Oct. 23, 2012
THIS WEEK: The No. 2 Stanford women’s volleyball team (18-2, 10-0 Pac-12) begins the second half of Pac-12 play at home against Arizona (12-9, 4-6 Pac-12) and Arizona State (14-9, 3-7 Pac-12). The Cardinal will face the Wildcats on Wednesday, Oct. 24 and the Sun Devils on Friday, Oct. 26. Both matches are slated for 7 p.m. PT from Maples Pavilion.
LOOKING AHEAD: Stanford will hit the road next week to take on Oregon State and No. 3 Oregon. The Cardinal will square off with the Beavers on Friday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. in Corvallis, Ore., and the Ducks on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 1 p.m. in Eugene, Ore.
CATCH THE CARDINAL: Wednesday’s match 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/.
WORLD SERIES VIEWING: Giants fans who want to come watch the Cardinal on Wednesday night but don't want to miss out on Game 1 of the World Series, you're in luck! The game will be shown live on the video board in Maples prior to the match, and during some timeouts and set breaks.
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.
PROMOTIONS: Wednesday’s match has been tabbed Camper Reunion Night. All 2012 women’s volleyball camp members receive free admission with voucher. Friday is Club Night. Several Bay Area volleyball clubs will be set up on the Maples concourse prior to their tryouts. Interested young volleyball players are encouraged to find out more about the clubs in the area. Folling the match against the Sun Devils, there will be a meet-and-greet with the team in Kissick Auditorium (located in the Arrillaga Family Sports Center).
FINDING A WAY:
The 2012 squad has found a way to grind it out and win tough matches, especially in recent weeks. Four of the last six Stanford matches have gone to five sets, including against Oregon, UCLA and Washington, and the Cardinal has come out on top of all of them. Overall, Stanford is 4-1 in five-set matches this season, compared to 1-3 in five-set matches in 2011.
WIN STREAK: The Cardinal has won 16 straight matches, dating back to a four-set win over then-No. 18 Florida on Sept. 1. It marks the longest winning streak since the 2008 season, when Stanford won 16 in a row before falling to Penn State in the national title match.
RPI: The Cardinal remained at No. 1 in the latest RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) poll this week, its third straight week in that spot. Arizona is No. 45, while ASU comes in at No. 47.
NATIONAL POLL: Stanford maintained its position at No. 2 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Top 25 this week. The Cardinal defeated No. 5 Washington and Washington State on the road. 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 2.96 kills per set, while freshman Jordan Burgess is posting 2.85 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 (5th), assists (5th), blocks (3rd) and hitting percentage (4th). Individually, Carly Wopat is second in blocks (1.54) and hitting percentage (.386). Freshman Inky Ajanaku is fourth in hitting percentage (.376) and ranks 10th in blocks (1.23), while freshman Madi Bugg is ninth in assists (8.41). Sophomore libero Kyle Gilbert ranks sixth in digs (3.99).
WOPAT HONORED: Middle blocker Carly Wopat nabbed Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors on Oct. 22. The junior averaged 3.10 kills, 3.75 points and 0.90 blocks per set, while hitting .422 at then-No. 5 Washington and Washington State. Both matches were five-set wins and the Cardinal handed the Huskies their first home loss of the year.
AJANAKU AND GILBERT HONORED: Stanford middle blocker Inky Ajanaku and libero Kyle Gilbert were named the Pac-12 Freshman and Defensive Players of the Week on Oct. 15. Ajanaku led the team against the Los Angeles schools 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 USC and UCLA, tallying a career-best 25 digs against the Bruins.
BURGESS HONORED: 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.
BUGG HONORED: 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.
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 as the Cardinal defeated UCLA in a come-from-behind win in five sets at Maples Pavilion. Walsh Jennings is coming off her unprecedented third gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London with beach partner Misty May-Treanor.
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: In 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 766-161 (.826), giving him a winning percentage that ranks amongst the top-5 all-time for Division I coaches. Dunning is 329-59 in his 12 seasons on The Farm, leading all active coaches in the conference by winning percentage (.848).
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 ARIZONA: The Wildcats enter the week with a 12-9 overall record and tied for sixth place in the Pac-12 (4-6). The ‘Cats are sixth in the conference in kills (13.58), assists (12.79) and hitting percentage (.240). Arizona is led by a pair of sophomore outside hitters - Madi Kingon and Taylor Arizobal. Kingdon ranks fifth in the Pac-12 in kills (4.25) and eighth in points (4.59). Arizobal addes 2.97 kills and 1.30 digs per set. Junior setter Chanel Brown’s 7.39 assists per set is 10th-best in the Pac-12, while her 0.31 aces per set ranks sixth. Junior libero Candace Nicholson is averaging 4.16 digs per set, ranking fifth in the Pac-12.
THE SERIES WITH THE WILDCATS: Stanford leads the all-time series with Arizona, 59-6 (.908), and has won the last 13 meetings. The Cardinal won the first meeting between the squads this season, posting a 3-1 win in Tucson on Sept. 28. Junior Carly Wopat led the team with 15 kills and a .625 hitting percentage, while freshman Inky Ajanaku added 10 kills and seven blocks.
SCOUTING ARIZONA STATE: ASU comes to The Farm with a 14-9 overall record and a 3-7 mark in the Pac-12. The Sun Devils are fourth in the conference in kills (14.08) and assists (13.17), and rank fifth in aces (1.22). ASU is led outside hitters Macey Gardner and Erica Wilson. Gardner, a freshman, leads the Pac-12 with 4.70 kills per set and ranks second in points (5.02). Wilson is fourth in the conference with 4.28 kills and third in points 4.92. Wilson also ranks in the top-10 in aces per set (5th) with 0.33. Rookie setter Allison Palmer controls the offense with 11.48 assists per set, ranking second in the Pac-12. Junior libero Stephanie Preach anchors the defense with 4.64 digs per set, good for second in the conference.
THE SERIES WITH THE SUN DEVILS: The Cardinal is 61-4 overall against the Sun Devils and has won 24 in a row dating back to the 2000 season. Stanford defeated ASU in four sets earlier this year. Freshman Brittany Howard tallied 13 kills to lead the team, while Inky Ajanaku and Jordan Burgess finished with 11 and 10 kills, repectively.