Akinradewo Leads Charge in Another Cardinal Sweep
Sept. 7, 2007
Stanford, Calif. - Junior middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo stepped up with her best performance of the season, pounding down a season-high 15 kills to lead the Cardinal women's volleyball team to a 30-20, 30-18, 30-28 sweep of the No. 17 Cal Poly Mustangs in the fourth match of the Stanford Invitational at Maples Pavilion. Akinradewo and the Cardinal improve to 6-0, with five of those six wins coming over ranked opponents. The Mustangs drop to 4-4 on the year.
The night was also a notable one for senior setter Bryn Kehoe. The North Bend, Ohio native recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 43 assists and 12 digs, and, on the ninth point of the second game, she set up Cynthia Barboza for her 4,462nd career assist, moving into second place on the Cardinal career assist chart.
Akinradewo's domination at the net was the Cardinal's primary offensive weapon in the match, but the junior's team-leading 15 kills and seven blocks were far from the only thing that led Stanford to its sixth consecutive win. Junior outside hitter Cynthia Barboza recorded her second-straight double-double with 14 kills and 13 digs, and freshman Alix Klineman was in double figures for the fifth game in a row with 11 kills. Freshman libero Gabi Ailes led Stanford's defense with 15 digs. Stanford out-hit Cal Poly .341 to .128 for the match and held the team to hitting percentages under .100 for the first two games. Cal Poly was led by the 12 kills of junior Kylie Atherstone.
Stanford took the first two points of game one, and Akinradewo delivered an early pair of kills to keep Stanford on top for the early part of the game. At 7-5, however, Cal Poly used solid blocking to answer Akinradewo's effort, and put up a 5-1 run to take a two-point lead at 10-8. Akinradewo put down another kill to stop the Cal Poly momentum, however, and from there it was all Cardinal. Kehoe took care of an overpass to tie the game at ten, and junior Erin Waller added her first of two aces to put Stanford on top for good. Cal Poly came back within one at 16-15, but back-to-back kills by Franci Girard spurred a 6-2 Stanford run that put home team up five at 22-17. Akinradewo then began her defensive domination at the net, picking up three blocks in a 7-1 Stanford run that ended the game. After a Barboza kill at 27-20, the junior middle blocker teamed up with Kehoe for one block and Klineman for another to give the Cardinal game point. A Mustang net violation ended the game, 30-20. Barboza led the Cardinal with five kills in the game, and Stanford out-hit its opponent .316 to .030.
The Mustangs took the first two points of game two and jumped out to a quick 5-3 lead. Akinradewo added two kills to her tally to keep Stanford close, and Klineman ripped two straight kills to tie the game and put Stanford on top, 6-5. Cal Poly briefly took the lead back at 10-9, but another block by Akinradewo, this time with Barboza, gave Stanford back the lead. The Mustangs tied the game once at 12-12, but the Cardinal took five of the next six points and cruised into a comfortable four-point lead at 17-13. Klineman added two kills in three plays to extend the lead to six at 20-14, and from there Stanford raced to the finish. Led by three kills from Akinradewo, Stanford won the final eight points of the match. Akinradewo finished the dominating run with an exclamation point, pounding a kill off the Mustang block and ending things at 30-18. Klineman added a team-high six kills in the game, and Stanford once again got the best of Cal Poly at the net, hitting .372 to the Mustangs' .042.
Stanford was eager to earn its fifth sweep of the season, and Akinradewo propelled the team in the right direction with back-to-back kills to take a 2-1 lead. The Mustangs held on until 7-7, but quickly fell apart from there. Stanford rattled off the next eight points, which included two kills and two blocks by Akinradewo to go up 15-7. Cal Poly got one point back, but Akinradewo proved to be unstoppable. She ripped another kill, then served an ace to help the Cardinal take five of the next six points and an 11-point lead at 20-9. Cal Poly wouldn't let the match end in a rout, however, and mounted a powerful comeback to pull one at 28-27. Klineman ripped a ball from the back row to give Stanford game point at 29-27. Cal Poly got one more point back, but a missed Mustang serve ended the game and the match at 30-28. Cal Poly hit .269 to Stanford's .333 in the match, the first time an opponent has hit over .200 on the Cardinal in the last ten games.
The Stanford Invitational wraps up tomorrow, with two more matches at Maples Pavilion. Saint Mary's and Cal Poly are set to square off in the early game at 4:30 p.m., while the Cardinal will look for its seventh-straight win and the tournament title against BYU at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the door, online at www.GoStanford.com or by calling 1-800-STANFORD.