Stanford Crushes Cal Poly to Advance to Regional Final
Dec. 8, 2007
Stanford, Calif. - The Stanford volleyball program secured its 14th 30-win season tonight and with it a place in tomorrow's NCAA Regional Final. The top-seeded Cardinal demolished the 16th-seeded Cal Poly Mustangs, 30-15, 30-24, 30-20, in front of a crowd of 3,178 at Maples Pavilion and improved to 30-2 on the season. Cal Poly ends its season with a 23-8 mark.
Junior middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo ripped 15 kills to lead the Cardinal and junior opposite hitter Erin Waller recorded one of her best night's of the season with 12 kills on 15 tries. Waller hit a career-high .733, and Akinradewo turned in a .682 clip to lead Stanford to a .448 team hitting percentage. Cynthia Barboza added 10 kills to the Stanfrod effort and freshman Alix Klineman recorded nine kills and a team-high 15 digs. Senior setter Bryn Kehoe added 47 assists in the win.
Stanford controlled the pace early, as Akinradewo blasted two kills and Klineman added another to give the Cardinal a quick 4-0 lead. Kehoe put up a solo block to stretch the lead to 8-2, and Cal Poly never came closer than four after that. At 13-9, Klineman drilled her fourth kill of the game, then served seven straight points to put the margin into double-figures, 20-9. Akinradewo returned to the front row and kicked off another 5-0 Stanford run a point later, and Klineman capped it at 25-10 with another shot from the back row. The Mustangs finally managed to stop the Cardinal onslaught, but at 29-15 Waller put down a kill to give Stanford game point, 29-15. Akinradewo sent a ball straight to the floor to finish things, 30-15. Stanford hit .404 to Cal Poly's .125 in the opening game, and Klineman and Akinradewo led the team with six kills apiece.
Cal Poly went ahead first in game two, and went ahead by as much as three before Stanford rallied back. Franci Girard contributed a kill and an ace in a string of three Stanford points, and Waller tied the game with a solo block at 9-9. A Mustang hitting error gave the Cardinal its first lead at 12-11, and Stanford never looked back. Girard and Waller caught fire, combining for four kills and a block in a 6-1 Cardinal surge that pushed the lead out to 20-15. Klineman stepped up and served another long series of points, and the freshman's second ace of the match put Stanford at a 28-18 advantage. Cal Poly fought the Cardinal off with a 6-1 run to close in to a respectable margin, but a hitting error following a Cardinal timeout finally ended the game, 30-24. Stanford outhit Cal Poly .312 to .154 in the second game, and was led by Akinradewo's four kills.
Cal Poly held a brief lead in game three, but Girard nailed three consecutive kills to put Stanford back in charge, 7-5. The Cardinal ran away from there, with Waller and Girard leading the assault. Girard added a kill and a block, and Waller recorded two more kills to lead an 11-2 Stanford run to put Stanford ahead, 17-8. The lead became double-digits on an Akinradewo kill at 19-9, and back-to-back Waller kills a few points later helped push it to 24-13. Stanford pushed forward to the finish, and took game point on a Barboza kill at 29-19. Erin Waller then ripped her 12th kill of the match to seal the Stanford win, 30-20.
The Cardinal will return to the court tomorrow night in the Regional Final, batting Pac-10 rival UCLA for a spot in next week's Final Four in Sacramento. The match is set for 8:30 pm at Maples Pavilion and will be televised live on ESPNU.