No. 11 Stanford Continues Pac-10 Play In Los Angeles

Sept. 28, 2009

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THIS WEEK: Stanford will remain on the road to continue conference play at the Los Angeles schools, Oct. 2-3. First serve at UCLA is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2 in Pauley Pavilion. Stanford and USC will square off Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. in the Galen Center.

LOOKING AHEAD: The Cardinal will return to Maples Pavilion for its home Pac-10 opener against Washington State on Friday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. Stanford will take on third-ranked Washington on Saturday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. The match against the Huskies will be televised by FSN.

CATCH THE CARDINAL: This week’s match at USC will be televised by FSN. Fan’s can catch both matches on KZSU radio at 90.1 FM or online at http://kzsu.stanford.edu/. Live stats will also be available both nights 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.

LAST WEEK: Stanford traveled to rival California last week to open Pac-10 play. The Cardinal was victorious in the first and third sets, but dropped the second and fourth sets, 25-20, 25-19,before ultimately falling in the fifth, 15-12. Alix Klineman posted a season-high 23 kills, while Cassidy Lichtman turned in her third triple-double of the year (14 kills, 16 assists, 11 digs). As a team, Stanford hit a season-low .204.

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.

TRIPLE THREAT: Junior Cassidy Lichtman has played several different positions for the Cardinal in her career. Currently, Lichtman leads the team with 136 kills (3.32 kps) and is hitting .328. She is also second on the squad with 144 assists and 92 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. She now has three tiple-doubles on the season.

BLOCK PARTY: Senior Janet Okogbaa is third in the Pac-10 and ranks 27th nationally with 1.32 blocks per set. She registered a new career high with eight blocks against Florida on Sept. 4. As a team, Stanford is 41st in the country with 2.46 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 on Sept. 19. After posting a season-high 23 kills at Cal, the junior now has 1,032 career kills, becoming the 12th Cardianl player to reach 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 1,188 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 23 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 139 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 dropped one spot in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll to No. 11. Last week, the Cardinal dropped a five-set thrilller at rival California in its Pac-10 opener. 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 on Fox Sports Net, including this week’s match at USC. Last week’s showdown at California was tape delayed, while the other TV matches for Stanford include 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 683-143 (.827), giving him a winning percentage that ranks among the top five all-time for Division I coaches. Dunning is 246-41, now in his ninth season on The Farm, and the all-time winningest coach in Pac-10 history by percentage (.857).

SCOUTING UCLA: The Bruins are 11-4 (1-1 Pac-10) entering this week’s matches. UCLA dropped its conference opener at Arizona State Sept. 25, just its seventh loss to the Sun Devils in program history. The Bruins closed out the weekend with a 3-1 win at No. 19 Arizona. Junior outside hitter Dicey McGraw leads the Bruin offense with 179 kills (3.51 kps) and has 100 digs and 26 blocks on the year for a team leading 200.5 points. Freshman setter Lauren Cook has controlled the attack with 497 digs on the season, while reigning Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Amanda Gil leads UCLA with 68 blocks and ranks second with 153 points.

THE SERIES WITH THE BRUINS: Stanford holds a 39-31 all-time record against UCLA. Last season, the Cardinal defeated the Bruins twice, 3-1 in Los Angeles on Oct. 26 and 3-2 at home on Nov. 22. In fact, Stanford is a perfect 17-0 against UCLA under head coach John Dunning.

SCOUTING USC: USC fell in its Pac-10 opener last week at No. 19 Arizona, 3-1, but came back to pick up its first conference win at Arizona State the following day. The Trojans are 12-2 overall before having their 11-match win streak halted by the Wildcats. USC is led by sophomore outside hitter Alex Jupiter who has 196 kills and 111 digs and is third in the Pac-10 averaging 5.04 points per set. Sophomore setter Kendall Bateman has cotrolled the offense, posting 563 assists, while senior libero Alli Hillgren leads the defense with 174 digs (3.87 dps).

THE SERIES WITH THE TROJANS: The Cardinal is 51-18 overall against the Trojans. Stanford defeated USC, 3-1, in both Pac-10 matches last year. In the Dunning era, the Cardinal is 10-8 against the Trojans. The last time USC topped Stanford was October 27, 2007 in Los Angeles (3-1).

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