No. 10 Stanford Opens Pac-10 Play At Bay Area Rival No. 12 California

Sept. 22, 2009

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THIS WEEK: Stanford will travel across the Bay to open conference play at rival California, Friday, Sept. 25. First serve against the Bears is scheduled for 7 p.m. from Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif.

LOOKING AHEAD: The Cardinal will remain on the road, playing at Pac-10 foes UCLA and USC, Friday, Oct. 2 and Saturday, Oct. 3 in Los Angeles. Both matches are slated for 7 p.m. PT and the match against the Trojans will be televised by FSN.

CATCH THE CARDINAL: This week’s match at Cal will be televised live on FSN. Fan’s can also catch the match on KZSU radio at 90.1 FM or online at http://kzsu.stanford.edu/. Live stats will be 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.

LAST WEEK: The Cardinal was 2-0 last week, taking down both San Francisco and Saint Mary’s in four sets as part of the Pac-10/WCC Challenge. Against the Dons, junior Cassidy Lichtman recorded her second triple-double of the season (10 kills, 20 assists, 14 digs), while junior Alix Klineman posted her second double-double on the year with 17 kills and 17 digs. In the win over the Gaels, Klineman registered her 1,000th career kill in the opening set. She finished with 11 for the match to go with eight digs and two blocks.

TRIPLE THREAT: Junior Cassidy Lichtman has played several different positions for the Cardinal in her career. Currently, Lichtman leads the team with 122 kills (3.39 kps) and is hitting .341. She is also second on the squad with 128 assists and 81 digs. Lichtman more than doubled her career high in kills after registering 23 aginst LSU in the season opener. Against No. 5 Florida, Lichtman turned in her first career triple-double (16 kills, 17 assists, 11 digs) and versus San Jose State, the junior set a new career high, hitting .600 (10-1-15) against the Spartans.

BLOCK PARTY: Senior Janet Okogbaa is tied for second in the Pac-10 and ranks 23rd nationally with 1.33 blocks per set. She registered a new career high with eight blocks against Florida on Sept. 4. As a team, Stanford is 31st in the country with 2.56 blocks per set.

CHASING 1,000: Alix Klineman posted her 1,000th-career kill in the opening set of the match against Saint Mary’s Saturday. The junior now has 1,009 career kills, becoming the 12th Cardianl player to achieve that milestone. She 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 1,175 digs to date, Ailes has climbed into the top-10 on the career list and will make a run for the record of 1,597 set by Kristin Richards from 2003-06. She needs 36 digs to move into ninth place on the all-time list.

ALMOST PERFECT: Senior middle blocker Janet Okogbaa was 16-0-19 against Texas-San Antonio for a career high .842 hitting percentage on Sept. 10. At the Honolulu Avertiser Volleyball Challenge, the Tampa, Fla., native was 36-2-77 (4.00 kps) and a .608 attack percentage. She is also second on the team with 122 points to date.

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 moves back into the top-10 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll for the third time this season. Last week, the Cardinal posted a 2-0 record in the Pac-10/WCC Challenge, defeating both San Francisco and Saint Mary’s in four sets. 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.

CATCH A GLIMPSE: Four of the Cardinal’s conference matches will be televised live on Fox Sports Net, including its Pac-10 opener at California. The other TV matches for Stanford include at USC on Oct. 3, at home against Washington on Oct. 10 and at Washington on Nov. 6.

CHALK TALK/HOSPITALITY ROOM: The dates for the 2009 Chalk Talk and Hospitality Room for members of the Buck/Cardinal Club have been set. Coach Dunning’s chalk talks will take place at 5 p.m. in the Maples Media Room on Oct. 10 vs. Washington, Oct. 31 vs. UCLA, Nov. 14 vs. Oregon State and Nov. 27 vs. California. The hospitality room will be availabe postgame Oct. 25 vs. Arizona and Nov. 14 vs. Oregon State in the Maples VIP Room.

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 17 victories away from 700 career-wins, and could reach that milestone in 2009. In 24 years as a head coach, Dunning is 683-142 (.828), giving him a winning percentage that ranks among the top five all-time for Division I coaches. Dunning is 246-40, now in his ninth season on The Farm, and the all-time winningest coach in Pac-10 history by percentage (.860).

SCOUTING CALIFORNIA: Cal is 7-3 entering Pac-10 play and is currently on a five-match winning streak. The Bears are undefeated at home this season (4-0) for head coach Rich Feller. Cal is led by two-time All-American Hana Cutura. The senior leads the Pac-10 with 188 kills (4.95 kps) and 5.46 points per set. Junior All-Pac-10 setter Carli Lloyd has controlled the offense, totaling 397 assists, while also contributing 40 kills, 83 digs and 35 blocks for the Bears. Cal has also recieved solid production from sophomore outside hitter Tarrah Murrey and senior middle hitter Mindy Wiley. Murrey is second the the team with 97 kills, while Wiley has contributed 92 kills and leads the team with 39 blocks. Sophomore middle hitter Shannon Hawari suffered a season-ending ACL injury in Cal’s Sept. 6 match at Hawai’i.

THE SERIES WITH THE BEARS: The Cardinal holds a 60-6 all-time record against the Bears, including 29-4 overall at Cal. Under head coach John Dunning, the Cardinal is 13-3 against the Bears. Last season, Stanford swept Cal, 25-23, 25-16, 25-20, in Haas Pavilion on Nov. 14, 2008. Stanford hit .319 as a team, led by senior Cynthia Barboza’s 13 kills and 18 digs.

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