No. 2 Stanford Rolls Past Yale; Improves to 10-0
Sept. 15, 2007
New Haven, Conn. - The No. 2 Stanford volleyball team rolled to its tenth straight win this morning, using a .456 hitting percentage to take care of the Yale Bulldogs on their home court, 30-19, 30-20, 30-16. The sweep was Stanford's eighth of the season and improved the squad to 10-0, marking the program's best start in more than a decade. Yale drops to 3-2 with the loss.
Freshman Alix Klineman put in a solid morning's work with a team-leading 16 kills, while Foluke Akinradewo added 11 in two games. Erin Waller followed with eight kills and three blocks, while Bryn Kehoe chipped in 34 assists. Sophomore Alexis Crusey led Yale with 11 kills. Stanford's last 10-0 start was in 1994, when the team went on to go 32-1 and capture the NCAA title.
The Cardinal wasted no time showing its dominance in game one. The team rattled off three straight points to start the game, and turned its early momentum into a 9-1 run that finished with back-to-back kills by Klineman and then Akinradewo. Freshman Cassidy Lichtman recorded consecutive kills from the back row to put Stanford up 12-3, and a Franci Girard kill on the next play made the lead double-digits. Alex Fisher used cross-court kills to bookend a 6-0 Cardinal run that made it 20-6, and, despite a brief surge of Yale offense, the team marched on to the finish. Klineman pounded two kills in a three-point span to make it 27-12, and Girard gave the Cardinal game point at 29-17. Akinradewo finally ended things at 30-19 with her sixth kill in as many tries. Stanford hit a season-high .590 in the game, with 24 kills and just one error on 39 attempts, while Yale hit .256.
The Bulldogs were out of the gates first in game two, taking four of the first five points. Stanford answered with an 8-2 run, however, and took the lead for good on a block by Kehoe and Janet Okogbaa at 7-6. Stanford's young players continued to drive the Stanford offense, as a series of kills by Okogbaa and Lichtman gave Stanford a five-point advantage at 14-9. Yale battled back within one at 15-14, but Akinradewo drilled a ball straight to the floor to fire up the Stanford offense at 16-14. The junior middle blocker pounded two more to help the team pull back out to a comfortable lead at 21-15, and Klineman added four in a 7-2 run that effectively put Stanford out of reach at 28-19. Waller and Akinradewo delivered back-to-back blows to end the game, 30-20. Klineman led the team with six kills in the game, and the Cardinal out-hit the Bulldogs, .441 to .037.
With seven players hitting above .400, and two already in double-figures, Stanford was ready to roll in game three. Waller and Okogbaa started things with a decisive block, and quickly went up 7-2. Kehoe then stepped up and served ten straight Stanford points, and the Cardinal went up 17-3 on back-to-back Klineman kills. The team refused to let down, and after a Girard ace and an Okogbaa kill, Stanford was up 23-8. Girard then teamed up on consecutive blocks, first with Waller and then with Klineman, to give Stanford a 28-12 advantage. Yale responded with four straight points, but a Waller kill and a Klineman ace finished off the Bulldogs, 30-16.
Stanford returns to the court tonight to face Penn State for the Courtyard by Marriott Yale Classic Championship. First serve between the No. 2 Cardinal and the No. 3 Nittany Lions is set for 7 p.m. (ET) at Lee Amphitheater in New Haven, Conn.