No. 4 Stanford Volleyball Drops Five-Set Match To No. 11 UCLA

Oct. 31, 2009

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STANFORD, Calif. -- The No. 4 Stanford women's volleyball team fell for the first time at home this season, dropping a five-set thriller to No. 11 UCLA (18-25, 32-34, 25-19, 25-21, 11-15), Saturday, in front of a crowd of 1,934. The Cardinal drops to 15-6 on the season and 8-3 in conference play, while the Bruins (18-6) move into a tie with Stanford for second place in the Pac-10 at 8-3. The match marked the sixth time this season that the Cardinal played five sets, equaling the fourth-most in program history.

Junior Cassidy Lichtman led the team with her seventh triple-double of the season, posting 18 kills, 13 assists and 18 digs. Junior Alix Klineman totaled a team-best 20 kills, while adding nine digs and six blocks. Senior middle blocker Janet Okogbaa tallied 17 kills, hitting .412, and junior libero Gabi Alies registered 33 digs, breaking her own school record for digs in a single match set earlier this year. As a team, Stanford hit .218, while UCLA posted a .204 attack percentage.

The Cardinal fell behind early in the opening set, 6-4, but a 3-0 run, led by Okogbaa's two kills, gave Stanford a 7-6 advantage. The Cardinal used its momentum to spark a 5-1 run to increase its lead to 12-7. Freshman Jessica Walker, senior Alex Fisher and Klineman all picked up kills during the stretch. Lichtman's fourth kill of the match gave Stanford a 17-14 lead. However, UCLA responded with an 11-0 run to capture the first set, 25-18. The Cardinal was held to a .133 attack percentage in the opening set.

The teams began the second set by tying the score eight different times before UCLA took a two-point lead 10-8. Klineman registered three kills and a solo block to start the second. The Cardinal posted a 5-1 run, including two blocks by freshman setter Karissa Cook, to recapture the lead at 13-11. Stanford maintained a two-point edge as Okogbaa picked up her fifth and sixth kills of the match. The Bruins fought back, tying the score once again 18-18, but kills by sophomore Stephanie Browne and Okogbaa kept the Cardinal on top by two. The Bruins would take the lead back, 23-22, but a kill by Lichtman and a block by Klineman and Okogbaa gave the lead back to the Cardinal. Stanford pushed UCLA to extra points, but came up short, falling 34-32 in the second.

Stanford jumped out to a 6-2 lead to start the third set as Klineman picked up two kills and another solo block for the Cardinal. A 6-3 run by Stanford increased the lead to 12-5. Okogbaa recorded her 10th kill of the match and errors by the Bruins gave the Cardinal a 16-10 advantage. Holding a 16-12 lead, Stanford rallied to post a 5-2 run as Lichtman registered two kills and Okogbaa earned her 12th kill of the match. The Bruins would claw back into it, pulling within three, but a 4-1 run by the Cardinal closed out the third set, 25-19.

The Cardinal fell behind early in the fourth set, 8-5, but kept the Bruins within reach. Back-to-back kills by Klineman and Lichtman tied the score at 11. Errors by UCLA and kills from Klineman and Lichtman put the Cardinal on top 18-15. Stanford increased its lead to four as Cook put down her second kill of the match and then recorded ace. A 5-2 run by the Bruins pulled UCLA within two at 23-21, but a service error by UCLA and a kill by Okogbaa kept Stanford alive with a 25-21 fourth-set win.

Stanford opened the final set with a 6-3 advantage as Okogbaa drilled three kills for the Cardinal. Up 8-4, UCLA posted three straight points to cut the lead to one. Errors by the Cardinal gave the Bruins the lead at 11-10 and UCLA would use a 4-1 run to defeat Stanford for the first time since 2000.

Up next, Stanford travels to the Pacific Northwest for a showdown at No. 5 Washington, Friday, Nov. 6 in Seattle. The Cardinal will then travel to Pullman, Wash., for a match at No. 21 Washington State, Saturday, Nov. 7. Both contests are scheduled for 7 p.m.

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