Oct. 16, 2012
THIS WEEK: The second-ranked Stanford women’s volleyball team (16-2, 8-0 Pac-12) hits the road to take on No. 5 Washington (16-1, 7-1 Pac-12) and Washington State (10-10, 0-8 Pac-12). The Cardinal will face the Huskies in Seattle on Friday, Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. and the Cougars in Pullman, Wash., on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 11 a.m.
LOOKING AHEAD: Stanford will open the second half of Pac-12 play at home against the Arizona schools next week. The Cardinal will take on the Wildcats on Wednesday, Oct. 24 and the Sun Devils on Friday, Oct. 26. Both matches are scheduled for 7 p.m.
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/.
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.
WEEKLY HONORS: Stanford middle blocker Inky Ajanaku and libero Kyle Gilbert are the reigning Pac-12 Freshman and Defensive Players of the Week. Ajanaku led the team last week with a .458 attack percentage and averaged 3.62 kills, 1.62 blocks and 4.44 points per set, including a career high 17 kills against UCLA. Gilbert averaged 5.88 digs per set against the Los Angeles school, tallying a career-best 25 digs against the Bruins.
The Cardinal remained at No. 1 in the latest RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) poll this week. Washington is ranked No. 8 in this week’s RBI, while Washington State sits at No. 122.
NATIONAL POLL: Stanford moved up to No. 2 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Top 25 this week, its highest ranking of the season. The Cardinal topped then-No. 6 USC and then-No. 7 UCLA last week. Penn State held on to the top spot in the poll, while Oregon, Nebraska and Washington round out the top-5. Five Pac-12 squads are ranked in the top-7 again this week.
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: Four different Stanford players are averaging at least 2.00 kills per set this season. Junior Carly Wopat leads the team with 2.93 kills per set, while freshman Jordan Burgess is posting 2.92 kills per set. Rookies Inky Ajanaku and Brittany Howard are also averaging more than 2.00 kill per set.
CONFERENCE LEADERS: As a team, Stanford ranks among the top-5 in the conference in digs (1st), kills (4th), assists (4th), blocks (3rd) and hitting percentage (4th). Individually, Carly Wopat leads the league in blocks (1.65) and ranks fourth in hitting percentage (.379). Freshman Inky Ajanaku is the conference leader in hitting percentage (.400) and ranks 10th in blocks (1.25), while freshman Madi Bugg is eighth in assists (8.73). Sophomore libero Kyle Gilbert ranks sixth in digs (3.96).
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.
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.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Several recent Stanford women’s volleyball alums have continued their careers overseas. Here is a breakdown of their current affiliations:
Foluke Akinradewo - Rabita Baku (Azerbaijan)
Cynthia Barboza - Ufimochka Ufa (Russia)
Alix Klineman - Scavolini Pesaro (Italy)
Cassidy Lichtman - BKS Aluprof Bielsko-Biala (Poland)
Logan Tom - Rio de Janeiro/Unilever/SKY (Brazil)
SPECIAL GUEST: Three-time Olympic gold medalist and Stanford alum Kerri Walsh Jennings was in attendance last week as the Cardinal defeated UCLA in a come-from-behind win in five sets at Maples Pavilion.
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 764-161 (.826), giving him a winning percentage that ranks amongst the top-5 all-time for Division I coaches. Dunning is 327-59 in his 12 seasons on The Farm, leading all active coaches in the conference by winning percentage (.847).
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 WASHINGTON: The Huskies are coming off their first loss of the season, falling in four sets at Oregon last Saturday. Washington is the only Pac-12 team hitting over .300 (.309) this season and also leads the conference in blocks (3.33). The Huskies are led by senior middle blocker Amanda Gil and sophomore outside hitter Krista Vansant. Gil is second in the Pac-12 with 1.63 blocks per set, while Vansant is fourth in points (4.86) and fifth in kills (4.23). UW utilizes two setters as junior Jenni Nogueras is averaging 5.95 assists per set and freshman Katy Beals is posting 5.91 assists per set. Beals leads the Pac-12 in service aces at 0.38. Junior libero Jenna Orlandini is posting 3.74 digs per set.
THE SERIES WITH THE HUSKIES: Stanford holds a 47-11 (.810) advantage in the all-time series with Washington. Last season, the teams split the two meetings as each squad protected its home court. The Cardinal swept the Huskies in Maples on Oct. 15, while UW won in five sets at Alaska Airlines Arena on Nov. 11.
SCOUTING WASHINGTON STATE: The Cougars enter the week still searching for their first Pac-12 win of the season. WSU is hitting .235, but allowing opponents to hit .305 in conference matches. The Cougars are led by sophomore outside hitter Jaicee Harris, who is averaging 4.16 kills and 2.46 digs per set. Senior right side Rachel Todorovich is averaging 3.13 kills and 0.70 blocks, while junior middle blocker Marcelina Glab is adding 2.00 kills and 1.35 blocks per set. Junior setter Camryn Irwin controls the offense and ranks fifth in the Pac-12 with 10.42 assists per set.
THE SERIES WITH THE COUGARS: Stanford leads Washington State 50-3 (.943) in the all-time series. Last season, the Cardinal swept the Cougars in Maples and picked up a four-set win at Bohler Gym. The last WSU victory came on Nov. 16, 2002 in Pullman.