Clinched! Stanford Secures Share of 11th Pac-10 Title
Nov. 17, 2007
Stanford, Calif. - Junior middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo matched a season-high with 21 kills while hitting a season-best .769, and the Stanford women's volleyball team topped the Arizona Wildcats to clinch a share of its unprecedented 11th Pac-10 title. The 30-23, 28-30, 30-20, 30-28 win was Stanford's 26th of the season, improving the squad to 26-2 overall and 15-2 in Pac-10 play. Arizona falls to 13-16, 3-13 Pac-10.
Akinradewo's 21 kills led all players, and the junior added six blocks to her night's work. Freshman Alix Klineman chipped in 14 kills, while junior opposite Erin Waller hit .474 and added 12 kills. Freshman Gabi Ailes tallied 16 digs, and senior Bryn Kehoe recorded her 14th double-double with 60 assists and 11 digs.
Stanford took the first point of game, but three straight Arizona points put the Wildcats in front early. Stanford came back to tie twice, but Arizona managed to hold the lead until 11-9, when the Cardinal began its rampage. A Wildcat ball-handling error started a string of eight consecutive Cardinal points, which was capped by a decisive Alex Fisher kill at 17-11. Arizona could catch up, and the Cardinal used the cushion to cruise to the finish. Klineman served her second ace of the game to extend the lead to seven at 25-18, and Waller served another one to push the score to 28-21. Akinradewo slammed a ball to the floor to give Stanford game point at 29-22, and the junior pelted the Wildcats with another one to seal the win a point later, 30-22. Akinradewo led the team with seven kills in the opening game and Stanford led in the hitting column, .308 to .222.
Stanford took a 5-3 lead to start game two, but neither team could break away early on. The Wildcats took over the lead at 7-6, and held and stayed in front until 14-11. This time, the Cardinal's run wasn't quite as powerful, but a 6-1 spurt led by Girard put Stanford up 17-15. Arizona fought back with its blocking game, tying the game at 20 with back-to-back blocks and taking the lead a point later on a kill by Randy Goodenough. Stanford added a block of its own to tie at 23, and Waller and Akinradewo supplied another one to make it a 25-24 Cardinal advantage. The Wildcats went on a 5-1 run, however, and earned game point on a Goodenough kill at 29-26. Two Cardinal points pulled the squad back within one, but Brooke Buringrud knocked a kill off the Cardinal block to end the comeback, 30-28. Stanford outhit Arizona, .242 to .222, in the second game.
A decisive Klineman kill set the tone for game three, and Stanford took advantage of a series of Wildcat hitting errors to take a quick 5-1 lead. Kehoe and Akinradewo added a block to push the lead out to 6-1, but three straight Wildcats lead trimmed lead to just two. Akinradewo pounded down an Arizona overpass to reset the tone, however, and Stanford followed with a 7-1 run. A Klineman kill made it 14-6, and back-to-back kills by the freshman a few points later pushed it to 17-9. Arizona whittled the lead to four at 21-17, but Stanford fought back. Akinradewo delivered a block and two kills to lead a 7-1 Stanford run, and Klineman gave the squad game point and its first double-digit lead at 29-19. The freshman ripped another kill to seal the win a point later, 30-20. Stanford dominated in the hitting column, .441 to .111, behind Klineman's six kills.
Arizona raced out of the gates in game four, forcing the Cardinal to play catch up early on. A Wildcat block gave them a 4-1 lead, and soon after it was 8-4. Akinradewo continued her solid blocking night, and helped the Cardinal finally pull into a tie at 13. Arizona refused to relinquish the lead, however, and the game went into three more ties before Stanford finally broke through. An Arizona ball-handling error gave Stanford its first lead at 18-17, and Klineman helped Stanford string together three straight points to finally get a cushion at 22-19. The Wildcats roared back to tie at 22, and would go away. Stanford finally took a three-point lead with a Klineman kill, which gave the squad game point, 29-26. The Wildcats blocked two Cardinal attempts to threaten at 29-28, but Girard secured the team's second straight conference championship with a game-winning kill, 30-28. Barboza notched six kills in the final game, and Stanford edged Arizona in hitting, .196 to .191.
Stanford will wrap up the regular-season Friday, look to secure the Pac-10 Championship outright against No. 6 Cal. Prior to the 7 p.m. contest at Maples Pavilion, seniors Bryn Kehoe and Franci Girard will be honored in a Senior Night ceremony.