Five Nab All-America Honors
STANFORD, Calif. – The Stanford women’s volleyball team had five players recognized when the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced its All-America selections today. Senior Carly Wopat and sophomore Inky Ajanaku were tabbed first team selections, sophomore Madi Bugg earned second team honors and junior Kyle Gilbert and sophomore Jordan Burgess garnered honorable mention accolades.
The selections bring Stanford’s total AVCA All-America award count to 75 honors spread over 32 players. Wopat is a repeat first team selection and earned honorable mention honors in 2011. Ajanaku receives her second career honors after being an honorable mention pick in 2012. Bugg, Burgess and Gilbert are all be recognized for the first time.
Stanford’s three selections to one of the first three teams are the most since the 2010 season when Alix Klineman (1st), Cassidy Lichtman (1st) and Gabi Ailes (3rd) were all honored. Stanford’s five overall selections is a school record, while Ajanaku and Wopat become the first pair of middle blockers from the same team to receive first team accolades since 2003.
Wopat, a middle blocker from Santa Barbara, Calif., led the Pac-12 and ranked 13th nationally with 1.43 blocks per set, and was third in the conference with a .429 hitting percentage. She also paced the Cardinal with 3.82 points per set. A three-time all-conference pick, she garnered Pac-12 Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week honors in 2013, and became just the third Cardinal player to register 600 career blocks (614). Her .429 hitting percentage this season was a career high and the fifth-best single season mark in program history.
Ajanaku, a native of Tulsa, Okla., was second in the Pac-12 with a .438 hitting percentage and ranked third with 1.38 blocks per set. On the season, the middle blocker was ninth nationally in hitting percentage and 20th in blocks per set. She nabbed the final AVCA National Player of the Week honors on Dec. 3 and picked up her first career Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week accolades (12/2). Her .438 hitting percentage in 2013 was the third-best single season mark in school history.
Bugg, a native of Apex, N.C., was the Pac-12 Setter of the Year and received honorable mention all-conference in 2013. She led the Pac-12 with 11.88 assists per set, upping that mark to 12.10 in conference matches. She controlled a Cardinal offense which led the Pac-12 and ranked fourth in the nation with a .308 hitting percentage and 14.79 kills per set (10th nationally). Her assists per set average ranked seventh in the nation and she cracked the Cardinal’s top-10 for career assists with 2,310 (10th).
Gilbert, a libero from Encinitas, Calif., ranked second in the Pac-12 with 4.95 digs per set. Her 544 digs on the season ranks third on the Cardinal’s single season list. She now has 1,410 digs in her career, the fourth-best mark in program history, and against USC on Oct. 30, she tied the school record for digs in a single match with 33. She captured her first career AVCA All-Region honors earlier this season.
Burgess, a two-time all-conference recipient as a sophomore, was one of five Cardinal players who averaged at least 2.72 kills per set on the season (2.76). The Fort Myers, Fla., native led Stanford in Pac-12 matches with 3.01 kills per set on a .311 hitting percentage. The outside hitter had six double-doubles on the season and collected 2.82 digs per set. In the regional final loss to Penn State, Burgess led Stanford with 17 kills on a .375 attack percentage to go with 18 digs.
Stanford ended the season with a 27-6 overall record and advanced to the Lexington Regional Final, where it fell to second-seeded Penn State in five sets. The Cardinal finished second in the Pac-12 race (17-3), made its 33rd consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and reached a regional final for the eighth time under head coach John Dunning.