Stanford Advances To Final Four
Dec. 9, 2006
Austin, Texas - Second-seeded Stanford (29-3) took down host Texas (24-7) tonight in four games, 30-28, 34-32, 31-33, 30-24, to advance to the 2006 Women's NCAA Volleyball Final Four next weekend in Omaha, Nebraska. Despite a packed and raucous crowd at Gregory Gym, the Cardinal combined for 71 kills and a season-high 18.5 team blocks to defeat the Longhorns. Sophomore outside hitter Cynthia Barboza led the Cardinal with 18 kills, seven blocks and four aces, while senior outside hitter Kristin Richards followed with 17 kills and a team-high 23 digs. Sophomore middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo also tallied 16 kills and three blocks. Akinradewo and Richards were named to the All-Region Tournament Team, while Barboza was honored as the Most Outstanding Player.
'Tonight's match was a gathering of outstanding players and it was amazing to watch,' said head coach John Dunning. 'When you get to see people rise to the occasion like both teams did tonight, you see things that surprise you.'
The Longhorns jumped to an early 2-0 lead in game one until Richards put the Cardinal on the board with a kill on the left side. The Cardinal took over the lead with an ace by senior Nji Nnamani, 3-2. Junior Franci Girard collected a kill on the slide to kick off a 3-0 Cardinal run that included an ace by junior setter Bryn Kehoe, 9-5. Following a timeout, Texas used a 5-2 run on kills by Destinee Hooker and Lauren Paolini to close in on the Cardinal, 12-10. Barboza slammed a cross-court kill to put Stanford ahead by four, 15-11. A service ace by Barboza put the Cardinal ahead, 20-15, but the Longhorns edged back with a massive kill by Hooker and another kill by Ashley Engle to force Stanford into a timeout, 20-18. Texas later tied the game at 21 with a powerful ace by Hooker, but Stanford regained a slight lead on a kill by sophomore Erin Waller on the right side. The Longhorns then used their own 2-0 streak to tie the game at 25 and took the lead on a ballhandling error. Stanford hung within a point on a kill by Barboza and regained the lead on an attacking error, 28-27. Stanford claimed game one on a serving error, 30-28.
Game two opened to a 5-0 Texas advantage off of two kills by Engle. Waller snapped the streak with a kill on the right side, but Texas answered with two more kills by Jen Christian, 7-1. Akinradewo then slammed a kill on the slide and Barboza followed with two rockets from the left side, 8-4. Texas pulled out a 3-0 streak on a block by Christian and a kill by Hooker to maintain a steady lead, 11-4. Stanford cut into Texas' lead with a 3-0 run, including an ace by Barboza and a kill by Waller, 15-8. A kill by Waller on the right side put Stanford within two points, 23-21, but Hooker followed with a powerful kill, 24-21. An attacking error put Stanford within a point, then senior Lizzie Suiter's tip tied the game at 26. Texas moved back into the lead on a net violation, 28-27, but Waller tied the game again at 29 with a kill. Kehoe put the Cardinal near the win with a tip in the middle, then Stanford claimed game two with a cross-court kill by Barboza, 34-32.
A block by Akinradewo and Kehoe put the Cardinal ahead, 5-3 in game three. Paolini tied the game at 7 with an ace, but Stanford regained the lead with 2-0 run, 9-7. Richards and Akinradewo collected kills as the Cardinal battled point-for-point with the Longhorns, 11-10. Stanford inched ahead with a tip by Kehoe and cross-court kill by Akinradewo, 14-12. The Longhorns remained within two points with a block and kill by Engle,16-15, tying the game with a kill by Christian. Engle then put the Longhorns in the lead with a quick kill on the right side, 17-16. Girard nailed a quick kill in the middle, but Christian continued her attack with a kill on the left side, 21-18. Akinradewo came out of a timeout with a quick kill on the right side, followed by a kill by Suiter to pull within one, 24-23. Christian logged a block and a kill to keep the Longhorns ahead, 27-24, but Stanford fought back with a block by Richards at 27-26. Richards continued to hold the Longhorns off with two kills, 31-31, but Texas claimed game three on an ace by Michelle Moriarty, 32-31.
Texas opened game four with a 6-2 lead, but Stanford rallied back with three kills from Barboza on the left side, 7-5. Waller then registered two kills on the right to tie the game at 7. Following a timeout, Stanford took the lead with a block and kill by Barboza, 9-8.A 3-0 run including a block by Barboza and Akinradewo put the Cardinal ahead, 15-11. Texas pulled within a point on a kill by Christian, but Girard's tip and Barboza's ace kept the Cardinal in the lead, 19-16. Barboza recorded another ace following a timeout as Stanford pulled into a 21-16 lead. Back-to-back kills by Girard increased Stanford's lead to 23-17. Following a timeout, a Texas serving error put Stanford up by six, 27-21. The Longhorns then logged back-to-back kills by Paolini and Christian, 27-23. Barboza's rocket on the left side put Stanford at matchpoint, then Stanford claimed the victory on an attacking error, 30-24.
Kehoe logged 63 assists against the Longhorns with four blocks and 21 digs. Girard also added four blocks and six kills, while Waller and Suiter each collected four blocks.
Stanford now advances to the 2006 NCAA Volleyball Final Four next weekend in Omaha, Nebraska. The Cardinal will play in the second of two semifinal matches on Thursday, December 14 at 8:30 pm CT.
GAME SCORES 1 2 3 4 TEAM RECORDSTexas (1) 28 32 33 24 24-7Stanford (3) 30 34 31 30 29-3