No. 11 Stanford Competes In UOP Banker's Classic

Sept. 1, 2009

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THIS WEEK:
No. 11 Stanford (2-1/0-0) vs. No. 5 Florida (3-0/0-0) - 5 p.m. PT
Sept. 4 - Alex G. Spanos Center - Stockton, Calif.

No. 11 Stanford (2-1/0-0) at Pacific (3-0/0-0)/vs. San Jose State (0-3/0-0) - TBA
Sept. 5 - Alex G. Spanos Center - Stockton, Calif.

UP NEXT: The No. 11 Cardinal women’s volleyball team travels to Stockton, Calif., to compete in the 31st annual University of Pacific Banker’s Classic. Stanford will face No. 5 Florida on Sept. 4, and either host Pacific or San Jose State on Sept. 5. First serve against the Gators is set for 5 p.m. PT Friday evening.

LOOKING AHEAD: Stanford will remain on the road as it travels to Hawai’i to participate in the Honolulu Advertiser Volleyball Challenge Sept. 10-12. The Cardinal will open with a match against Texas-San Antonio on Thursday, followed by a Friday evening match with Weber State. Stanford will close out the three-game trip with a showdown against fourth-ranked Hawai’i Saturday night.

CATCH THE CARDINAL: Fans can catch the three matches on Live stats available via Gametracker at www.GoStanford.com.

SOCIAL NETWORKING: Stanford Volleyball has joined Facebook and Twitter! Become a fan on Facebook by searching for the “Stanford Women’s Volleyball” page. Follow the Cardinal at twitter.com/StanfordWVB to get updates on the team this season. Both sites will be updated live during matches this year.

ALL-AMERICAN FIREPOWER: Stanford returns two-time All-American Alix Klineman for the 2009 season. The junior outside hitter is one of the nation’s six returning first-team honorees, and one of only seven two-time All-Americans back for 2009. Klineman has led the team in kills in both of her first two seasons with the Cardinal. Stanford has won back-to-back Pac-10 championships and reached the national championship match during both of those years.

CONSISTENT CASSIDY: Junior Cassidy Lichtman has played several different positions for the Cardinal in her career. After the openening weekend, Lichtman leads the team with 45 kills (4.09 kps) and is hitting .347. She is also second on the squad with 29 digs and third with 25 assists. Lichtman more than doubled her career high in kills after registering 23 aginst LSU in the season opener. Against Denver, Lichtman was one kill shy of a triple-double (9 kills, 20 assists, 12 digs).

CHASING 1,000: Alix Klineman is 59 kills away from 1,000 for her career. The junior should supass the milestone before the Pac-10 season even begins and is on pace to finish her career at Stanford in the top-5 in career kills.

DIGGING HER WAY TO THE TOP: Junior libero Gabi Ailes has already claimed the top spot in the Stanford record book for digs in a season (533) and digs per set (4.26) in a season. With 1,072 digs to date, Ailes will easily climb into the top-10 on the career list in 2009 and will make a run for the record of 1,597 set by Kristin Richards from 2003-06.

VETERAN LEADERSHIP: The 2009 Stanford squad will rely on its upperclassmen for leadership this year. The senior class of Joanna Evans, Alex Fisher and Janet Okogbaa holds an impressive 93-11 record through three seasons, earning three Pac-10 titles and three trips to the Final Four. Juniors Gabi Ailes, Alix Klineman and Cassidy Lichtman are all returning starters who have made significant contributions in their first two years on The Farm. Overall, the Cardinal boasts 10 players who have been to a national championship match, including six who have taken the team to the coveted match twice.

NATIONAL POLL: Stanford came in at No. 11 this week in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll. The Cardinal began the season at No. 5, but has dropped six spots after being swept by Notre Dame in its second match of the year. Defending national champion Penn State remains in the top spot in the poll, while Texas, Washington, Hawai’i and Florida round out the top-5.

PICKED THIRD: The Stanford women’s volleyball team was tabbed by the league’s coaches to finish third in the Pac-10. Stanford totaled 74 points in the preseason poll, six points below second-place California. Washington was the unanimous choice to win the conference. Once again, the Pac-10 sent six teams to the postseason in 2008. The conference has taken home five of the last eight NCAA titles. The coaches have correctly picked the Pac-10 champion in 13 of the previous 20 polls.

2008 IN REVIEW: In 2008, Stanford posted a 31-4 record and won an unprecedented 12th Pac-10 title. The team finished the year with a postseason run to its 14th NCAA title match, where it fell to Penn State in three sets. On the year, Stanford bested 16 ranked opponents, held a .314 average hitting percentage to just .164 by opponents, and won 23 matches by 3-0 margins. Three players - Foluke Akinradewo, Cynthia Barboza, Alix Klineman - were named First Team All-Americans, tying a school record for first team representatives. Akinradewo was also tabbed Volleyball Magazine Co-National Player of the Year after shattering the NCAA’s career hitting percentage record by more than 20 points.

TAKING ON THE BEST: Once again, head coach John Dunning has lined up one of the most challenging schedules in the nation for the Cardinal. Stanford is scheduled to play 12 regular-season matches against teams ranked in the preseason poll, and 10 against teams that participated in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Four teams that made the preseason top-10 hail from the Pac-10 Conference.

HEAD COACH John Dunning: Beginning his ninth season at the helm of the Cardinal program, head coach John Dunning is one of the most accomplished coaches in the collegiate volleyball world. Dunning has four national championships under his belt, has taken his teams to nine Final Fours and carried six of his eight teams at Stanford to the national championship match.

MILESTONE FOR DUNNING: Head coach John Dunning is 22 victories away from 700 career-wins, and could reach that milestone in 2009. In 24 years as a head coach, Dunning is 678-140 (.829), giving him a winning percentage that ranks among the top five all-time for Division I coaches. Dunning is 241-38, now in his ninth season on The Farm, and the all-time winningest coach in Pac-10 history by percentage (.864).

SCOUTING FLORIDA: Under the guidance of head coach Mary Wise, Florida has begun the 2009 campaign with three straight wins over UNLV, Colorado and Florida State. Sophomore right-side/setter Kelly Murphy was named the MVP of the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational, recording 4.50 kills per set on a squad-best .452 hitting. Sophomore outside hitters Kristy Jaeckel and Colleen Ward also earned all-tournament accolades.

THE SERIES WITH THE GATORS: Stanford will face Florida for the second time in as many seasons Friday. Last year, the Cardinal swept the Gators in the semi-finals of the Fort Collins Regional. Stanford holds a 3-2 all-time record over Florida.

SCOUTING PACIFIC: Under first-year head coach David Johnson, Pacific is undefeated going into this weekend’s tournament (3-0). The Tigers defeated UW-Green Bay, Cal State Bakersfield and Fresno State to win the Fresno State Invitational. Sophomore Rebekah Torres earned tournament MVP honors after registering 46 kills and 23 digs while hitting a .301 clip. Seniors Dancyne Kama and Olivia Riley were also selected to the all-tournament team.

THE SERIES WITH THE TIGERS: Stanford is 28-22 against Pacific all-time. The last meeting between the two squads came during the 2004 season, where the Cardinal outlasted the Tigers, 3-2, in Stockton. That year, Stanford went on to win its unprecedented sixth national title.

SCOUTING SAN JOSE STATE: The Spartans have opened the 2009 season 0-3 after taking part in The Invitational at Seattle, falling to then-No. 4 Washington, San Diego State and Seattle. As a team, SJSU is hitting .117, while freshman outside hitter Taylor Japhet leads all Spartans with 30 kills. Fellow freshman setter Caitlin Andrade has controlled the offense with 62 assists.

THE SERIES WITH THE SPARTANS: The Cardinal is 25-11 overall versus the Spartans. The last meeting between the teams came in 2002 at the Stanford Invitational, where the Cardinal defeated the Spartans, 3-1. The last time Stanford battled SJSU on a neutral site was during the 1985 season where the Cardinal swept the Spartans at the Wendy’s Classic in Stockton, Calif.

 

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