No. 2 Stanford Upset By No. 7 Nebraska In Opener
Aug. 29, 2008
Omaha, Neb. - The No. 2 Stanford women's volleyball team was upset tonight by No. 7 Nebraska, 25-17, 25-19, 26-24, in its first match of the Runza/AVCA Showcase at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb. The Cardinal could not recover from an early Nebraska surge, and was swept for the first time since November 2006. The season opener for both teams, the decision dropped Stanford to 0-1 and pushed Nebraska to 1-0.
Senior outside hitter Cynthia Barboza took the lead offensively for Stanford, and was the only Cardinal player in double figures with 10 kills. Sophomore Cassidy Lichtman stepped into her new setter/hitter role, notched seven kills and picked up her first career double-double with 11 assists and a team-high 10 digs. Stanford hit under .200 for the first time since the squad faced the Huskers in the 2006 national title match (.194), while Nebraska hit at a .224 clip.
Sophomore outside hitter Tara Mueller led Nebraska with 15 kills, while fellow sophomore Lindsey Licht added 10 kills and hit .450. The Huskers out-blocked Stanford, 8-5, and pounded the Cardinal with eight aces.
Stanford started shaky in the first set, quickly falling behind 4-1 on two hitting errors and the first of the match's seven Husker service aces. Okogbaa's kill at 1-1 resulted in the only tie of the set, as Nebraska successfully fended off every Cardinal threat thereafter. Stanford came within one on five occasions, with the last coming on a Lichtman kill at 15-14, but four Husker blocks and four Husker service aces in the first set alone kept Stanford from finding its offensive rhythm. Lichtman led the Stanford offense in the first set, with four kills on five tries and three assists. Kori Cooper and Lindsey Licht eached tallied three kills to lead the Huskers. Stanford was outhit .312 to .167 in the opening set, and made six hitting errors to fall, 25-17.
Stanford took the first point of the second set, capitalizing on a Nebraska error to take its first lead of the match. A block by Akinradewo and Lichtman pushed Stanford's lead to two at 4-2, but the Huskers strung together three straight points to take their first lead at 6-5. A pair of Nebraska errors gave Stanford control again at 7-6, but a Sydney Anderson dump tied the match and put Nebraska in front for good. Midway through the set, Akinradewo put up a block and Barboza followed with a kill to tie things at 14, but that would be the last time Stanford threatened. The Huskers answered with a 7-2 run and then put the set away. Sophomore Tara Mueller pounded back-to-back kills to seal the win, 25-19.
A block by Okogbaa gave Stanford the first point of set three, and a Husker error allowed the Cardinal to establish a two-point lead right off the bat. Mueller rattled off two key kills to tie the match four times early, and even take a brief lead at 8-7. Barboza pushed the Cardinal forward, however, and fueled a 7-1 run that put Stanford up 14-9. Mueller and senior outside hitter Jordan Larson helped Nebraska chip away at the lead, slicing it to two on three occasions. A Cardinal miscue cut the lead to 20-19, but Lichtman took care of a Nebraska overpass soon after to reestablish the Stanford cushion. Stanford took set point at 24-21 on a Husker attack error, but couldn't capitalize. After a Stanford service error, Mueller rattled off three kills in a string of five straight Husker points to end the match with a 26-24 third-set win.
Stanford will take on the third-ranked Texas Longhorns Sunday afternoon in its second contest of the tournament. The match is set for 12:30 p.m. (CT) at the Qwest Center, and will be televised live on CBS College Sports Network.