No. 8 Stanford Heads To Hawai'i
Sept. 5, 2006
COMING UP: The eighth-ranked Cardinal (3-1) returns to the road for the Waikiki Beach Marriott Volleyball Challenge in Honolulu, HI on September 7-9. Stanford will kick off the weekend against Northwestern on Thursday, Sept. 7 (4:30 pm HT), followed by Fairfield on Friday, Sept. 8 at 4:30 pm. On Sunday, the Cardinal will square off against host Hawai'i at 7:30 pm in an exciting match between two top-10 teams.
CARDINAL TAKES TWO IN UTAH: In its first tournament on the road, the Cardinal went 2-1 at the BYU Tournament, picking up wins against Virginia Commonwealth and Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Stanford opened the tournament against host BYU, falling in four games, 30-17, 25-30, 25-30, 16-30. On Friday, Stanford opened with a 3-0 sweep of VCU, 30-28, 30-17, 30-16, before sweeping Corpus Christi, 30-12, 30-15, 30-20. In her hometown, senior Kristin Richards collected a team-leading 11 kills against Corpus Christi, while teammate Foluke Akinradewo hit a career-high .800 with eight kills. Akinradewo and Cynthia Barboza were named to the All-Tournament team for their efforts, with Akinradewo tallying 33 kills (.500 hitting percentage), 14 blocks and three aces, and Barboza accumulating 34 kills (.210 hitting percentage), two blocks and three aces over the weekend.
ABOUT THE WILDCATS: Northwestern (2-1) heads to Hawai'i after going 1-1 at the Western Michigan Clarion Classic, where the Wildcats' first game was cancelled due to Tropical Storm Ernesto. Northwestern opened action on Saturday with a win over IUPUI, 30-16, 30-20, 30-23, before falling to host Western Michigan, 18-30, 30-28, 30-32, 30-26, 9-15. Senior Julie Purcell and freshman Kate Nobilio were both named to the Clarion Classic All-Tournament Team. Purcell currently ranks second on the team with 31 kills and a .183 hitting percentage, behind junior Lindsay Anderson with 41 kills. The Wildcats' starting libero, Nobilio has tallied 52 digs to average 4.73 digs per game this year. Head coach Keylor Chan enters his eighth season, returning nine letterwinners and eight starters from 2005. Stanford leads the series, 4-2, against the Wildcats.
ABOUT THE STAGS: Fairfield University (3-3) will travel all the way from Connecticut for the Waikiki Beach Marriott Challenge after going 1-2 at the Hofstra/Asics Invitational last weekend. The Stags opened the tournament with a 3-0 loss to Albany, 26-30, 27-30, 26-30. On Saturday, Fairfield opened with a win over host Hofstra, 30-26, 30-22, 31-29, but followed with a loss to Seton Hall, 21-30, 28-30, 30-26, 27-30. Five Stags hail from Hawai'i, including junior Lindsay Lee who leads the squad with 92 kills, as well as 93 digs and three aces with a .311 hitting percentage. Junior Jazmin Pa'akaula follows with 59 kills, 55 digs and a .236 hitting percentage. In his third season, head coach Jeff Werneke returns nine letterwinners and five starters from the 2005 squad that finished first in the MAAC. The Cardinal has met Fairfield just once in 2000, winning, 3-1, at the BYU/Mizuno Classic.
ABOUT THE RAINBOW WAHINE: Stanford will meet ninth-ranked Hawai'i (3-2) in Honolulu for the first time since 2003. The Rainbow Wahine hosts this weekend's Challenge after going 1-2 at home last weekend at the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic. Hawai'i opened with a 20-30, 26-30, 23-30 loss to No. 5 Florida on Friday before sweeping Colorado on Saturday, 32-30, 30-23, 30-20. The Rainbow Wahine then fell to No. 10 UCLA, 30-19, 30-26, 30-24, in the championship match on Sunday. Sophomore Jamie Houston currently leads the Wahine in kills with 96 in 243 attempts for a .206 hitting percentage, while Juliana Sanders leads the team with a .375 hitting percentage and 40 kills. In his 32nd year at Hawai'i, Shoji returns 13 letterwinners and five starters from the squad that captured an 11th-straight WAC title in 2005. Hawai'i leads, 15-10, in the all-time series against the Cardinal.
UP NEXT: Following this weekend's Waikiki Beach Marriott Challenge, the Cardinal will return home for its own Stanford Invitational, featuring No. 6 Santa Clara, St. Mary's, Georgetown and UC Irvine. Stanford opens the weekend against the Broncos on Thursday, September 14 (7:00 pm), before meeting Georgetown on Friday, September 15 at 7:00 pm. The Cardinal will close out the tournament against St. Mary's on Saturday, September 16 at 5:00 pm.
CSTV/AVCA TOP 25 POLL: Stanford moved to an eighth ranking this week in the CSTV/AVCA Division I Preseason Top 25 Coaches Poll after opening the 2006 season with a No. 4 ranking. Nebraska holds the top ranking for a third-straight week, garnering 51 first-place votes, while Penn State continues to hold down the #2 spot. Local squad Santa Clara improved from sixth to fourth, while Washington dropped to the fifth spot this week. Florida also fell to an eighth-place ranking, while Texas moved up one spot to seventh.
PAC-10 PRESEASON COACHES POLL: The Cardinal has been picked to win this year's conference title by league coaches. Stanford picked up eight first-place votes in the preseason poll. UCLA has been ranked second in the Pac-10 with two first-place votes, while defending national champion Washington was picked third. Conference coaches have correctly picked the Pac-10 champion in 10 of the previous 17 polls.
CARDINAL HAS THREE ON ALL-AMERICAN SQUAD: Three Cardinal players were named All-Americans by the AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) for their efforts during the 2005 season. Kristin Richards was named to the AVCA First Team, as well as the AVCA All-Pacific Region and All-Pac-10 teams. Richards led the Cardinal in kills (544, 4.90 kpg, #3 Pac-10) to rank sixth-best in school history for a single season. Foluke Akinradewo, the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year last season, was a Second-Team All-American selection, while Bryn Kehoe was named to the AVCA Third Team despite missing seven matches due to injury. Akinradewo lead the Cardinal and ranked third in the Pac-10 in hitting percentage at .397. Kehoe finished the year with 13.14 assists per game to rank second-best in the Pac-10 and still owns Stanford's single season assists record with 1,637 in 2005.
HEAD COACH John Dunning: John Dunning opens his sixth season as head coach of the Cardinal. During his tenure, the Cardinal have captured two NCAA championships (2001, 2004), as well as a runner-up finish in 2002. Dunning has amassed a 146-26 record on The Farm and a 583-128 in his 21 years of coaching at Stanford and Pacific, ranking him among the top five winningest active coaches in NCAA history (Division I). In 2005, Dunning was the recipient of the USA Volleyball All-Time Great Coach Award.