No. 2 Stanford Downs No. 9 Minnesota, 3-1
Sept. 1, 2007
Minneapolis, Minn. - Four Stanford players posted double-figure kills, and the Stanford women's volleyball team bounced back from an early deficit to down the No. 9 Minnesota Golden Gophers on their home court, 26-30, 30-23, 30-26, 30-23. Stanford improves to 3-0 with the win, with all three wins coming over ranked teams.
Freshman Alix Klineman had another career night with 17 kills and her first double-double (17 kills, 14 digs) and junior Cynthia Barboza matched the performance with her second double-double of the year (17 kills, 14 digs). Senior middle blocker registered a career high with 15 kills, and Foluke Akinradewo recorded her best match of the season with 14 kills and seven blocks. Freshman Gabi Ailes also had a career day, with 18 digs, while senior setter Bryn Kehoe chipped in a season-high 60 assists.
Minnesota was on top 4-0 in game one before Stanford could get its bearings in the roaring home of the Gophers. Klineman and Barboza took care of a pair of overpasses to get Stanford on the board at 4-2, but a 7-1 Minnesota rally gave the home team an early 12-5 lead. Stanford took a timeout and won three of the next four points, but Minnesota followed with the same to keep a seven point advantage at 16-9. The Gophers continued to build momentum, building their largest lead at 23-14. The Cardinal battled, pulling within three at 29-26, but a cross-court kill by Kyla Roehrig handed Stanford its first loss of the 2007 season, 30-26. Stanford struggled with a .146 hitting percentage in game one, its lowest of the season, while Minnesota posted a .238 mark.
The Golden Gophers took the first two points of game two, but this time, Stanford was quick to turn things around. The Cardinal rattled off three consecutive points and took its first lead of the match on a Waller kill at 4-3. The rally turned into a 7-1 Stanford run, which included three kills and a block by Girard, and put Stanford up by an 8-4 margin. The Gophers came back to tie the game four times, but each time Stanford took it right back. The final tie came at 16-16, but two kills each by Barboza and Akinradewo and Ailes' first career ace spurred a 6-1 Cardinal run that put Stanford in charge for good. Stanford took its first five-point lead at 21-16 and held onto it the rest of the way. Stanford notched five of the final six points of the game and took game two, 30-23. In a near complete reversal of the game one numbers, Stanford hit .226 to Minnesota's .143.
Stanford was back with its firepower in game three, building up to a .318 clip and earning a match-high 21 points on kills. For the third time of the afternoon, however, Minnesota was out of the gates first, jumping out to a quick 2-0 lead. Stanford worked the game into five ties before taking its first lead on a back row kill from Barboza at 11-10. The Cardinal turned Barboza's energy into a 6-1 run, taking a three-point lead at 14-11, but Minnesota came back to tie things at 14 three points later. Stanford used two kills by Girard to pull back ahead, but, at 20-20, Stanford found itself back in a tie. The teams held tight, but Stanford never allowed Minnesota another lead. The last tie came at 25-25, but was followed by consecutive kills from Klineman, Cassidy Lichtman and Barboza to make it 28-25. Lichtman added a kill to give Stanford game point, and Akinradewo put up a solid block in the middle to end the game, 30-26.
Stanford finally took an opening point in game four, and Klineman recorded the first three Cardinal kills put Stanford up by as much as four early on, 6-2. The Gophers pulled within one at 9-8, but Girard, Erin Waller and Barboza teamed up with a series of kills to push the lead back to four at 13-9. A Barboza tip at 18-12 gave the Cardinal its first six point lead, and grew to eight after a triple block from the Stanford middle at 22-14. Stanford extended the lead even further when Klineman jumpstarted a 3-0 run, and by 26-16 Stanford was on the better side of the contest's first double-digit margin. The Gophers pulled back within seven at 28-21, and held off the Cardinal for two points after a Klineman kill, but Stanford sealed its biggest win of the season to date when Waller put down her ninth kill of the match.
The Cardinal finishes up competition at the Diet Coke Classic tomorrow afternoon against the No. 23 Ohio Bobcats, the only other undefeated team in the tournament. First serve is set for 4 p.m. (CT) at the Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis.