Cardinal Wraps Up Weekend With 3-0 Win Over Saint Mary's
Sept. 16, 2006
Stanford, Calif. - The No. 7 Cardinal (9-1) closed out the Stanford Invitational with a 30-27, 30-23, 30-19 sweep of Saint Mary's (5-5). Sophomore middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo led the squad with 15 kills, followed by senior Kristin Richards and sophomore Cynthia Barboza with nine each. In a match showcasing impressive defense on both sides of the net, the Cardinal collected 59 digs, including 17 from sophomore libero Jessica Fishburn and 12 from junior setter Bryn Kehoe.
Kehoe kicked off game one with a tip as the Cardinal took off to a 2-1 lead. Saint Mary's bounced back to a 4-3 lead off of a kill by Taylor Groess and an ace by Megan Burton. Two kills from Akinradewo brought the game within a point, 6-5, but the Gaels rolled on to a 9-6 lead with kills by Groess and Missie Stidham. A kill from junior Franci Girard and block solo by Barboza tied the game at 10, then senior Nji Nnamani's block kicked off a 2-0 Cardinal run. Saint Mary's hung tight with scrappy defense, then took over the lead, 14-13, on a kill by Groess. The Gaels continued on a 4-0 run with kills from Christina Kirk, Groess and Bible, 19-14, until Richards ended the run after a timeout with a powerful kill from the left side. The Gaels' blocking continued to give the Cardinal trouble as they pulled out another 2-0 streak, 24-18. Girard then registered a kill from the right side to spark a 3-0 Stanford run. Following another timeout, the Cardinal caught back up on kills by Nnamani and Girard to even the score at 24. Stanford pulled away on a 5-2 run, then claimed game one on another tip by Kehoe on the right side, 30-27.
Game two was tight to start as the Gael's took a 3-2 lead off of an ace and kill by Stidham and continued on a 3-0 run, 5-2. A kill by Barboza brought the game within a point, but Saint Mary's continued to lead, 8-4, off of two kills by Groess. Akinradewo and Kehoe collected a block as the Cardinal gradually worked its way back, 8-8, including kills by Kehoe, Barboza and Richards. Another tricky kill by Barboza put Stanford back in the lead, 10-8. A kill from Nnamani brought the score to 13-10 as Stanford moved ahead on a 3-0 run. The Cardinal continued to gap the Gaels, 20-13, as Akinradewo threw down two powerful kills in the middle. Another 3-1 run put the Cardinal ahead, 23-16, highlighted by kills from Akinradewo and Barboza. Stanford inched near the win thanks to kills from Barboza, Richards and Akinradewo, then ended the game on a service error by the Gaels, 30-23.
Stanford opened game three with kills by Akinradewo and Nnamani, 2-0. The Cardinal later pulled out a 6-0 run off of kills by Akinradewo and Richards, as well as an ace by Nnamani, 8-2. Dominant hitting and effective blocking helped Stanford extend its lead, 13-5. The Cardinal then posted a 3-1 run off of kills by Waller and Girard, 18-7. Saint Mary's Burton registered a kill to bring the score to 20-11, but Stanford pulled out a 3-2 run with another kill by Kehoe. Nnamani's powerful kill down the middle ended a long rally in favor of the Cardinal, 24-14, to spark a 2-1 streak. The Gaels pulled together their own 2-0 spurt with a kill by Brittany Barker, but Akinradewo ended it with a kill from the right side, 26-17. Stanford claimed the game and match victory on a block solo by Barboza, 30-19.
Akinradewo, Kehoe and Barboza were all named to the Stanford Invitational All-Tournament Team, with Kehoe and Barboza sharing Most Outstanding Player honors. Kehoe hit .444 over the weekend with 106 assists, 33 digs, nine kills and nine blocks, while Barboza hit .326 with a team-leading 34 kills, 26 digs, nine blocks and three service aces. Akinradewo tallied a .404 hitting percentage with 24 kills, seven blocks and nine digs.
The Cardinal will now open Pac-10 action next weekend versus Washington State and Washington. Stanford will match up against the Cougars in Pullman on Thursday night (7:00 pm), before taking on the defending national champion Huskies in Seattle on Friday night (7:00 pm).
GAME SCORES 1 2 3 TEAM SCORESSaint Mary's (0) 27 23 19 5-5Stanford (3) 30 30 30 9-1
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