Sept. 11, 2010

Courtesy of Stanford Athletics

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The second-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team became a part of history Saturday night as it snapped No. 1 Penn State's 109 match winning streak with a 28-26, 25-12, 25-18 win in the championship match of the Nike Big Four Volleyball Classic at the O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla. The Cardinal remain perfect on the year with a 7-0 record, while the Nittany Lions lost for the first time since a five-set loss to Stanford in 2007, and drop to 7-1 on the season.

Senior Alix Klineman led the team with 16 kills and 10 digs for her third double-double of the season. She became the 10th player in school history to record over 1,500 career kills and now holds 1,515. The Manhattan Beach, Calif., native earned her third tournament MVP honors of the season. Senior Cassidy Lichtman totaled 12 kills, 22 assists and seven digs and was selected to the all-tournament team.

Stanford got off to a slow start, trailing Penn State 6-1, forcing head coach John Dunning to burn one of his timeouts early. Out of the break, the Cardinal went on a 4-2 run to cut the lead in half. Klineman and Lichtman registered kills during the stretch. After pulling within one of Penn State, the Nittany Lions scored three straight points to pull back ahead. A block by Lichtman and redshirt junior Stephanie Browne cut the lead to one once again, and then an out of rotation call on Penn State tied the score at 16. Consecutive kills by freshman Rachel Williams and Lichtman tied the score again at 19. The teams continued to trade points until Klineman put down back-to-back kills and an attack error by the Nittany Lions ended the first with the Cardinal on top 28-26.

Stanford pulled out to a 6-3 lead early in the second set as Browne and Lichtman tallied two kills apiece. An ace by Klineman gave the Cardinal an 8-3 advantage as the Nittany Lions called their first timeout of the set. Williams' second kill of the contest and a setting error by Penn State put Stanford up 12-6. A kill by sophomore Hayley Spelman forced the Nittany Lions to burn their second timeout of the second set. Up 18-8, Stanford went on a four point run, which included a kill and an ace by freshman Carly Wopat, and kills by Browne and Klineman, pushed the lead to 21-8. The Cardinal went on to capture the second set with a 25-12 victory.

The Cardinal once again jumped out to a quick 7-3 lead. Three straight kills by Wopat, Klineman and Williams pushed the lead to 11-6 in favor of Stanford. Lichtman drilled her 11th kill, while Klineman put down her 15th to give Stanford a seven-point edge. The Cardinal increased its lead to 23-15 as Wopat recorded her third ace of the night. Stanford went on to make history as Lichtman drilled the final kill of the match to shut the door on the Nittany Lions.

Stanford returns to the Bay Area for two away matches next week as a part of the Pac-10/WCC Challenge. The Cardinal travel to Moraga, Calif., for a 7 p.m. match against Saint Mary's on Friday, Sept. 17. Stanford will then play at San Francisco on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m.