Nov. 21, 2011
No. 6 Stanford (21-6/15-6 Pac-12) vs. No. 10 California (25-6/15-6 Pac-12) - 7 p.m.
Nov. 25 - Maples Pavilion - Stanford, Calif.
THIS WEEK: The sixth-ranked Stanford women’s volleyball team (21-6, 15-6 Pac-12) plays host to Bay Area rival No. 10 California (25-6, 15-6 Pac-12) on Friday, Nov. 25 in both teams’ final regular season match of the year. The Cardinal and Golden Bears, who will be playing for a third-place finish in the conference, will square off at 7 p.m. in Maples Pavilion.
CATCH THE CARDINAL: The match will be televised by Fox Sports Net on a tape-delayed basis. Check local listings for match times in your area. The match will also be available via Gametracker on gostanford.com. KZSU radio will be broadcasting the match at 90.1 FM or online at http://kzsu.stanford.edu/.
SENIOR NIGHT: Friday’s match is Senior Night. The Cardinal will honor its two seniors, Stephanie Browne and Katherine Sebastian, prior to the start of the match.
LOOKING AHEAD: The 64-team field for the 2011 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship will be announced on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 3 p.m. PT on ESPNU. Stanford will head to the tournament for the 31st consecutive year. The Cardinal and Penn State are the only two programs in the nation to appear in all 30 NCAA Championships.
SOCIAL NETWORKING: Become a fan of the Cardinal on Facebook by searching for the “Stanford Women’s Volleyball” page. Follow the Cardinal at twitter.com/StanfordWVB to get updates on the team this season. Both sites will be updated live during matches this year.
Stanford split its matches last week at home against the Oregon schools. The Cardinal dropped a five-set match to Oregon on Friday. Sophomore Carly Wopat
tied her career high with 18 kills and set a new season-best with a .692 hitting percentage against the Ducks. Sophomore Rachel Williams
posted a team-high 21 kills and 18 digs. The Cardinal rebounded with a four-set win over Oregon State on Sunday. Williams again tallied 21 kills and added 13 digs for her Pac-12 leading 18th double-double of the year. Wopat recorded a career high 11 blocks against the Beavers. As a team, Stanford registered a season high 69 kills in the match.
RPI: Stanford is ranked 16th in the latest NCAA RPI rankings. The Cardinal is the third highest Pac-12 squad with USC coming in at No. 9 and UCLA at No. 15. Seven Pac-12 squads are ranked in the top-50 of the poll.
300 CLUB: The team’s win at Oregon State on Oct. 7 gave head coach John Dunning his 300th career victory at Stanford. He is now 310-55 all-time on The Farm.
DOMINATING DEFENSE: Stanford has turned up the defensive intensity this season. The Cardinal is second in the nation and the Pac-12 with 3.19 blocks per set. Stanford leads the conference with 16.86 digs per set. Stanford posted 21 blocks against Notre Dame and Arizona, and 104 digs against Duke, both are the most by a conference team this season.
AHEAD OF THE PAC: Sophomore Rachel Williams has been the team’s offensive leader all season. The outside hitter is fifth in the conference with 4.31 kills per set (21st nationally) and 4.95 points per set (19th nationally). She also leads the Pac-12 with 18 double-doubles this season.
BLOCK PARTY: Sophomore middle blocker Carly Wopat leads the Pac-12 with 1.61 blocks per set, which ranks third nationally. Wopat set a new career high with 11 blocks against Oregon State on Nov. 20. Her previous career-best was nine blocks, which she posted three times this season (vs. Delaware, vs. Notre Dame and vs. Arizona).
CONTROLLING THE OFFENSE: Junior setter Karissa Cook has adjusted nicely to Stanford’s five-one system. After sharing setting duties with Cassidy Lichtman for the past two seasons running a six-two offense, Cook ranks fourth in the Pac-12 with 11.32 assists per set. She has also stepped up other aspects of her game, ranking second in the conference with 17 double-doubles this season.
LUCKY NUMBER 20: With its win at Washington State on Nov. 13, Stanford has recorded its 11th consecutive 20-win season. It is the 30th time in program history the Cardinal has registered 20 wins or more in a season.
PAC-12 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Sept. 5: Junior Karissa Cook was named the Defensive Player of the Week for her efforts at the Stanford Invitational. She averaged 5.00 digs per set and 0.88 blocks per set in wins over Notre Dame and then-No. 18 Duke.
Sept. 12: Sophomore Rachel Williams picked up her first career weekly honors after being selected the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week. She led the team to wins over then-No. 2 Penn State and then-No. 7 Florida and was named the MVP of the Nike Volleyball Big Four Classic. Sophomore Carly Wopat picked up Defensive Player of the Week, joining Williams on the all-tournament team.
Oct. 3: Carly Wopat earned Offensive Player of the Week, becoming the first player to earn offensive and defensive honors in the same season. She hit .502 against ASU and Arizona, registering 26 kills and 14 blocks.
Oct. 17: Karissa Cook was tabbed Offensive Player of the Week, joining teammate Carly Wopat as the only two conference players to earn offensive and defensive honors this season. Cook led the team to sweeps over Washington State and then-No. 2 Washington, averaging 11.00 assists, 1.00 kills and 1.75 points per set.
NATIONAL HONORS: Junior setter Karissa Cook garnered AVCA National Player of the Week honors after leading the Cardinal to sweeps over Washington State and then-No. 2 Washington. She became the second conference player to earn the national honor this season. It marked the 14th time a Stanford player had received the recognition.
ALL-CONFERENCE RETURNERS: All-Conference returners for the Cardinal this season are junior Hayley Spelman (honorable mention) and sophomores Rachel Williams and Carly Wopat (all-freshmen). With the departure of Gabi Ailes, Alix Klineman and Cassidy Lichtman, the trio will be looked upon to lead the Stanford offense in 2011.
NEW ROLES: With just two seniors on the roster of 14, the junior class has stepped up into new leadership roles this season. Setter Karissa Cook is running a five-one system for the first time since she’s been on the Farm. Hannah Benjamin, who earned the starting libero spot to start the season, is being looked upon to lead the Cardinal defense as she has the most on-court experience of the returning defensive specialists.
HAPPY SHE’S BACK: Senior setter Katherine Sebastian has rejoined the team this season after taking a one-year hiatus to study abroad in Barcelona, Spain. Sebastian, who was a member of the 2008 and 2009 Cardinal teams, will back up Karissa Cook at the setter position this season.
NEWCOMERS: Stanford’s class of 2015 includes outside hitter/defenisve specialist Lauren Birks, outside hitter Morgan Boukather and libero/defensive specialist Kyle Gilbert. All three players hail from southern California and made their collegiate debuts at the Rice Invitational.
NATIONAL POLL: Stanford dropped to No. 6 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s top-25 this week after splitting its two matches against the Oregon schools last week. USC remained No. 1 team, while Nebraska, Hawaii, UCLA and Texas round out the top-5. Six Pac-12 squads are ranked in the top-15, including four of the top-10.
PAC-12 COACHES’ POLL: Stanford was chosen by the conference coaches to place fourth in the newly formed Pac-12. Stanford garnered 92 points in the preseason poll. Final Four participant USC was picked to win the conference title, earning 11 first-place votes. Last year’s national runner-up Cal was selected second, while Washington came in third. Six conference teams advanced to the postseason in 2010, while the Pac-12 has won five of the last 10 NCAA titles. The coaches have correctly chosen the conference champion in 14 of the previous 22 polls.
CARDINAL ABROAD: Ten members of the Cardinal squad and its staff traveled to China in June for two tournaments and a lot of sight-seeing. Stanford played six matches (three in Weifang and three in Beijing) and experienced the Chinese culture. Among the sites, the team visited the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven and Tiananmen Square.
2010 IN REVIEW: In 2010, Stanford posted a 27-4 overall record and claimed a share of its unprecedented 14th conference championship. The team finished the year with a postseason run to its fourth NCAA regional final in the past five years. The Cardinal defeated 11 ranked opponents and won 17 matches by 3-0 margins. Seniors Gabi Ailes, Alix Klineman and Cassidy Lichtman all collected All-America honors, while Klineman was the Pac-10 and Volleyball Magazine Player of the Year.
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 12 regular-season matches against teams ranked in the preseason poll, and 15 against teams that made appearances in the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
HEAD COACH John Dunning: In his 11th 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 10 Stanford teams to the national championship match.
MILESTONE FOR DUNNING: In last year’s season opener versus Tulane, head coach John Dunning secured his 700th career win. In 26 years as a head coach, Dunning is 747-157 (.826), giving him a winning percentage that ranks amonth the top-5 all-time for Division I coaches. Dunning is 310-55 in his 11 seasons on The Farm, leading all active coaches in the conference by winning prcentage (.849).
HALL OF FAMER: Head coach John Dunning has been selected as one of three inductees into the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) 2011 Hall of Fame class. He, along with Liz Masakayan and Gerald `Gerry’ Matacotta, will be honored at the December 15 ceremony, held in conjunction with the 2011 Final Four in San Antonio, Texas.
SCOUTING CALIFORNIA: Cal enters the final weekend of the regular season with a 25-6 overall record and a 15-6 mark in the Pac-12. The Bears dropped both matches last weekend at home against the Oregon schools. Teams are hitting just .151 against Cal, which is the best mark in the conference. Cal is second as a team in the Pac-12 in hitting percentage (.263) and digs per set (16.38). Senior outside hitter Tarah Murrey leads the Bears and ranks sixth in the conference with 4.22 kills and 4.74 points per set. A trio of junior middle hitters rank in the top-10 in the conference in hitting percentage - 2. Kat Brown (.388), 5. Correy Johnson (.345) and 7. Shannon Hawari (.337). Defensively, junior libero Robin Rostratter is second in the Pac-12 with 5.13 digs per set.
THE SERIES WITH THE GOLDEN BEARS: Stanford is 62-11 all-time versus California. However, the Golden Bears have won five of the last seven meetings with the Cardinal. The teams first met this season in the conference opener back on Sept. 13. Rachel Williams led Stanford in the match with 15 kills, 10 digs and four blocks. Cal senior Tarah Murrey matched that with 15 kills and 12 digs to the Golden Bears.