Saint Louis Stuns No. 3 Stanford
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Playing its second match of the day at the Billiken Invitational, the No. 3 Stanford women's volleyball team was upset by host Saint Louis tonight, 27-25, 20-25, 25-22, 25-22. Stanford falls to 4-2 on the year, while Saint Louis improves to 5-1.
Four Billiken players reached double figures, with junior Sammi McCloud leading the way with 19 kills. Megan Boken and Bridget Fonke had 15 kills apiece, and Sally Warning turned in 14 kills and seven blocks. Stanford was led by Cynthia Barboza's 12 kills and 13 digs. Stanford libero Gabi Ailes led the team with a season-best 24 digs.
Stanford's loss marked the first time since Sept. 2, 2006 that the team has lost to an opponent ranked outside the top-10.
Stanford raced out to a 4-0 lead in the first set behind an early kill and block by Janet Okogbaa. The Billikens quickly closed the gap, however, and were able to stick with the Cardinal until 12-10, when Barboza and Okogbaa put down back-to-back kills to push the Cardinal forward. The duo jumpstarted a 6-2 Stanford run that gave the Cardinal an 18-12 lead, but Saint Louis came back with a vicious answer. Stanford made six errors in the 10-3 SLU run that followed and McCloud fired off three kills to give her team the lead at 22-21. The Cardinal battled back and took set point on an Alix Klineman kill at 24-23, and again on a Foluke Akinradewo kill at 25-24, but couldn't finish. The Billikens came up with three consecutive points to claim the win, 27-25, clinching the set when McCloud rolled an ace off the tape. Stanford hit just .189 in the opening set, and was led by Okogbaa's four kills. McCloud led the Billikens with eight kills, two blocks and the clinching ace.
Stanford once again opened up a lead in set two, taking a 5-2 advantage on a kill by Cassidy Lichtman. The Billikens put together a 5-0 run, however, grabbing the momentum and a two-point lead at 7-5. Stanford turned things around again with two blocks and four straight points to make it 9-7, but, yet again, the Billikens fought back to take a lead. Down 13-12, Stanford finally seemed to catch fire and took a lead it would never relinquish. Led by two kills apiece by Barboza, Klineman and Erin Waller, Stanford went on a 10-3 run to take its largest lead at 22-16. Saint Louis tried to make another run, but could come no closer than three this time. Barboza rolled a shot into the middle to give Stanford set point at 24-19, and a Billiken serve sailed deep to end things, 25-20. Stanford outhit Saint Louis .268 to .173 in the second set.
The teams matched each other point-for-point in the third set, but with Saint Louis up 9-8, Fonke led a three-point run to give her team a 12-8 lead. The Cardinal once again answered, with Lichtman leading a 9-3 run to put Stanford back in control, 17-15. A few points later, however, the momentum swung back to the Billikens, as two SLU blocks and a pair of Stanford hitting errors fueled six straight Saint Louis points and a 22-18 Stanford deficit. Stanford battled back within one on a kill and an ace by Waller, but the Billikens rattled off back-to-back kills to finish the set, 25-22. Stanford was outhit .297 to .281 in the set, and McCloud led all players with five kills.
Stanford raced out to a 9-3 lead in the fourth set, as Barboza downed consecutive kills to lead the run. Saint Louis responded by taking eight of the next nine points, however, and jumped ahead 11-10. Klineman used two kills and a block to help Stanford get back on top, tying the set three times before going ahead on an Akinradewo kill at 15-14. Stanford built up a three-point lead on a Klineman kill at 18-15, but Fonke caught fire and led an 8-2 Billiken run that pushed the score to 23-20. Saint Louis took set point on a Stanford service error, and Warning ripped a kill to the floor to end the set and the match, 25-22.
The Cardinal now returns to The Farm to host the Stanford Invitational, which runs Thursday through Saturday in Maples Pavilion. Stanford opens its home season against New Mexico State on Thursday night at 7 p.m. UC Santa Barbara and Santa Clara will also be competing in the round robin tournament.
Article courtesy of Stanford athletics.