No. 2 Cardinal Sweeps Cincinnati for Eighth Straight Win
Sept. 12, 2007
Cincinnati, Ohio - The No. 2 Cardinal women's volleyball team cruised to its sixth sweep and eighth win of the season tonight, taking care of the Cincinnati Bearcats at the Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati, 30-24, 30-21, 30-20. In front of Cincinnati's largest crowd of the season, Stanford out-hit the Bearcats .312 to .102 and improved to 8-0 on the year. Cincinnati fell to 7-4.
Junior outside hitter led the Cardinal with nine kills, but it was sophomore Janet Okogbaa who stole the show. Playing in just her third match of the year, the middle blocker racked up a career-high eight kills and six blocks, while hitting .500. Freshman Gabi Ailes recorded a career-high with 21 digs, and, in her Ohio homecoming senior setter Bryn Kehoe tallied 42 assists. Stephanie Niemer and Jessie Nevitt led the Bearcats with 12 kills apiece.
Junior middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo, the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Week, quickly showed the Bearcats her stuff in game one, pounding a ball to the floor untouched for the first point of the match. The Bearcats held tight early on, however, as the game went to six ties, with Cincinnati taking a brief lead at 6-4, before Stanford pulled away. After an 8-8 tie, the Cardinal went on an 8-3 run, which included four Barboza kills and a Barboza, Kehoe and Akinradewo block, and gave the squad a 16-11 lead. A service ace by Kehoe gave Stanford its first six-point lead at 19-13, and a kill by the senior made it seven at 24-17. Cincinnati pulled within three at 27-24, but kills by Barboza and Erin Waller helped Stanford take the final three points of the game and seal the win, 30-24. Stanford hit .367 to Cincinnati's .196 in the game, and Barboza led the team with six kills.
Stanford raced out to a 5-1 lead in game two, and never looked back. Okogbaa, making her first appearance of the match, delivered three early kills and a block to help the Cardinal surge ahead. An Okogbaa kill gave Stanford an 11-6 lead, and one a few points later made it 16-8. Waller pounded a kill through the Cincinnati block to stretch the lead to double-digits at 18-8, and an ace by Ailes extended it to a dozen at 22-10. The Cardinal took its largest lead at 26-13 on an Akinradewo ace, and, despite a late Cincinnati attempt to pull back in the game, cruised calmly on to the finish. A Bearcat service error ended the game, 30-21. Okogbaa notched five of her kills in the game to lead the team, and Stanford out-hit Cincinnati, .297 to .125.
In game three, Stanford jumped out to another quick lead, 7-2, but this time Cincinnati didn't let the Cardinal run away right off. The Bearcats pulled within one at 9-8, but from there it was all Cardinal. Okogbaa put up back-to-back blocks in a 4-0 run to make it 13-8, and Klineman helped push the lead out to six with a kill at 21-15. Cincinnati put up four straight points to come within two at 21-19, but that would be all the team could muster. Okogbaa bookended a 7-0 run with a block and a kill on each side and Stanford took a 28-19 lead. A kill by Alex Fisher gave Stanford match point, and Alix Klineman ended the game with a kill 30-20.
Stanford continues it's road trip on Friday, heading to New Haven, Conn. to participate in the Courtyard by Marriott Yale Classic. The Cardinal meets Delaware State Friday at 5 pm (ET) and Yale on Saturday at 10 am (ET). The weekend will be highlighted by a showdown between the No. 2 Cardinal and No. 3 Penn State, Saturday at 7 pm (ET).