No. 2 Cardinal Advances To Austin, Texas Regional

Dec. 5, 2006

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COMING UP: With victories over Sacramento State and Missouri last weekend at the NCAA First and Second Rounds, second-seeded Stanford (27-3) now advances to the 2006 NCAA Women's Volleyball Regional hosted by the University of Texas in Austin, Texas. The Cardinal will meet the California Golden Bears for the third time this season in the Regional Semifinal set for 5:00 pm (CT) on Friday, December 8. Texas and Wisconsin will then square off at 7:00 pm (CT) on Friday in the second semifinal. The winner of both semifinal matches will face each other at 5:30 pm (CT) on Saturday, December 9 in the Regional Final to determine which team advances to the 2006 NCAA Women's Volleyball Final Four next weekend in Omaha, Nebraska. The Regional Final will be broadcast live on ESPNU, while the Texas vs. Wisconsin match will be streamed through TexasSports.tv and Yahoo Sports Broadcast.

Tickets for the Austin, Texas NCAA Regional at Gregory Gym are available online at TexasBoxOffice.com, by calling 1-800-982-BEVO or 512-471-3333, or in person at the UT Athletics Ticket Office (Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm). All-session prices are $20 for reserved seating, $12 for general admission seating, $6 for youth/students tickets and $10 each for groups of 10 or more.

CARDINAL DOWNS SAC STATE, MISSOURI AT HOME: In its 26th-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the second-seeded Cardinal downed Sacramento State and Missouri last weekend at the NCAA First and Second Rounds hosted in Maples Pavilion to advance to the Austin, Texas Regional. Stanford is one of just three teams to participate in all 26 NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournaments, including Penn State and UC Santa Barbara. After a one-day delay to kick off the tournament, the Cardinal faced Sacramento State on Saturday, December 2 and swept the Hornets, 30-18, 30-18, 30-26. Sophomore outside hitter Cynthia Barboza and sophomore middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo combined for 28 kills against Sac State, followed by senior outside hitter Kristin Richards with 12 kills as Stanford hit .376 as a team. Junior setter Bryn Kehoe also collected 45 assists and two blocks, while sophomore libero Jessica Fishburn notched 20 of the Cardinal's 60 digs. In the second round Sunday night, the Cardinal battled Missouri in its second five-game match of the season, finally taking down the Tigers, 30-20, 27-30, 30-24, 25-30, 15-9. Akinradewo led the Cardinal with a career-best 26 kills, as well as five block and two service aces. Richards also notched a season-best 22 kills and 17 digs, while Barboza chipped in 18 kills. Kehoe tallied a season-high 67 assists and led the Cardinal with 21 of the team's season-high 96 digs.

ABOUT THE GOLDEN BEARS: Stanford will match up against conference-foe California (22-9) for the third time this season on Friday, December 8 in the Regional Semifinal. The Cardinal first saw the Bears on Friday, October 6 in Pac-10 action. Senior outside hitter Kristin Richards and sophomore outside hitter Cynthia Barboza each contributed 13 kills as Stanford claimed a three-game sweep of California in Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal rematched against the Bears on Friday, November 3 at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, CA. Barboza again led the squad with 17 kills and Richards followed with 16 kills as Stanford downed the Bears in four games. California concluded the regular season in fifth place in the Pac-10 Conference and opened the NCAA Tournament against LSU in San Luis Obispo, CA. Freshman Hana Cutura tallied 15 kills as the Bears took down the Tigers in four games, 25-30, 30-23, 30-17, 30-16. California moved on to host Cal Poly in the second round, upsetting the home squad in four games thanks to 18 kills from Cutura and a school-record 11 blocks by junior Ellen Orchard. Angie Pressey currently leads the Bears with 4.40 kills per game and 475 total kills, followed by Cutura with 3.89 kills per game and 385 total kills. Orchard paces the squad with 163 blocks, while Morgan Beck has also tallied 111 blocks. Stanford leads the all-time series against the Golden Bears, 57-5, including wins in the last four matches.

ABOUT THE LONGHORNS: Regional host Texas (23-6) advances in the tournament with first and second round wins over Prairie View and Stephen F. Austin, respectively. Last Friday, the Longhorns opened the NCAA Tournament with a 3-0 rout of Prairie View, 30-10, 30-10, 30-11. Freshman outside hitter Ashley Engle led Texas with eight kills as the team hit .348. On Saturday, the Longhorns captured another sweep over Stephen F. Austin, 30-16, 30-19, 30-21, led by Destinee Hooker's 17 kills and Engle's 16 kills. Engle currently leads the Longhorns with 433 kills, averaging 3.97 kills per game. Hooker follows with 349 kills and 3.49 kills per game, while Dariam Acevedo is averaging 2.99 kills per game with 323 total kills. Setter Michelle Moriarty is averaging an impressive 13.64 assists per game with 1487 total assists this season, also contributing 52 blocks. Jennifer Todd leads the blocking effort with 92 total blocks and 0.92 blocks per game. Stanford has not met Texas since 2004, when it swept the Longhorns, 3-0, in the NCAA Regional. The Cardinal is 14-7 all-time against the Longhorns.

ABOUT THE BADGERS: Wisconsin (26-6) takes on the Longhorns in the Regional Semifinal after surpassing Notre Dame and Iowa State in the first and second rounds. On Friday, Wisconsin swept the Irish, 36-34, 30-26, 30-21, led by freshman Brittney Dolgner's 21 kills. Sophomore Audra Jeffers also contributed 14 kills in the win. In the second round, the Badgers topped the Iowa State Cyclones, 30-20, 30-25, 30-27. Four Wisconsin players collected double-digit kills, including Jeffers with 14 kills and Dolgner with 11 kills. Dolgner currently leads the Badgers with 4.19 kills per game and 457 total kills, while Maria Carlini follows with 3.44 kills per game and 341 total kills. Setter Jackie Simpson is averaging 13.01 assists per game with 1340 total assists, while Taylor Reineke leads the squad with 179 total blocks. Stanford last met Wisconsin in the 2004 NCAA Regional, picking up a three-game victory. The Cardinal is 2-0 all-time against the Badgers.

PAC-10 CHAMPIONS!: No. 2 Stanford (25-3, 16-2) closed out the regular season two weeks ago with two three-game sweeps of Washington and Washington State at home in Maples Pavilion. On Friday, Stanford faced off against then No. 2 Washington to determine the 2006 Pac-10 champion. The Cardinal delivered, taking down the Huskies, 30-27, 30-15, 31-29. Senior outside hitter Kristin Richards led the Cardinal with 13 kills, while junior setter Bryn Kehoe recorded 38 assists and a career-high eight blocks. On Senior Night Saturday, Stanford downed Washington State to take sole possession of the conference title. The Cardinal swept the Cougars, 30-27, 30-23, 30-18, thanks in part to a season-high 21 kills from Richards. Sophomore Cynthia Barboza and junior Franci Girard also tallied six kills apiece. Stanford's title is the first outright Pac-10 championship for the Cardinal since 2001 and the program's 10th Pac-10 title overall.

FIVE PLAYERS NAMED TO ALL-PAC-10 TEAM: Five Cardinal players were named to the All-Pac-10 Team last week after claiming the 2006 conference title, including sophomore Foluke Akinradewo, sophomore Cynthia Barboza, junior Franci Girard, junior Bryn Kehoe and senior Kristin Richards. Akinradewo, Barboza, Kehoe and Richards were among 14 conference players named to the All-Pac-10 team, while Girard was an Honorable Mention selection. Washington junior Christal Morrison was tabbed the Pac-10 Player of the Year, while USC newcomer Taylor Carico was honored as the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. Second-year Oregon head coach Jim Moore was also named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year. Stanford Women's Volleyball now boasts 79 All-Conference awards all-time.

KEHOE NAMED PAC-10, NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior setter Bryn Kehoe earned conference and national honors after logging an outstanding weekend to lead the Cardinal to the 2006 Pac-10 title. On November 27, Kehoe was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week and the Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week for her performances against Washington and Washington State. Against the Huskies last Friday, Kehoe had 38 assists, four kills, 12 digs, one solo block and a season-high eight total blocks in the Cardinal's upset victory. The next night, Kehoe added 40 assists, as well as three kills, 12 digs and one block in the win. For the weekend, Kehoe averaged 13 assists per game, 4 digs per game and recorded a .545 hitting percentage. Kehoe marked Stanford's third Pac-10 Player of the Week this season and the Cardinal's 58th Player of the Week all-time. She is the first Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week this season and the Cardinal's tenth honoree all-time.

CARDINAL LANDS NINE ON PAC-10 ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM: Nine Cardinal players were named to the 2006 Pac-10 All-Academic Women's Volleyball Team. Senior Lizzie Suiter was named to the First Team, her third Pac-10 All-Academic honor during her time on The Farm. Sophomore Jessica Fishburn was also named to the Second Team. Sophomore Foluke Akinradewo, sophomore Cynthia Barboza, junior Franci Girard, junior Bryn Kehoe, senior Michelle Mellard, senior Nji Nnamani and sophomore Erin Waller were named Honorable Mention All-Academic. Stanford has now tallied 52 Academic All-Conference awards in the history of the program.

RECORD WATCH: Senior Kristin Richards has already moved from ninth to fifth this season for career kills with 1,768, and now ranks first at Stanford in digs with 1,543 ... Richards is also sixth all-time at Stanford with 121 career aces ... In just her junior year, setter Bryn Kehoe improves to fourth on the all-time career assists list with 4,007 assists, ranking first all-time at Stanford with 12.84 assists per game ... Kehoe is also second on the single season assists per game list with 13.19 assists per game this season ... Sophomore Cynthia Barboza's 38 service aces so far this season inch her closer to the single season top-10 list, where Kim Oden and Barbara Fontana are tied for ninth with 41 aces ... Barboza is currently eighth all-time with 0.40 aces per game this season ... Sophomore libero Jessica Fishburn also sits in second for single season digs per game with 3.87 digs per game this season.

SENIOR SALUTE: Seniors Michelle Mellard, Nji Nnamani, Kristin Richards and Lizzie Suiter enter their final postseason for Stanford Women's Volleyball. The foursome has displayed excellent leadership both on and off the court, helping maintain Stanford Volleyball as one of the elite collegiate powers in the country. This senior class has helped lead the Cardinal to 106 victories and NCAA Tournament appearances in each of their four years on The Farm. They also powered the Cardinal squad to an NCAA title in 2004, Stanford's sixth national title in program history.

DUNNING REACHES 600 WINS: Head Coach John Dunning earned his 600th win against Oregon on October 20 in Maples Pavilion and was honored for his achievement on November 10 versus USC. Dunning is in his sixth season as head coach of the Cardinal and 21st year of coaching volleyball. During his tenure at Stanford, the Cardinal has captured two NCAA championships (2001, 2004), as well as a runner-up finish in 2002. Dunning has amassed a 173-29 record on The Farm and a 610-131 record 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.

UP NEXT: The winner of this weekend's Regional Final advances to the 2006 NCAA Women's Volleyball Final Four on Thursday, December 14. The winners of those semifinal matches will then square off in the championship match on Saturday, December 16.

BARBOZA, RICHARDS NAMED PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Sophomore outside hitter Cynthia Barboza and senior outside hitter Kristin Richards both earned Player of the Week honors earlier this season from the Pac-10. 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 and collecting a career-high four service aces against No. 9 Hawai`i. Richards was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for Oct. 2-8. She led the Cardinal to a three-game sweep over No. 7 California, recording 13 kills without a single error. Richards hit .565 against the Bears, contributing six digs, an ace and three blocks.

STANFORD TALLIES $4,753 FOR BREAST CANCER: On November 11, Stanford hosted UCLA in the Dig for the Cure match. In conjunction with the California Women's Volleyball Team, Stanford aimed to raise money for the San Francisco Chapter of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation by taking flat donations and pledges per digs earned during the UCLA match. With the majority of pledges turned in, Stanford has raised $4,753 to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Originally started in 2003 by Charlotte head coach Lisa Marston, the Dig for the Cure campaign has raised over $36,000 dollars.

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