No. 6 Stanford Opens Pac-10 Action In Washington

Sept. 19, 2006

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COMING UP: After collecting nine wins in a successful preseason, No. 6 Stanford (9-1) will open Pac-10 Conference action this weekend in Washington. The Cardinal will first face Washington State (12-2) in Pullman on Thursday, September 21 (7:00 pm). On Friday, Stanford will travel to Seattle to match up against defending national champion No. 4 Washington (10-1).

CARDINAL DOMINANT AT STANFORD INVITE: The Cardinal claimed three more sweeps last weekend at the Stanford Invitational to increase its winning streak to eight matches. On Thursday, Stanford topped No. 8 Santa Clara in a highly anticipated match, 30-28, 30-14, 30-23. The Cardinal took down Georgetown in three games on Friday, 30-20, 30-23, 30-25, before concluding the weekend with a sweep of Saint Mary's, 30-27, 30-23, 30-19. Junior setter Bryn Kehoe and sophomore outside hitter Cynthia Barboza were named Co-Most Outstanding Player, while sophomore middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo was also named to the All-Tournament Team. Kehoe collected 106 assists and 33 digs in nine games, while Barboza hit .326 with a team-leading 35 kills and three service aces over the weekend. Akinradewo hit .404 with 24 kills, nine digs and seven blocks at the Invite. Junior outside hitter Franci Girard also collected 15 blocks over the weekend, including a season-high nine blocks against the Broncos. Akinradewo currently leads the squad in hitting through ten matches with 4.11 kills per game and a .440 hitting percentage. Barboza has racked up a team-leading 125 kills with a .310 hitting percentage, as well as a team-high 13 service aces.

ABOUT THE COUGARS: Washington State (12-2) opens conference play after splitting two matches with Idaho last Wednesday and Friday. On Wednesday, the Cougars took the Vandals in four games, 30-32, 30-20, 30-25, 30-25, thanks in part to sophomore Brittany Johnson's 16 kills. Idaho bounced back to beat Washington State in three games Friday, 30-23, 30-20, 30-28. Prior to last weekend's match against the Vandals, Washington State has registered just one loss at South Dakota State. Senior Kelly Rosin currently leads the Cougars with a .338 hitting percentage and 164 kills. Junior Faleti Adetokunbo has also collected a team-leading 4.52 kills per game, tallying 140 kills on the season. In his third season, head coach Brian Heffernan has tallied a 14-48 record with the Cougars and returns seven letterwinners and four starters to his 2006 squad. Stanford leads the all-time series against Washington State, 38-3.

ABOUT THE HUSKIES: No. 4 Washington (10-1) welcomes the Cardinal to the Northwest after sweeping Fresno State and UC Davis last weekend in Fresno. Last Thursday, the Huskies easily handled the Bulldogs in three games, 30-17, 30-21, 30-16 as junior Alesha Deesing hit .750 with 13 kills. On Friday, Washington completed another sweep of the Aggies, 30-17, 30-14, 30-15, thanks to 17 kills from junior Stevie Mussie as she hit .400. The Huskies have collected just one loss this season to No. 5 Texas at the AVCA College Volleyball Showcase in August. Junior outside hitter Christal Morrison currently leads Washington with 4.52 kills per game and 149 total kills, along with 16 service aces. Sophomore middle blocker Jessica Swarbrick leads the squad with a .500 hitting percentage on 92 kills, along with a team-leading 46 blocks. Sixth-year head coach Jim McLaughlin has tallied a 114-40 record with the Huskies, bringing back seven letterwinners and three starters from the 2005 NCAA championship team. Stanford also leads the all-time record versus Washington, 39-7.

UP NEXT: Stanford returns home next weekend to host the second weekend of Pac-10 action. The Cardinal will take on Arizona Friday at 7:00 pm in Maples Pavilion before facing Arizona State on Saturday at 7:00 pm.

CARDINAL NABS TOURNAMENT HONORS: Multiple Cardinal players have been named to all-tournament teams for their efforts in the preseason. Sophomores Cynthia Barboza and Foluke Akinradewo were named all-tournament as Stanford went 2-1 at the BYU Tournament. Barboza later earned Most Outstanding Player honors at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Challenge with all-tournament team members Akinradewo and senior Kristin Richards as the Cardinal swept three matches, including No. 9 Hawai`i. Last weekend, three Cardinal athletes were named to the Stanford Invitational All-Tournament Team as Stanford again went 3-0, including a sweep of No. 8 Santa Clara. Barboza and junior Bryn Kehoe were named Co-Most Outstanding Player, while Akinradewo was also named to the all-tournament team.

BARBOZA NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore outside hitter Cynthia Barboza was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for Sept. 4-10, the Cardinal's first weekly honor of the year. Barboza led a three-match sweep at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Challenge. She hit .471 for the tournament with 46 kills, 33 digs and seven blocks, including a .532 hitting percentage against Fairfield without tallying a single attack error. Against No. 9 Hawai`i for the Challenge title, Barboza notched 15 kills, three blocks and a career-high four service aces.

CSTV/AVCA TOP 25 POLL: Stanford improved to a sixth-place ranking this week in the CSTV/AVCA Division I Preseason Top 25 Coaches Poll. Nebraska holds the top spot for a fifth-straight week, while Penn State and UCLA continue to hold down the #2 and #3 rankings, respectively. Local squad Santa Clara dropped from eighth to ninth, while Washington remained in the fourth spot for the second-straight week. Texas remained in fifth this week, while Florida dropped from the sixth to the tenth ranking.

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.

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.

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