Stanford Takes Pac-10 Opener at Cal, 3-1
Sept. 21, 2007
Berkeley, Calif. - Freshman outside hitter Alix Klineman stepped up with another career night, and the Stanford women's volleyball team battled back from a game one loss and topped the California Golden Bears in Berkeley, 27-30, 30-26, 32-30, 30-25. The Cardinal improves to 12-0, 1-0 with the win, while the No. 11 Bears were handed just their second loss of the season and drop to 10-2.
Klineman led a group of four Cardinal players in double-figures, pounding a career-high 22 kills and hitting a team-high .415. Junior middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo added 15 kills and a season-high eight blocks, while junior outside hitter Cynthia Barboza chipped in her seventh double-double of the season with 14 kills and 18 digs. Junior opposite Erin Waller recorded her best night of the season with 11 kills and three blocks, while senior setter Bryn Kehoe tallied 58 assists and 12 digs.
The Bears rattled off five straight points and took a 6-1 lead to start game one, but Stanford used a block by Akinradewo and a pair of Klineman kills to pull within two at 7-5. The Cardinal kept pushing, and capitalized on a series of Bear hitting errors to pull into a tie at 12-12. A Barboza kill tied the game again at 13-13, but a 5-1 Cal run stretched the lead back to four at 18-14. Waller delivered back-to-back kills to cut the lead to 19-17, but Stanford took three of the next four points to stretch the lead back to four at 22-18. The teams traded points, with the Cal lead wavering between three and four points. Stanford won two straight points at 29-25 to close the gap to two, but a Cardinal missed serve ended the game, 30-27. Stanford out-hit Cal .227 to .204 in the game, and was led by Waller's five kills.
A kill and a block by Waller gave Stanford an initial 2-0 lead in game one, but four consecutive Cal points put the home team back on top. Stanford tied the game at four, but a 5-1 Cal run gave the team its familiar four-point lead at 9-5. A Klineman kill sliced it to two at 11-9, but by 17-13 the Cal lead was back to four. Klineman ripped a kill to start a 6-2 Cardinal run, however, that turned things around for good. A Cardinal block capped the spurt at 19-19 and the game went into three more ties before a pair of kills by Klineman and Akinradewo gave Stanford its first lead since the opening points, 24-23. Solo blocks by Akinrdadewo and Franci Girard allowed the Cardinal to keep the upper hand, and a pair of Golden Bear hitting errors eventually gave the Cardinal a 28-25 advantage. A Cal missed serve gave Stanford game point at 29-26, and Klineman drilled down a kill from the back row to seal the Cardinal win, 30-26. Stanford out-hit Cal .275 to .235 in the game and was led by Klineman's six kills.
Game three remained tight until 4-4, when a Girard kill set off a 4-1 rally by the Cardinal. Cal answered Stanford's 8-5 lead with four straight points to take a lead of its own at 9-8 and took two of the next three to extend the lead to two at 11-9. Stanford came back to tie twice, but Cal ran off with seven of the next eight points to take its first six-point lead, 20-14. Stanford struggled to recover, and by 27-10, it seemed the Bears had a commanding seven-point lead. The Cardinal battled back, however, taking nine of the next ten points to get its first game point at 29-28. A missed served put the game back in a tie, but Barboza pounded a kill to take the game point back for Stanford. Cal tied again at 30-30, but a Stanford triple block and a Bear hitting error finished off Stanford's comeback win, 32-30. Stanford out-hit Cal .240 to .192 in the game and Akinradewo recorded nine kills in game three alone.
Stanford carried its momentum into game four and never looked back. Waller and Barboza ripped kills to start the game, giving Stanford a lead it would never relinquish. Stanford continued to rally and take a 5-1 lead and a pair of Golden Bear errors and an ace by Kllineman extended the Stanford lead to 10-4. Cal won back-to-back points to cut the lead to four at 15-11, but two points later, the Cardinal had the lead back out at six. A Cal hitting error gave Stanford its first seven-point lead of the night at 20-13, but Cal had closed in to four by 22-18. Klineman and Barboza delivered consecutive kills to end any thoughts of a Bear comeback, and Girard added one to push the lead back to 25-19. The Cardinal charged on to the finish, earning game point on a block by Akinradewo and Kehoe at 29-24. After one last Cal point, Akinradewo ripped her 15th kill of the match straight to the floor and gave Stanford the game, 30-25.
Stanford returns to Maples next week to host No. 4 USC and No. 5 UCLA, Thursday and Friday. The match with the Trojans is set for 7 p.m. on Thursday and will be broadcast by Fox Sports Bay Area on a tape-delay basis. The match with the Bruins is set for Friday night at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast by CSTV, also on tape delay. Tickets to both matches can be purchased at the door, online at www.GoStanford.com or by calling 1-800-STANFORD.