No. 6 Stanford Sweeps UC Santa Cruz
Stanford, Calif. - The Cardinal finally returned home after four road games to start the season and opened the 2008 season at Burnham Pavilion with the Banana Slugs of UC Santa Cruz.
Stanford played 16 players in the sweep (30-18, 30-23, 34-32) and had 11 players in the match record at least two kills. Setter Miki Groppi led the Cardinal with 30 assists and freshman Charley Henrikson recorded seven kills in only eight attacks for a hitting percentage of .875.
The Cardinal blitzed the Banana Slugs in game one when they lead 8-1 and never looked back. The Cardinal was dominating in all facets of the game and Santa Cruz never got close. Sophomore Garrett Werner was flawless in the opening game converting on all five of his attacks to help the Cardinal grab the early lead. Sophomore Kawika Shoji recorded nine assists in the first game, which was the only game he played in the match.
The second game proved to be closer, but sophomore Evan Romero kept Stanford in command with five kills in the second game. The second game was particularly impressive as the Cardinal commanded the frame despite only hitting .185. They kept Santa Cruz on their heels all game and controlled the net with many blocks and forced the Banana Slugs into a lot of awkward shots.
The third game proved to be very close as lots of player began to see action for the Cardinal. With Santa Cruz on game point, freshman Jordan Inafuku chased down a ball way off in the back left portion of the court to save the game and produce the play of the match. Shortly after the Cardinal rallied two more points to win the last game 34-32 and finish off their fourth win of the season.
Stanford will return to the court for a big weekend with two MPSF conference games on the schedule. The Cardinal will begin on Friday, Jan. 18 when they host USC at 7:00 p.m. This match will be played at Maples Pavilion, as will all Friday night matches. Stanford will return to Burnham on Saturday, Jan. 19 when they host #3 Pepperdine, this match will also take place at 7:00 p.m.
Article courtesy of Stanford athletics.