No. 6 Stanford Continues Pac-10 Play In The Desert This Weekend

Nov. 16, 2009

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THIS WEEK: Stanford makes its final Pac-10 road trip of the season, traveling to the desert to face No. 19 Arizona and Arizona State. Both matches are scheduled for 7 p.m. MT/6 p.m. PT.

LOOKING AHEAD: The Cardinal returns to The Farm for its Pac-10 finale versus rival California, Friday, Nov. 27. Stanford will honor its three seniors prior to the start of the match for Senior Night.

CATCH THE CARDINAL: Live stats will be available both nights via Gametracker at

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 to get updates on the team this season. Both sites will be updated live during matches this year.

LAST WEEK: Stanford swept the Oregon schools at home last weekend. Versus the Ducks, Cassidy Lichtman and Alix Klineman both turned in double-doubles with 16 kills and 14 assists and 14 kills and 10 digs, respectively. Janet Okogbaa was 11-2-16, hitting .562 and Gabi Ailes pitched in with 22 digs. Against the Beavers, Klineman led the team with 13 kills, while Lichtman recorded her team-best 18th double-double of the season with 14 assists and 10 digs. Sophomore Stephanie Browne added seven kills and hit .667 for the Cardinal.

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 506 digs in 2009, just 28 away from breaking her record of 533 set in 2007. Ailes leads the Pac-10 with 5.44 digs per set, ranking 11th 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 6.23 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 3.33 kills per set and is hitting .254. She is also second on the squad with 300 assists (3.23 aps) and 260 digs (2.80 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 1,280 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 4.07 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 28th nationally with 1.29 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 25th in the country with 2.63 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 9.31 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 1,530 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 68 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.

IN ATTENDANCE: The Cardinal is averaging 2,368 fans at its home matches this season, which is unofficially the 11th-best home average in the nation. Stanford’s match versus then-undefeate Wahington on Oct. 10 drew the largest crowd to date at Maples Pavilion with 2,921 fans. Additionally, its match at Hawai’i on Sept. 12 was seen by 7,801 fans, marking the seventh-highest attendance at a Division I volleyball match this season.

NATIONAL POLL: Stanford moved up one spot in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll to come in at sixth this week. Last week, the Cardinal was swept then-No. 16 Oregon and Oregon State at Maples Pavilion. 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 has been selcted as the wildcard pick for FSN and the match will be shown on a tape-delayed basis.

CHALK TALK: 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. 27 versus California.

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 six victories away from 700 career-wins, and could reach that milestone in 2009. In 24 years as a head coach, Dunning is 694-146 (.826), giving him a winning percentage that ranks among the top five all-time for Division I coaches. Dunning is 257-44, now in his ninth season on The Farm, and the all-time winningest coach in Pac-10 history by percentage (.854).

SCOUTING ARIZONA: The Wildcats are currently in fifth-place in the Pac-10 with a 7-7 reocrd. They are led by junior outside hitter Tiffany Owens’ 3.67 kills per set, which ranks eighth in the conference. She is also ninth in the Pac-10 with 4.01 points per set and had a double-double with 11 kills and 14 digs in Arizona’s most recent win over Arizona State. Junior setter Paige Weber has controlled the offense for the Wildcats and is sixth in the conference with 10.72 assists per set, while also ranking fifth with 0.31 aces per set.

THE SERIES WITH THE WILDCATS: The Cardinal is 53-6 all-time against the Wildcats. Stanford swept Arizona earlier this season at Maples Pavilion. Janet Okogbaa and Alix Klineman each tallied 11 kills for the Cardinal in the win. The last time the Wildcasts defeated the Cardinal in Tuscon was during the 2005 season.

SCOUTING ARIZONA STATE: Arizona State is 13-13 overall and 3-11 in conference play. Junior outside hitter Sarah Reaves leads the team and is third in the Pac-10 with 4.45 kills per set and ranks fourth with 5.14 points per set. Senior middle blocker Paige Mittelstaedt’s 1.25 blocks per set ranks fourth in the conference, and her .347 hitting percentage is sixth.

THE SERIES WITH THE SUN DEVILS: Stanford holds a 55-4 overall record against Arizona State. The Cardinal swept the Sun Devils in the first meeting behind Alix Klineman’s 19 kills. In fact, the last 11 meetings between the programs have been Stanford sweeps, and the Cardinal is a perfect 17-0 against the Sun Devils under head coach John Dunning. The last ASU victory in Tempe was a 3-1 win during the 2000 season.

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