Cardinal Opens 2007 Season with Sweep of Long Beach State
Aug. 25, 2007
Long Beach, Calif. - In her Long Beach homecoming, junior outside hitter Cynthia Barboza rattled off a team-high 18 kills, notched 10 digs and led the No. 2 Stanford volleyball team to a 30-26, 30-19, 30-27 sweep of the No. 19 Long Beach State 49ers in the team's season-opener at the Gold Mine in Long Beach.
Barboza, playing her first collegiate match in her hometown, received a warm welcome from the crowd and didn't disappoint. Her effort helped Stanford to a .427 team hitting percentage, a clip bested just twice by the team in 2006. Junior middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo added ten kills to the Stanford effort, while senior setter Bryn Kehoe chipped in 45 assists. Three Stanford newcomers made solid debuts in the win, as Alix Klineman and Cassidy Lichtman registered seven and six kills, respectively, while Gabi Ailes notched seven digs.
The 49ers were first on the board and took a 3-2 lead in game one before allowing Akinradewo the first kill of Stanford's 2007 season. Long Beach kept the early momentum, leading by as much as four at 12-8, but the Cardinal stormed back with a 7-0 run. A well-placed Barboza tip started the Stanford rally, and the Long Beach native tied the game at 13-13 with a kill two points later. Four more Cardinal points put Stanford at a 17-13 advantage, but the lead was short-lived, as the 49ers rattled off four points of their own to tie the game at 17. Klineman pounded down a kill to give the Cardinal back the lead, jumpstarting a 7-2 run that put Stanford in charge for good. Long Beach pulled back within two at 26-24, but Barboza pounded two late kills to give Stanford a game point opportunity. Game one ended on a 49er error, 30-26.
In game two, the Beach once again took the first point, but the Cardinal took the second one and never looked back. Two straight Barboza kills gave Stanford a three point lead at 12-9, and the lead was extended to seven at 20-13 after a 7-1 Cardinal run, which included two kills and a block by Lichtman. A 49er timeout briefly stopped the Stanford onslaught, but the Cardinal continued to pull away, taking a 10-point lead on a Klineman kill at 28-18. After a Long Beach State error, Franci Girard closed out the game two win at 30-19 with a tip over the 49er block.
Long Beach State won a long rally to take the opening point for the third straight game, but Barboza put down a kill to take the second one. The teams exchanged points and leads early, with the Cardinal taking a two-point lead at 10-8 and the 49ers taking one at 13-11. Kills by Barboza and Girard tied the game at 13, and, from there, the squads traded points and leads for the better part of the game. Neither team was able to take more than a one-point lead for most of the game, but a block by Girard and Barboza at 28-26 tipped the balance in the Cardinal favor. Barboza pounded down another kill to bring Stanford within one point of the win, and a 49er service error sealed Stanford's first victory of the season.
The Cardinal returns to action next Thursday at the Diet Coke Classic, hosted by the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Stanford opens the tournament against No. 15 San Diego on Thursday, meets No. 9 Minnesota on Friday and closes out the tournament against No. 15 Ohio on Saturday. Stanford begins the home season on Thursday, Sept. 6 against Saint Mary's at the Stanford Invitational.