Oct. 9, 2012
THIS WEEK: The No. 4 Stanford women’s volleyball team (14-2, 6-0 Pac-12) plays host to No. 6 USC (16-2, 4-2 Pac-12) and No. 7 UCLA (12-3, 4-2 Pac-12) this week at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal and Trojans will meet on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m., while Stanford takes on the defending national champion Bruins on Friday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m.
LOOKING AHEAD: Stanford will hit the road next weekend to travel to the Pacific Northwest to face No. 2 Washington and Washington State. The Cardinal and Huskies, who are tied for first place in the Pac-12, will meet on Friday, Oct. 19, while Stanford and WSU will play on Sunday, Oct. 21. 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/.
PROMOTIONS: Wednesday’s match against the Trojans is Breast Cancer Awareness Night and fans are encouraged to wear pink to show their support. Friday’s match is the 1982 Reunion night. Help celebrate the 30th anniversary of the program’s first Final Four as the 1982 team returns for a special tribute.
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.
SPECIAL GUEST: Three-time gold medalist and Stanford alum Kerri Walsh Jennings will be in attendance at Friday’s match as the Cardinal takes on defending national champion UCLA. She will be available before the match to sign autographs for fans from 5-6 p.m. on the Maples concourse.
The Cardinal moved up to No. 1 in the latest RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) poll this week. Stanford is facing two teams this week ranked in the top 15 as UCLA is No. 4 and USC is No. 12.
NATIONAL POLL: Stanford moved up to No. 4 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Top 25 this week. The Cardinal knocked off previously undefeated and then-No. 2 Oregon and swept Oregon State last week. Penn State held on to the top spot in the poll, while Washington claimed sole possesion of the No. 2 spot. Nebraska, the Cardinal and Oregon round out the top-5. 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 3.04 kills per set, while freshman Jordan Burgess is posting 2.88 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 (5th), blocks (3rd) and hitting percentage (4th). Individually, Carly Wopat leads the league in blocks (1.65) and ranks third in hitting percentage (.388). Freshman Inky Ajanaku is second in hitting percentage (.389), while freshman Madi Bugg is ninth in assists (9.16). Sophomore libero Kyle Gilbert ranks seventh in digs (3.69).
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 762-161 (.826), giving him a winning percentage that ranks amongst the top-5 all-time for Division I coaches. Dunning is 325-59 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 USC: USC enters the week in a tie for fourth place in the Pac-12 with a 4-2 record. The Women of Troy rank second in the conference with 14.73 kills per set and 13.68 assists per set. Leading the way for USC is rookie outside hitter Samantha Bricio, the reigning AVCA, Pac-12 Offensive and Freshman of the Week. She is averaging 4.10 kills per set, 2.44 digs per set and hitting .302. Senior opposite Katie Fuller is second on the squad with 3.75 kills per set and averages 2.27 digs per set. Junior middle blocker Alexis Olgard is a presence in the middle of the court at 6’5”. She is third on the team with 2.70 kills per set and also averages 1.00 blocks per set. Sophomore setter Hayley Crone controls the offense and ranks third in the Pac-12 with 11.33 assists per set, while junior libero Natalie Hagglund, last week’s Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week, is third in the conference with 4.48 digs per set.
THE SERIES WITH THE TROJANS: Stanford leads the all-time series with USC, 56-20 (.737). The teams split its matches last season with the Trojans sweeping the Cardinal in Los Angeles in September. Stanford returned the favor in October with a sweep in Maples Pavilion.
SCOUTING UCLA: The Bruins hold a 4-2 mark in the Pac-12 and are tied for fourth place with USC. UCLA ranks second in the league with a .307 hitting percentage this season. The Bruins are averaging 13.42 assists and 14.40 kills per set, good for third and fourth in the Pac-12, respectively. UCLA is led by a pair of senior outside hitters - Tabi Love and Rachael Kidder. Love leads the team and ranks eighth in the Pac-12 with 4.07 kills per set and 10th with 4.47 points per set. Kidder, an All-American in 2011, is ninth in the conference with 3.91 kills per set and 4.49 points per set. Sophomore middle blocker Zoe Nightingale averges 1.36 kills and ranks seventh in the Pac-12 with 1.36 blocks per set.
THE SERIES WITH THE BRUINS: The Cardinal holds a 41-35 (.539) edge in the all-time series with the Bruins. However, UCLA got the best of Stanford last season, capturing a five-set win in Los Angeles in September and a sweep over the Cardinal in Maples last October.