Cardinal Takes Down No. 3 Texas, 3-2
Aug. 31, 2008
Omaha, Neb. - The No. 2 Stanford volleyball team bounced back from a rough first outing, returning to the court to outlast No. 3 Texas in a five-set thriller at the Runza/AVCA Showcase in Omaha, Neb. Led by All-American outside hitters Cynthia Barboza and Alix Klineman, Stanford dominated the first two sets, then held on to claim the 25-17, 25-19, 25-27, 20-25, 15-10 victory.
Klineman was on fire from the get-go, rattling off eight of her team-high 21 kills in the opening set to put Texas on its heels. The sophomore added 13 digs and was one of three Stanford players to finish with a double-double. Barboza picked tallied 18 kills and 14 digs, while sophomore Cassidy Lichtman put up career highs with 10 kills and 31 assists. Senior opposite Erin Waller added 11 kills to the Stanford effort, while sophomore libero Gabi Ailes put on a 22-dig show in front of her hometown Nebraska crowd.
For Texas, junior outside hitter Destinee Hooker caught fire late in the match and finished with a match-high 24 kills. Junior opposite Ashley Engle added 12 kills, while Juliann Faucette and Lauren Paolini tallied eight kills apiece.
Stanford outhit Texas, .272 to .240, but was out-blocked by the Longhorns, 11-5. The win was the fourth consecutive win in the series for Stanford, and improved to Cardinal to 1-1 on the year. Texas, which swept No. 4 USC, in the opening match of the Showcase, also finishes the competitive tournament with a 1-1 record.
Held at Qwest Center Omaha, the site of the 2008 NCAA Final Four, the prestigious tournament featured three of the nation's top four ranked teams and nine returning AVCA All-Americans.
Barboza pounded the Longhorns with back-to-back kills to start the match, giving Stanford the momentum early on. Faucette served four straight Texas points to give her team a two-point lead at 5-3, but Stanford wasted no time firing back. Janet Okogbaa and Klineman each had two kills in the 7-0 Cardinal run that followed, allowing Stanford to race ahead, 10-5. A block by Barboza and Foluke Akinradewo gave Stanford its first six-point advantage at 13-7. Texas took five straight points to pull within one at 14-13, but Lichtman stopped the Longhorn momentum by pounding down an overpass, and Klineman and Akinradewo paired for two big blocks to put Stanford back in firm control. Along with her two blocks, Klineman registered two kills to fuel a late 9-2 Cardinal run, then ripped another one to give Stanford set point at 24-16. A point later, Klineman rolled her eighth kill of the set into the middle of the court, sealing the Stanford win, 25-17. Stanford hit .361 in the set, and held Texas to a .200 clip.
The first point of set two went to Texas, but Lichtman notched a pair of kills that helped Stanford put together a 7-2 run and establish another early lead. A Waller kill at 7-3 gave Stanford its first four-point lead, and the senior opposite teamed up with Akinradewo for a block at 13-5 that capped a 4-0 Stanford run. The Longhorns took advantage of three Cardinal miscues to climb back in contention with six straight points to make it 13-11, and Rachel Adams later tipped down an overpass to tie the set at 17. Waller caught fire with three critical kills in the 8-2 Cardinal rally that followed, however, and Texas couldn't recover. Ailes served her second ace of the match for set point at 24-19, and Barboza drilled her eighth kill cross court to finish things, 25-19. Stanford hit .308 in the second set, and held the Longhorns to just a .161 mark.
The third set stayed close early on, with neither team able to establish more than a two-point lead until 17 points into the set. Two Paolini kills and a pair of Stanford errors helped Texas inch out to an 11-7 advantage, however, and the Longhorns built on the margin. Hooker recorded four kills in a 7-2 Texas run that pushed the lead to 19-11, and soon after another Paolini kill made it 21-13. Stanford battled, however. Waller stepped up to serve eight consecutive Cardinal points, tying the set at 21. Lichtman and Barboza each had two kills in the run, and Texas made three hitting errors. Stanford managed to take set point on a Barboza kill at 24-23, but couldn't finish. Hooker recorded back-to-back kills to put Stanford at a 25-24 deficit, then finally finished the set with kill at 27-25. Stanford was outhit .317 to .196 in the set, and Hooker had eight kills to lead all players.
Texas went on a 5-1 run to start the fourth set, but Barboza downed back-to-back kills in a 7-0 Cardinal run to bring Stanford back. The team established a three-point lead on a Klineman kill at 8-5, and the lead held until Texas put together a 6-1 run to take it back, 16-14. Stanford continued to slip behind, with Texas taking a 19-15 lead on an error and a Hooker block. Stanford chipped away, and trimmed the lead to two on three occasions, with the last coming on a Klineman kill at 22-20. The Longhorns strung together three straight points to finish, however, clinching the set 25-20 on a kill by Jennifer Doris. Stanford was outhit .295 to .189 in the set.
Texas took the first two points of the fifth set, but Klineman paced Stanford with three kills in a 6-1 run that put Stanford up 6-3. Hooker matched the effort, however, adding three kills in a 5-1 run that put Texas up 8-7 at the switch. Texas took a 9-7 lead on another Hooker kill a point later, but it was all Cardinal from there. Klineman, Waller and Barboza put down a series of kills to put Stanford on top, 10-9, and a point later, a Longhorn service error further boosted the Cardinal momentum. Barboza pounded a kill to make it 12-10, and Texas made three consecutive hitting errors to end the set, 15-10. The Cardinal outhit the Longhorns, .304 to .125, in the final set.
Stanford continues its season-opening road trip on Tuesday night in Orlando, Fla. The Cardinal will take on the Central Florida Knights at 7 p.m. (ET) at the Renovated UCF Arena.