No. 7 Stanford Volleyball Hosts No. 16 Oregon, Oregon State

Nov. 9, 2009

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THIS WEEK: Stanford hosts No. 16 Oregon, Friday, Nov. 13 before taking on Oregon State on Saturday, Nov. 14. Both matches are slated for 7 p.m.

LOOKING AHEAD: The Cardinal will embark on its final Pac-10 road trip of the season next week, traveling to the desert to face No. 18 Arizona and Arizona State. Both matches are scheduled for 7 p.m. MT/6 p.m. PT.

CATCH THE CARDINAL: Fans can catch the both matches on KZSU radio at 90.1 FM or online at http://kzsu.stanford.edu/. Live stats will 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.

GAMEDAY PROMOTIONS: Fans who donate a canned good at this weekend’s matches versus Oregon and Oregon State will receive $2 general admission. In addition, Coach Dunning’s chalk talk will take place at 5 p.m. in the Maples Media Room before Saturday’s match with the Beavers. The hospitality room will be availabe postgame on Saturday as well.

LAST WEEK: Stanford dropped its first match last weekend at No. 4 Washington. Cassidy Lichtman led the team with 14 kills, nine assists and six digs, while Gabi Ailes tallied 29 digs. The Cardinal rebounded with a 3-0 win at Washington State on Saturday. Alix Klineman posted 18 kills and nine digs and the team tied its season-high with 15 blocks.

FOR THE RECORD: Junior libero Gabi Ailes is on track to shatter her own school record for digs in a season. The Bellevue, Neb., native currently has 469 digs in 2009, just 65 away from her record of 533 set in 2007. After averaging 9.00 digs per set last weekend at the Washington schools, Ailes has moved into first-place in the Pac-10 with 5.39 digs per set, ranking 10th nationally. That mark is also more than a dig per set higher than her school-best 4.26 average as a freshman. She is also turning in 6.24 digs per set in conference play.

TRIPLE THREAT: Junior Cassidy Lichtman has played several different positions for the Cardinal in her career. Currently, Lichtman is second on the team with 288 kills (3.31 kps) and is hitting .252. She is also second on the squad with 272 assists (3.13 aps) and 243 digs (2.79 dps). 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 seven triple-doubles on the season.

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. Klineman registered a season- and team-high 24 kills at USC on Oct. 3 and tied that mark at Oregon on Oct. 17. The junior now has 1,253 career kills. She is the 12th Cardianl player to reach 1,000 career kills. The All-American leads the team and is sixth in the Pac-10 with 4.04 kills per set. She is on pace to finish her career at Stanford in the top-5 in career kills.

BLOCK PARTY: Senior Janet Okogbaa is second in the Pac-10 and ranks 23rd nationally with 1.32 blocks per set. She registered a career high with eight blocks against Florida on Sept. 4. Junior Alix Klineman’s five solo blocks at UCLA are the most by a Pac-10 player this season. As a team, Stanford is 21st in the country with 2.69 blocks per set, posting a season-high 15 blocks versus Washington on Oct. 10, and matching that mark at Washington State on Nov. 7.

CONTROLLING THE OFFENSE: Freshman setter Karissa Cook has embraced the starting setter role for the Cardinal. She leads the team with 9.24 assists per set in conference matches, ranking 10th in the Pac-10. She tallied a season-best 49 assists at Oregon State on Oct. 16 and has posted eight double-doubles for the Cardinal this season.

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.

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 1,493 digs to date, Ailes is currently second on the career list and will make a run for the record of 1,597 set by Kristin Richards from 2003-06. She needs 104 digs to take over the top spot on the career list. She broke her own school record for digs in a single match with 33 digs versus UCLA on Oct. 31.

NATIONAL POLL: Stanford drops two spots in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll to come in at seventh. Last week, the Cardinal was swept at Washington before defeating Washington State in three on the road. Defending national champion Penn State remains in the top spot in the poll, while Texas, Hawai’i, Washington and Illinois round out the top-5.

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.

CATCH A GLIMPSE: The Cardinal have had four of its Pac-10 matches televised by FSN this season. The team’s final conference match versus California on Nov. 27 also has the opportunity to be picked up for the wildcard weekend.

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 Nov. 14 vs. Oregon State and Nov. 27 vs. California. The hospitality room will be availabe postgame 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: Now in 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 eight victories away from 700 career-wins, and could reach that milestone in 2009. In 24 years as a head coach, Dunning is 692-146 (.826), giving him a winning percentage that ranks among the top five all-time for Division I coaches. Dunning is 255-44, now in his ninth season on The Farm, and the all-time winningest coach in Pac-10 history by percentage (.853).

SCOUTING OREGON: The Ducks enter this weekend in fifth place in the Pac-10 with a 6-6 conference record. Outside hitter Sonja Newcombe leads the team and ranks fifth in the Pac-10 in both kills per set (4.30) and points per set (4.87). Senior middle blocker Netecia Enesi’s .384 hitting percentage is second in the conference and senior setter Nevena Djordjevic paces the league with 12.16 assists per set.

THE SERIES WITH THE DUCKS: The Cardinal holds a 46-3 all-time record against the Ducks. In the teams’ first meeting this season, Oregon came up victorious in a five-set match in Eugene. Senior outside hitter Sonja Newcombe tallied a match-best 26 kills and added 24 digs for the Ducks. Alix Klineman led the Cardinal with a season-high 24 kills and Cassidy Lichtman turned in a triple-double with 17 kills, assists and digs.

SCOUTING OREGON STATE: The Beavers are coming off a 3-1 upset over No. 18 Arizona and are currently ninth in the Pac-10 at 3-9. Senior outside hitter Rachel Rourke is second in the conference with 4.85 kills per set and 5.46 points per set. Junior Jill Sawatzky has also been consistent for the Beavers, averaging 3.33 kills per set (10th in the Pac-10) and 2.69 digs per set.

THE SERIES WITH THE BEAVERS: Stanford is a perfect 49-0 against Oregon State. Earlier this season, the Cardinal defeated the Beavers 3-1 in Corvallis. Gabi Ailes set a then-school record with 32 digs and Alix Klineman recorded a double-double with 20 kills and 17 digs in the win. Additionally, nine of the last 11 meetings between the two squads have been 3-0 Stanford victories.

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