No. 2 Cardinal Handles No. 4 USC for Ninth Sweep of the Year
Sept. 27, 2007
Stanford, Calif. - Three players recorded double-figure kills and Stanford made easy work of its first top-five opponent of the weekend tonight, defeating fourth-ranked USC, 30-21, 30-27, 30-21 at Maples Pavilion. Foluke Akinradewo led the team with 18 kills and a .680 hitting percentage, and Stanford (13-0, 2-0) handed USC (12-1, 2-1) its first loss of the season. The win was the 13th-straight for the Cardinal, and marked the squad's ninth sweep of the season.
Akinradewo's 18 kills on 25 attempts (.680) highlighted the night, but outside hitters Cynthia Barboza and Alix Klineman had stellar performances as well. Barboza added 15 kills to the Stanford effort, and Klineman put up her second double-double of the season with 12 kills and 10 digs. Klineman, Bryn Kehoe and Franci Girard put up season highs with five blocks apiece and freshman Gabi Ailes chipped in 18 digs. USC was led by Asia Kaczor and Jessica Gysin with 11 kills and 10 kills, respectively.
USC took the first point of game one, but Akinradewo pounded two early kills and helped Stanford put together 6-1 run and quickly get the Trojans off balance. The Stanford momentum spurred a Trojan timeout at 7-3, but Stanford continued its opening roll. Erin Waller extended the lead to 10-5 with back-to-back kills, and Akinradewo made it 12-6 with her third kill of the game. The Trojans strung together four straight points to crawl back within two at 12-10, but the Cardinal took a timeout and put things back in order. Barboza drilled a kill and teamed up with Akinradewo for a block out of the break and a point later, Klineman jumpstarted a 6-1 run to make it 20-12. USC pulled within four at 21-17, but two Klineman kills and a Klineman ace ensured they would come no closer. Klineman's sixth kill of the game pushed the lead to 27-20, and Barboza served consecutive aces to give Stanford game point at 29-20. After one more Trojan point, Akinradewo finished things off with a kill, 30-21. Klineman recorded six kills and two blocks in the game and the Cardinal out-hit the Trojans .289 to .139.
Stanford was still on fire at the start of game two and two more kills and another block by Klineman helped Stanford take six of the first seven points. The Cardinal saw its five-point lead slip briefly at 9-7, but another Cardinal surge was on the way. This time it was Akinradewo's turn to lead the charge, and by 15-8 she had given her team what seemed to be a comfortable lead. USC wasn't ready to let the Cardinal run away, however, and capitalized on a pair of Stanford hitting errors to start their comeback. After an 11-3 run, the visitors had pulled ahead for the first time since the opening points of the match, 19-18. Redshirt freshman Alex Fisher stepped in and delivered a block and a kill to put Stanford back ahead, 22-20. USC came back to tie twice, with the last coming at 26-26. At that point, Barboza took things into her own hands and pummeled the Trojans with three back row kills in four points, giving the Cardinal game point at 29-26. Klineman and Franci Girard put up a block to end the game, 30-27. Stanford once again held the Trojans to sub-.200 hitting, out-doing the visitors .289 to .184. Barboza led the team with eight kills in game two alone.
Game three stayed close early, and USC found its way to the better side for the first time at 7-6. Stanford came back to tie twice, and regained the lead on a consecutive pair of Akinradewo kills at 13-11. The junior middle blocker put up a block to extend the lead to three, and, a few points later, she served an ace to make the lead four at 18-14. Barboza and Klineman added a series of kills to turn Akinradewo's success into an 8-1 Stanford run, and, by 22-14, Stanford had run up an eight-point lead. After a brief USC surge, Stanford rattled off four straight points to take a 27-18 advantage and pushed on to the finish. A USC hitting error gave Stanford game point at 29-20, and Erin Waller ended the game with her eighth kill of the match, 30-21.
Stanford returns to the court tomorrow night at 7 pm to take on No. 5 UCLA. The match marks the annual Dig for the Cure night, during which the team will be raising money to support the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Sponsors will have the opportunity to pledge money per dig earned at the match, and can also make a flat donation. Tickets to the match are available at the door, online at www.gostanford.com or by calling 1-800-STANFORD.