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Stanford Travels to OSU, Oregon this Weekend

Redshirt freshman Lydia Bai

Redshirt freshman Lydia Bai

Oct. 4, 2011

Complete Release

No. 7 Stanford (10-3/4-3 Pac-12) at Oregon State (11-5/3-3 Pac-12) - 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 - Gill Coliseum - Corvallis, Ore.
No. 7 Stanford (10-3/3-3 Pac-12) at No. 15 Oregon (12-2/5-1 Pac-12) - 7 p.m.
Oct. 8 - Matthew Knight Arena - Eugene, Ore.

THIS WEEK: The No. 7 Stanford women's volleyball team (10-3, 4-2 Pac-12) heads to Oregon State (11-5, 3-3 Pac-12) and No. 15 Oregon (12-2, 5-1 Pac-12) this weekend. The Cardinal will face the Beavers on Friday, Oct. 7 in Corvallis, Ore., and the Ducks on Saturday, Oct. 8 in Eugene, Ore. Both matches are scheduled for 7 p.m.

CATCH THE CARDINAL: Fans can follow the action via Gametracker on GoStanford.com for Friday's match and via Live Stats on Saturday. KZSU radio will also be broadcasting both matches at 90.1 FM or online at http://kzsu.stanford.edu/.

LOOKING AHEAD: Stanford returns home next week to close out the first half of the conference slate against Washington State and Washington. The Cardinal will take on the Cougars on Friday, Oct. 14 and the Huskies on Saturday, Oct. 15. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m. in Maples Pavilion.

SOCIAL NETWORKING: Become a fan of the Cardinal on Facebook by searching for the "Stanford Women's Volleyball" page. Follow the Cardinal at twitter.com/StanfordWVB to get updates on the team this season. Both sites will be updated live during matches this year.

LAST WEEK: Stanford bounced back from a two-game skid to defeat Arizona State and Arizona at home last weekend. The Cardinal swept the Sun Devils on Friday and defeated the Wildcats in four sets on Sunday. Sophomore middle blocker Carly Wopat was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week after she hit .502 in the two matches. The Santa Barbara, Calif., native registered 26 kills and 14 blocks (2.00 bps) over the weekend. She beomes the first conference player to be named Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week in the same season.



DOMINATING DEFENSE: Stanford has turned up the defensive intensity this season. The Cardinal leads the Pac-12 with 17.21 digs per set and 3.30 blocks per set. Stanford posted 21 blocks against Notre Dame and Arizona, and 104 digs against Duke, both are the most by a conference team this season.

AHEAD OF THE PAC: Sophomore Rachel Williams surpassed her previous career high for kills in each of the team's first four matches of the season. The outside hitter is third in the conference with 4.54 kills per set and fourth with 5.10 points per set. She, along with teammate Karissa Cook, lead the Pac-12 with eight double-doubles so far this year.

BLOCK PARTY: Sophomore middle blocker Carly Wopat leads the nation with 1.71 blocks per set, upping that mark to 1.76 blocks per set in conference matches. Wopat has posted a team-high nine blocks three times this season (vs. Delaware, vs. Notre Dame and vs. Arizona).

CONTROLLING THE OFFENSE: Junior setter Karissa Cook has adjusted nicely to Stanford's five-one system. After sharing setting duties with Cassidy Lichtman for the past two seasons running a six-two offense, Cook ranks fourth in the Pac-12 with 11.15 assists per set. She leads the conferece with eight double-doubles on the yesar along with teammate Rachel Williams.

LEADING THE DEFENSE: Freshman libero Kyle Gilbert leads the team with 164 digs this season (3.42 dps). In conference matches she has increased her average to 3.72 digs per set, ranking ninth in the Pac-12. The rookie has posted double-digit digs in eight of the team's 13 matches this season.

Sept. 5: Junior Karissa Cook was named the Defensive Player of the Week for her efforts at the Stanford Invitational. She averaged 5.00 digs per set and 0.88 blocks per set in wins over Notre Dame and then-No. 18 Duke.
Sept. 12: Sophomore Rachel Williams picked up her first career weekly honors after being selected the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week. She led the team to wins over then-No. 2 Penn State and then-No. 7 Florida and was named the MVP of the Nike Volleyball Big Four Classic. Sophomore Carly Wopat picked up Defensive Player of the Week, joining Williams on the all-tournament team. 
Oct. 3: Carly Wopat earned Offensive Player of the Week, becoming the first player to earn offensive and defensive honors in the same season. She hit .502 against ASU and Arizona, registering 26 kills and 14 blocks.

ALL-CONFERENCE RETURNERS: All-Conference returners for the Cardinal this season are junior Hayley Spelman (honorable mention) and sophomores Rachel Williams and Carly Wopat (all-freshmen). With the departure of Gabi Ailes, Alix Klineman and Cassidy Lichtman, the trio will be looked upon to lead the Stanford offense in 2011.

NEW ROLES: With just two seniors on the roster of 14, the junior class has stepped up into new leadership roles this season. Setter Karissa Cook is running a five-one system for the first time since she's been on the Farm. Hannah Benjamin, who earned the starting libero spot to start the season, is being looked upon to lead the Cardinal defense as she has the most on-court experience of the returning defensive specialists.

HAPPY SHE'S BACK: Senior setter Katherine Sebastian has rejoined the team this season after taking a one-year hiatus to study abroad in Barcelona, Spain. Sebastian, who was a member of the 2008 and 2009 Cardinal teams, will back up Karissa Cook at the setter position this season.

NEWCOMERS: Stanford's class of 2015 includes outside hitter/defenisve specialist Lauren Birks, outside hitter Morgan Boukather and libero/defensive specialist Kyle Gilbert. All three players hail from southern California and made their collegiate debuts at the Rice Invitational.

CARDINAL ABROAD: Ten members of the Cardinal squad and its staff traveled to China in June for two tournaments and a lot of sight-seeing. Stanford played six matches (three in Weifang and three in Beijing) and experienced the Chinese culture. Among the sites, the team visited the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven and Tiananmen Square.

NATIONAL POLL: Stanford fell one spot to No. 7 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association's top-25 this week despite picking up wins over Arizona State and Arizona. Illinois remains the nation's No. 1 team. UCLA, Washington, California and USC round out the top five. Nebraska is just ahead of the Cardinal and No. 6. Six Pac-12 squads are ranked in the top 15, including five of the top seven.

PAC-12 COACHES' POLL: Stanford was chosen by the conference coaches to place fourth in the newly formed Pac-12. Stanford garnered 92 points in the preseason poll. Final Four participant USC was picked to win the conference title, earning 11 first-place votes. Last year's national runner-up Cal was selected second, while Washington came in third. Six conference teams advanced to the postseason in 2010, while the Pac-12 has won five of the last 10 NCAA titles. The coaches have correctly chosen the conference champion in 14 of the previous 22 polls.

2010 IN REVIEW: In 2010, Stanford posted a 27-4 overall record and claimed a share of its unprecedented 14th conference championship. The team finished the year with a postseason run to its fourth NCAA regional final in the past five years. The Cardinal defeated 11 ranked opponents and won 17 matches by 3-0 margins. Seniors Gabi Ailes, Alix Klineman and Cassidy Lichtman all collected All-America honors, while Klineman was the Pac-10 and Volleyball Magazine Player of the Year.

TAKING ON THE BEST: Once again, head coach John Dunning has lined up one of the most challenging schedules in the nation for the Cardinal. Stanford is slated to play 12 regular-season matches against teams ranked in the preseason poll, and 15 against teams that made appearances in the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

HEAD COACH John Dunning: In his 11th season at the helm of the Cardinal program, head coach John Dunning is one of the most accomplished coaches in the collegiate volleyball world. Dunning has four national championships under his belt, has taken teams to nine Final Fours and carried six of his 10 Stanford teams to the national championship match.

MILESTONE FOR DUNNING: In last year's season opener versus Tulane, head coach John Dunning secured his 700th career win. In 26 years as a head coach, Dunning is 736-154 (.827), giving him a winning percentage that ranks amonth the top-5 all-time for Division I coaches. Dunning is 299-52 in his 11 seasons on The Farm, leading all active coaches in the conference by winning prcentage (.852).

HALL OF FAMER: Head coach John Dunning has been selected as one of three inductees into the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) 2011 Hall of Fame class. He, along with Liz Masakayan and Gerald `Gerry' Matacotta, will be honored at the December 15 ceremony, held in conjunction with the 2011 Final Four in San Antonio, Texas.

SCOUTING OREGON STATE: Oregon State is 11-5 overall and .500 in the Pac-12 with a 3-3 record. OSU was swept by Washington State and Washington last week on the road.The Beavers are holding their opponents to a .172 hitting percentage in conference matches, which ranks third in the Pac-12. OSU is led by junior Camille Saxton and freshman Arica Nassar. Saxton paces the Beavers with 3.58 kills per set, ranking 10th in the conference, and 4.20 point per set, which is ninth-best in the Pac-12. Nassar is ninth in the conference with 1.15 blocks per set. The outside hitter/middle blocker is also averaging 2.31 kills per set. Sophomore libero Becky Defoe leads the Beaver defense with 4.39 digs per set (5th Pac-12).

THE SERIES WITH THE BEAVERS: Stanford is a perfect 52-0 all-time against Oregon State. The Cardinal swept both matches against the Beavers last season. In fact, OSU has only won five sets against Stanford in the John Dunning era since the 2001 season.

SCOUTING OREGON: Oregon enters this week's matches with a 12-2 record overall and a half-game back of the Pac-12 lead with a 5-1 mark. The Ducks had their 10-match win streak snapped last Friday at Washington before bouncing back to defeat Washington State, 3-1. Oregon ranks fifth in the nation in assists per set (13.62) and kills per set (14.74). The Ducks are led by a pair of junior outside hitters - Alaina Bergsma and Katherine Fischer. Bergsma is second in the Pac-12 and eighth nationally with 4.72 kills per set. She is third in the conference and 17th in the nation with 5.13 points per set. Fisher is second on the squad with 3.09 kills per set and 2.96 digs per set. Sophomore setter Lauren Plum controls the offense with a conference-best 11.89 assists per set (6th nationally), while junior libero Haley Jacob is ninth in the Pac-12 with 3.81 digs per set.

THE SERIES WITH THE DUCKS: The Cardinal holds a 49-3 overall record against the Ducks. Stanford swept Oregon in both matches last season. The most recent Oregon victory came during the 2009 season in Eugene. The Ducks came-from-behind to outlast the Cardinal in a five-set thriller at Mac Court.

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