Pac-10's Best Face Off In L.A.

Oct. 10, 2006

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COMING UP: After beating Cal at home last Friday, No. 6 Stanford (13-2, 4-1) heads to Los Angeles to face conference foes No. 4 USC (17-0, 6-0) and No. 3 UCLA (19-0, 6-0) this weekend. The Cardinal will first square off against the Trojans on Thursday, October 12 at 7:00 pm before taking on the Bruins at 7:00 pm on Friday, October 13. Thursday's match will be broadcast live on Prime Ticket (DirecTV channel 653), including a pre-game show at 6:30 pm. The match will also be aired tape-delayed on Saturday at 6:00 pm and Sunday at 11:00 am. Check your local listings for additional broadcasts.

CARDINAL CLAIMS BIG SPIKE: No. 6 Stanford swept No. 7 California last Friday night in the annual Big Spike, 30-20, 30-22, 30-21, to win a 26th-straight match at home against the Bears. Senior outside hitter Kristin Richards and sophomore outside hitter Cynthia Barboza each collected 13 kills versus Cal, with Richards tallying a .565 hitting percentage. Sophomore middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo nearly matched her season high with seven blocks, while junior setter Bryn Kehoe led the squad with 12 digs and contributed 30 assists. The Cardinal hit .354 as a team, holding the Bears to just a .143 hitting percentage. Barboza continues to lead Stanford with 4.59 kills per game, totaling 211 kills on the season with a .313 hitting percentage and a team-leading 21 aces. Akinradewo paces the team with a .430 percentage and 67 blocks, adding 158 kills.

ABOUT THE TROJANS: No. 4 USC (17-0, 6-0) hosts the Cardinal after claiming wins over Arizona State and Arizona last weekend. USC beat the Sun Devils, 25-30, 30-22, 30-25, 25-30, 15-13, on Friday before taking down the Wildcats, 30-19, 30-27, 33-31, on Saturday. Junior Asia Kaczor leads the Trojan hitters with 4.48 kills per game, 278 total kills and a .300 hitting percentage. Junior Bethany Johansen has also collected 83 blocks on the season. Stanford leads the all-time series against USC, 47-17.

ABOUT THE BRUINS: No. 3 UCLA (19-0, 6-0) awaits Stanford after also sweeping Arizona and Arizona State last weekend. The Bruins topped Arizona, 30-24, 30-23, 20-30, 30-25, on Friday, then claimed a 30-21, 30-26, 30-28 victory over Arizona State on Saturday. Senior Nana Meriwether paces the Bruins with 4.05 kills per game, 243 total kills and a .509 hitting percentage. Meriwether also leads the squad with 107 blocks. UCLA barely holds down the all-time series lead versus Stanford, 34-33.

UP NEXT: Stanford returns home next weekend for two matches against Oregon State and Oregon. The Cardinal first hosts the Beavers on Thursday, October 19 at 7:00 pm, then the Ducks on Friday, October 20 at 7:00 pm.

VOLLEYBALL ANNOUNCES PAC-10 PLAN: Stanford Women's Volleyball would like to announce the all-new Pac-10 Plan. For only $75, fans can catch all the Cardinal home matches against the nation's top conference in Maples Pavilion. The plan includes nine matches for $75 in reserved seating or $50 in general admission seating. Get your Pac-10 Plan today by clicking here.

BARBOZA, RICHARDS NAMED PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Sophomore outside hitter Cynthia Barboza and senior outside hitter Kristin Richards have earned Player of the Week honors this season from the Pac-10. 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. She 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 and collecting a career-high four service aces against No. 9 Hawai`i. Richards was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for Oct. 2-8. She led the Cardinal to a three-game sweep over No. 7 California, recording 13 kills without a single error. Richards hit .565 against the Bears, contributing six digs, an ace and three blocks.

NOTABLES: Stanford won all four matches against USC and UCLA last season, claiming a 10-match winning streak against UCLA ... Senior Kristin Richards has already moved from ninth to seventh this season for all-time career kills with 1,582 ... In just her junior year, setter Bryn Kehoe remains in fifth on the all-time career assists list with 3,314 assists, ranking first all-time at Stanford with 12.64 assists per game ... Sophomore Cynthia Barboza's 21 service aces in just 15 matches inch her closer to the single season top-10 list, where Kim Oden and Barbara Fontana are tied for ninth with 41 aces

CSTV/AVCA TOP 25 POLL: Stanford remains in sixth place this week in the CSTV/AVCA Division I Preseason Top 25 Coaches Poll. Nebraska holds the top spot for a eighth-straight week, while Penn State and UCLA continue to hold down the #2 and #3 rankings, respectively. USC still holds the fourth-place ranking, while Washington remains #5. Cross-Bay rival California remains in seventh for the third-straight week.

CARDINAL NABS TOURNAMENT HONORS: Multiple Cardinal players have been named to all-tournament teams for their efforts in the preseason. Sophomores Cynthia Barboza and Foluke Akinradewo were named all-tournament as Stanford went 2-1 at the BYU Tournament. Barboza later earned Most Outstanding Player honors at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Challenge with all-tournament team members Akinradewo and senior Kristin Richards as the Cardinal swept three matches, including No. 9 Hawai`i. Last weekend, three Cardinal athletes were named to the Stanford Invitational All-Tournament Team as Stanford again went 3-0, including a sweep of No. 8 Santa Clara. Barboza and junior Bryn Kehoe were named Co-Most Outstanding Player, while Akinradewo was also named to the all-tournament team.

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 158-28 record on The Farm and a 595-130 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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