No. 3 Stanford Powers Past UCF For First Sweep Of 2008

9/2/2008

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ORLANDO, Fla. - In front of a packed house on the University of Central Florida campus, the third-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team put on a spectacular hitting show, prevailing 25-13, 25-17, 25-14 for its first sweep of the year. The Cardinal hit .461 on its brief tour of Florida, and improved to 2-1 on the season. With the loss, UCF falls to 2-2.

Playing for the first time back in their home state, Floridian middle blockers Foluke Akinradewo and Janet Okogbaa hit a combined .520 and together rattled off 15 kills. Akinradewo was back on track after a slow opening weekend, hitting a more customary .636 with eight kills on 11 swings and just one error. Okogbaa and senior Erin Waller tallied seven kills apiece, and every player in the Cardinal lineup hit better than .300 on the night. Okogbaa led all players with five blocks, and Stanford libero Gabi Ailes had a match-high 11 digs.

Junior Erin Campbell and sophomore Janine Williams combined for 19 of UCF's 25 kills, and Campbell was the only player to reach double-figures with 10. The Cardinal outhit the Knights .461 to .011.

Sophomore Alix Klineman drilled five of her seven kills in the opening set, and a pair of her early swings quickly established the Stanford lead. Two more kills by Okogbaa built Klineman's early momentum into a 9-2 Cardinal run, and kept the Knights from ever finding a rhythm. A kill by Waller gave Stanford a 10-4 lead, and, soon after, an 8-2 run, once again fueled by Klineman, put the Cardinal up 21-10. Waller ripped another kill down the line to give Stanford set point at 24-13, and then paired with Akinradewo for a block to end things, 25-13. Stanford hit .500 while holding the Knights to a negative percentage. Klineman recorded kills on five of her six swings.

In the second set, a powerful swing by senior Cynthia Barboza and a pair of Knight miscues soon had Stanford on top, 5-1. More UCF hitting and serving woes soon pushed Stanford's advantage to 12-5, and, after a few hard swings by Akinradewo, to 18-10. The Knights managed to pull within five after winning three straight points, but Okogbaa and Waller took control in the front row and put the set away. Waller crushed her fourth kill of the match to give the Cardinal set point and a double-digit lead at 24-14, then had the clinching swing to finish the Knights off at 25-17. Stanford outhit UCF .296 to .032, and was led by Waller and Okogbaa's combined six kills.

The Cardinal pulled away more gradually in the third set, but nonetheless, soon had a 12-6 lead. Okogbaa and Akinradewo led Stanford early on, and Barboza took some hard swings late, allowing the Cardinal to finish the match in dominating fashion. A block by Okogbaa and Waller gave Stanford its first seven-point lead at 17-10, and Akinradewo pushed it to double-digits with a kill at 23-13. An error gave Stanford set point at 24-14, and the Cardinal put up a block to finish off the match with a 25-14 third-set victory.

Stanford will return to the court on Friday at the Billiken Invitational in St. Louis, meeting William & Mary at 5 p.m. (CT) in the opening match of the event. Stanford will then play two matches on Saturday to conclude its season-opening road trip, facing No. 19 Illinois at 1 p.m. (CT) and host Saint Louis at 7 p.m. (CT).

Article courtesy of Stanford athletics.

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