a pair of senior outside hitters. Alaina Bergsma is second in the Pac-12 with 4.71 kills and 5.34 points per set. She is also fifth in the conference with a .376 hitting percentage. Katherine Fischer is averaging 3.07 kills, 2.50 digs and leads the Pac-12 with 0.40 aces per set. Junior setter Lauren Plum leads the nation with 12.88 assists per set, while junior middle blocker Ariana Williams paces the Pac-12 with a .444 hitting percentage.
THE SERIES WITH THE DUCKS: Stanford leads the all-time series versus Oregon, 50-4 (.926). The Cardinal and Ducks split its two matches last season, with each squad winning on the other team's home court. Stanford won in four sets in Eugene, Ore., but fell in a five-set thriller at Maples Pavilion later in the year.
SCOUTING OREGON STATE: The Beavers make their way to The Farm with a 12-4 overall record and a 2-2 mark in the Pac-12. OSU is second in the conference behind the Cardinal with 15.66 digs per set. Senior outside hitter Camille Saxton leads the team and is 10th in the Pac-12 with 3.92 kills per set. She is fifth in aces (0.34) and seventh in points (4.59). Sophomore Arica Nassar is adding 2.37 kills and a team-best 1.24 blocks per set. Senior Megan McBride (7.02 aps) and sophomore Tayla Woods (6.41 aps) have split time at setter for the Beavers. Junior libero Becky Defoe anchors the defense and leads the Pac-12 with 5.28 digs per set.
THE SERIES WITH THE BEAVERS: Stanford is a perfect 54-0 all-time against Oregon State. The Cardinal defeated the Beavers twice last season, both coming as four-set victories.