Cardinal Sweeps Beavers To Complete Regular Season Play
Nov. 28, 2008
Corvallis, Ore. - The Stanford women's volleyball team put an exclamation point on another impressive Pac-10 season tonight, sweeping Oregon State at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, 28-26, 25-18, 25-19.
The Cardinal finished the regular season with a 26-3 mark and a 17-1 mark in the Pac-10. Stanford, which clinched its third consecutive Pac-10 title on Wednesday, now heads to the NCAA Tournament, which begins next weekend.
Stanford middle blockers Janet Okogbaa and Foluke Akinradewo led the attack, combining for 19 kills and six blocks while both hitting well above .500. Akinradewo had 11 kills on 19 swings (.579) while Okogbaa had eight kills on 12 tries (.583).
Cardinal libero Gabi Ailes continued an exceptional string of defensive performances, collecting 24 digs. The tally marked a career high for a three-set match and the sophomore's third 20-dig performance in the last four matches.
Sophomore setter Cassidy Lichtman picked up 32 assists in the win, and was second on the squad with nine digs.
Stanford outhit the Beavers .306 to .148, coming in above .300 for the 21st time this year. The Beavers were led by junior Rachel Rourke's 18 kills and senior libero Ashley Evans' 20 digs.
The sweep was Stanford's 19th of the year and 12th in Pac-10 play.
Stanford got off to a slow start in the first set, giving up an early 8-1 run to hand Oregon State a 9-3 opening lead. Okogbaa picked up two kills out of Stanford's first timeout, helping the Cardinal cut the lead to three at 9-6, but the Beavers capitalized on Stanford hitting errors to work their lead back to 16-9. At 19-12, Stanford finally had had enough and began a fierce 9-1 comeback to grab the lead at 21-20. Oregon State's Jill Sawatzky pounded a kill to put OSU up again 22-21, but Okogbaa and Barboza rattled off consecutive kills to swing things back to Stanford, 23-22. The Cardinal earned its first set point on an Erin Waller kill at 24-23, but Oregon State wouldn't let up. The Cardinal used its middles to take set point after set point, but Oregon State was able to fight off three straight Cardinal chances. Okogbaa ripped her sixth kill at 27-26, then paired with Waller for the winning block, 28-26. Akinradewo also had six kills in the first set and Stanford won the hitting battle, .340 to .250.
In the second set, neither team rallied out of the gates, but Stanford managed to slowly climb ahead. The Cardinal took at two-point lead on a Klineman kill at 4-2, then a three-point lead on a Barboza kill from the back row at 8-5. Finally, a block by Okogbaa and Waller at 10-7 gave Stanford some momentum, beginning a damaging 7-2 run to 16-9. The Cardinal took its largest lead on a Barboza kill at 21-13 and Oregon State could come no closer than five thereafter. A Beaver miscue gave Stanford set point at 24-18 and Akinradewo tipped a ball into the middle for the winner, 25-17. Led by Barboza's five kills, Stanford outhit Oregon State .500 to .194.
Stanford once again had to overcome an early deficit in the third set, as Oregon State took a 7-4 opening lead. At 9-6, however, the Cardinal quickly took charge, battering the Beavers with an 8-0 run that made it 14-9. Stanford maintained its lead, and after a Bree Knitter kill at 19-15, took three points in a row to go up 22-15. The Beavers fought, but Klineman's 12th kill finally gave set point at 24-19. A Beaver swing went wide, and the Cardinal finished the set, 25-19. Barboza added five more kills to her tally in the final set. The Cardinal hit a match-low .125 in the final set, but still outdid the Beavers' .000 percentage.
Stanford now awaits its seeding for the 2008 NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship, which begins next Friday, Dec. 5. The selection show will air at 7 p.m. (PT) Sunday night on ESPNU.
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