Cardinal Advances To Championship Match
Dec. 14, 2006
Omaha, Neb. - Second-seeded Stanford (30-3) defeated sixth-seeded Washington (29-5) tonight in the second of two national semifinals at the Qwest Center Omaha. The Cardinal took down the Huskies in three games, 30-12, 30-25, 30-15, to advance to the championship match Saturday against top-seeded Nebraska on Saturday. Sophomore middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo led Stanford with 15 kills, followed by sophomore outside hitter Cynthia Barboza with 10 kills.
Stanford opened the match with a 2-1 lead in game one off of a quick kill by Akinradewo in the middle and a block by Akinradewo and junior setter Bryn Kehoe. The Cardinal used a 3-0 run to gap the Huskies, 5-2, including another kill by Akinradewo. WashingtonÃ¢â,¬TMs Jessica Swarbrick and Alesha Deesing tallied kills, but Stanford maintained its lead with a kill by sophomore Erin Waller, as well as a block by Waller and junior Franci Girard, 11-5. Following a Husky timeout, Barboza registered back-to-back aces to lead the Cardinal on a 3-1 streak, 14-6. Washington collected kills from Swarbrick and Christal Morrison, but Akinradewo answered with a powerful kill in the middle, 15-8. Barboza later recorded back-to-back kills on the left side to spark another 3-0 run and force Washington into a timeout, 19-11. Another kill by Barboza and back-to-back aces by Kehoe brought the score to 23-12. The Cardinal continued on an 8-0 run, including another block by Girard and Waller, and a kill by Waller on the right side, 28-12. A block by Barboza and Girard brought the Cardinal within one, then Waller clinched game one for the Cardinal with a block solo, 30-12.
Game two opened to a 2-0 lead for Stanford on a block by Akinradewo and senior Nji Nnamani. Washington tied the game at 3 with a kill and an ace by Swarbrick. The Cardinal regained the lead on a service error and kill by Barboza on the left side, 5-3, but Washington hung tight and took the lead on a Cardinal service error, 6-5. Akinradewo smashed a kill on an overpass, then Girard and senior Kristin Richards later recorded kills to put Stanford ahead, 9-8. Morrison tallied a kill to tie the game again at 11, but Barboza pounded a kill from the left side to give the Cardinal a 14-13 lead and kick off a 3-0 run. Stevie Mussie tallied an ace for the Huskies, then a kill from Deesing put Washington up, 16-15. Stanford rallied back with a 3-0 streak, including a kill by Girard on the right side and a block by Girard and Barboza, 18-16. Barboza later collected another ace, and Richards pounded a cross-court kill to put Stanford up, 21-18. Washington came out of a timeout with a kill and an ace by Swarbrick to form a 3-0 run, 23-22. Stanford held its lead with a rocket from Akinradewo to the right line, 25-22, but the Huskies remained close with a kill by Janine Sandell, 26-24. A massive kill by Barboza put the Cardinal near gamepoint, then Barboza followed with a stuff block to close out game two, 30-25.
Akinradewo pounded a kill down the middle to put Stanford on the board in game three. An ace by Richards and two more kills by Akinradewo increased the Cardinal lead to 6-1. Morrison collected a kill for the Huskies, but Stanford followed with a 7-0 run including a kill by Girard in the middle and a block by Girard and Barboza, 13-3. Following a timeout, Kehoe logged another ace and Waller downed a kill on the right side to extend StanfordÃ¢â,¬TMs advantage to 15-5. Stanford continued on a 5-1 run, 19-6, on kills by Waller and Richards. Deesing placed a kill down the right line, but Richards answered with a rocket down the middle, 20-8. A tip by Akinradewo brought the score to 23-9, sparking another 5-1 run on kills by Barboza and Girard, 27-10. Waller slammed a kill from the right side, but Washington pulled together a 2-0 streak on blocks by Swarbrick and Sandell. Stanford neared the win on an attacking error, then Akinradewo recorded a kill in the middle to cinch the semifinal victory, 30-15.
Girard led the Cardinal with six blocks against the Huskies, followed by Barboza with five blocks. Kehoe tallied 44 assists and a team-high four aces, while sophomore libero Jessica Fishburn led Stanford with 14 digs.
Stanford now advances to its 12th national championship match in school history. The Cardinal will face local squad and top-seeded Nebraska on Saturday, December 16 at 8:00 pm CT. The NCAA finalwill be broadcast live on ESPN1.
GAME SCORES 1 2 3 TEAM SCORESWashington (0) 12 25 15 29-5Stanford (3) 30 30 30 30-3