Michigan Ends No. 4 Stanford's Season With 3-1 Win In Semifinal

Dec. 11, 2009

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STANFORD, Calif. -- The fourth-seeded Stanford women's volleyball team's season ended Friday with a 3-1 (18-25, 25-23, 22-25, 11-25) in the second semifinal of the Stanford Regional at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal finish the year with a 23-8 overall record. The Wolverines advances to the regional final with a 27-9 record.

Junior Alix Klineman finished with 18 kills and eight digs for the Cardinal. Junior Cassidy Lichtman added nine kills, eight assists and 11 digs, while junior libero Gabi Ailes totaled 13 digs and three aces. Senior Janet Okogbaa ends her career at Stanford with nine kills and five blocks. Stanford was held to a season-low .195 hitting percentage, while Michigan hit .358 for the match.

Lichtman got the Cardinal on the board first, but a 6-1 run by Michigan put Stanford on its heels. Back-to-back kills by Lichtman and Klineman cut into the Wolverines' lead. Another kill by Klineman and an error by Michigan pulled Stanford within two at 10-8. However, the Wolverines jumped out to an 18-13 advantage, forcing head coach John Dunning to call timeout. Out of the break, a kill by Klineman and a block by Janet Okogbaa and Lichtman cut the lead to four. Unfortunately for the Cardinal, Michigan used a 5-2 run to close out the first set 25-18. The Wolverines hit .545 in the opening set, totaling 19 kills, while holding Stanford to just 12 kills, hitting .258.

Michigan maintained its momentum in the beginning of the second set, jumping out to a 5-2 lead. Stanford got back into it, tying the score at 7-7. Okogbaa picked up a kill and a block during the Cardinal run. Stanford then captured the lead as Okgobaa registered back-to-back kills. The Cardinal extended its lead to 15-12 as freshman Jessica Walker, Klineman and Lichtman all recorded kills for Stanford. Michigan hung around, but Stanford kept its cushion as Okogbaa teamed up with sophomore Stephanine Browne and freshman Karissa Cook to post consecutive blocks. Michigan came back to tie the set at 23, but a kill by Lichtman and an ace by Walker sealed the second-set victory for Stanford.

Stanford fell behind 8-3 to open the third set, failing to find any offensive rhythm. Out of a timeout, Stanford scored two straight points on a kill by Cook and a solo block by Klineman, but the Wolverines used a 3-1 run to go up by six. Trailing 19-13, Stanford got a block from Okgobaa and Cook, two kills from Klineman and ace by Ailes to pull within four. After Michigan called timeout, Ailes put down two more aces and Klineman drilled her 14th kill of the match to cut the lead to 20-19. However, it wasn't enough as Michigan went on to win the third set, 25-22.

Michigan kept its foot on the throttle to start the fourth set, opening up to a 6-1 lead. Stanford tried to find its offense, but Michigan went on a 10-1 run to go up by 13 points. The Cardinal fought back, getting a kill from Klineman and ace from Lichtman, but it wasn't enough as Michigan ended Stanford's season with a 25-11 fourth-set win.

Michigan moves on to the Regional Final Saturday, versus No. 3 Hawai'i. First serve is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. PT and will be televised live by ESPNU.

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