No. 7 Cardinal Hosts Stanford Invitational

Sept. 13, 2006

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COMING UP: The No. 7 Cardinal returns to The Farm to host the Stanford Invitational this Thursday through Saturday in Maples Pavilion. Stanford will open the tournament with an exciting match-up against No. 8 Santa Clara (6-1) on Thursday at 7:00 pm. The Cardinal will then take on Georgetown (5-4) at 7:00 pm on Friday before closing out the weekend against Saint Mary's (4-4) on Saturday at 5:00 pm. UC Irvine will also compete in three matches at the tournament, but not against Stanford.

STANFORD SWEEPS THREE IN HAWAI`I: The Cardinal hosts the Stanford Invitational after an extremely successful outing at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Challenge, sweeping all three matches. Stanford opened with a 3-0 win over Northwestern on Thursday, 30-27, 30-27, 30-17, before taking down Fairfield, 30-13, 30-16, 30-14, on Friday. On Saturday, the Cardinal squared off against No. 9 Hawai`i, easily handling the Rainbow Wahine in three games, 30-10, 30-22, 30-24. As a team, the Cardinal hit .340 over the weekend compared to the opponents' .063. Sophomores Foluke Akinradewo and Cynthia Barboza each hit .471 through three matches, with Barboza leading the way with 46 kills and Akinradewo adding 41 kills. Three players were named to the All-Tournament Team, including Akinradewo, senior Kristin Richards, and Barboza as the Most Outstanding Player.

BARBOZA NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore outside hitter Cynthia Barboza was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for Sept. 4-10, the Cardinal's first weekly honor of the year. Barboza led a three-match sweep at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Challenge last weekend. Barboza hit .471 for the tournament with 46 kills, 33 digs and seven blocks, including a .532 hitting percentage against Fairfield without tallying a single attack error. Against No. 9 Hawai`i for the Challenge title, Barboza notched 15 kills, three blocks and a career-high four service aces.

ABOUT THE BRONCOS: Stanford is more than just a little inspired heading into Thursday's match against the eighth-ranked Broncos (6-1). The Cardinal is 23-1 in the all-time series against Santa Clara, with the only loss occurring in last year's NCAA Tournament at Maples Pavilion to end Stanford's season. Following the upset, the Broncos advanced to the NCAA semi-finals, losing to top-seeded Nebraska, 3-0. This season, the Broncos were undefeated until last weekend's Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational as they fell, 3-0, to host No. 7 Texas, 30-20, 30-25, 30-17. Santa Clara then closed the weekend with a 3-1 win over No. 15 Missouri, 24-30, 30-18, 30-20, 30-24. All-American Anna Cmaylo currently leads the Broncos with a .525 hitting percentage, as well as 78 kills and a team-leading 22 blocks. Senior Kim McGiven leads the squad with 97 kills, hitting .319. All-American setter Crystal Matich has collected 298 assists this year. In his eighth season, head coach Jon Wallace has tallied a 156-58 career record.

ABOUT THE HOYAS: Georgetown (5-4) travels to the Bay after winning three-straight at home last weekend in the Georgetown Classic Volleyball Tournament. The Hoyas opened with a sweep of Campbell on Friday, 30-25, 30-27, 30-15, before taking three games from Howard on Saturday, 30-15, 30-7, 30-22. In a second match on Saturday, Georgetown beat Coastal Carolina in four games, 30-10, 30-23, 24-30, 30-16. Sophomore outside hitter Jessica Buffum was named this week's BIG EAST Player of the Week after tallying 37 kills, 26 digs, and four aces with a .384 hitting percentage. Buffum leads the squad in kills with 141, while senior middle blocker Annie Connor follows with 70 kills and a .250 hitting percentage. Head coach Arlisa Hagan is in her first season with the Hoyas after four years as an assistant at Florida. This weekend's match marks the first meeting between Stanford and Georgetown.

ABOUT THE GAELS: The Cardinal welcomes Saint Mary's (4-4) to The Farm after the Gaels went 1-1 last weekend at the Long Beach State Invitational. Saint Mary's opened the tournament against host Long Beach State on Thursday night, falling 25-30, 23-30, 29-31. On Friday, the Gaels bounced back with a three-game sweep of Idaho, 30-19, 30-26, 30-25. Junior outside hitter Missie Stidham currently leads the squad in kills with 99 and has tallied a .223 hitting percentage through 29 games. Senior middle blocker Christina Kirk follows with 76 kills and a .331 hitting percentage. In his second year as head coach of the Gaels, Rob Browning has enjoyed 10 returning letterwinners, including five starters. Stanford leads the series, 5-2, against Saint Mary's, including a 3-0 victory last season at the Stanford Invitational.

UP NEXT: This weekend's Stanford Invitational will wrap up preseason action for the Cardinal. Stanford opens Pac-10 Conference action next weekend against Washington State and Washington. The Cardinal will kick off the weekend against Washington State on Thursday, September 21 (7:00 pm). On Friday, Stanford will match up against defending national champion Washington at 7:00 pm.

CSTV/AVCA TOP 25 POLL: Stanford improved to a seventh-place ranking this week in the CSTV/AVCA Division I Preseason Top 25 Coaches Poll after opening the 2006 season with a No. 4 ranking. Nebraska holds the top spot for a fourth-straight week, while Penn State and UCLA continue to hold down the #2 and #3 rankings, respectively. Local squad Santa Clara moved from fourth to eighth, while Washington moved up one position to the fourth spot this week. Florida and Texas also moved up to the fifth and sixth rankings, respectively.

PAC-10 PRESEASON COACHES POLL: The Cardinal has been picked to win this year's conference title by league coaches. Stanford picked up eight first-place votes in the preseason poll. UCLA has been ranked second in the Pac-10 with two first-place votes, while defending national champion Washington was picked third. Conference coaches have correctly picked the Pac-10 champion in 10 of the previous 17 polls.

HEAD COACH John Dunning: John Dunning opens his sixth season as head coach of the Cardinal. During his tenure, the Cardinal have captured two NCAA championships (2001, 2004), as well as a runner-up finish in 2002. Dunning has amassed a 146-26 record on The Farm and a 583-128 in his 21 years of coaching at Stanford and Pacific, ranking him among the top five winningest active coaches in NCAA history (Division I). In 2005, Dunning was the recipient of the USA Volleyball All-Time Great Coach Award.

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