Sept. 11, 2010

Courtesy of Stanford

- The No. 2 Stanford women's volleyball team swept No. 5 Texas, 25-16, 25-11, 25-21, Friday, in the opening match of the Nike Big Four Volleyball Classic at the O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla. The Cardinal earned its first win over a ranked opponent and pushes its record to 6-0 on the year, while the Longhorns drop to 5-2.

Senior All-American Alix Klineman led all players with 10 kills. She added nine digs, three blocks and two aces for Stanford. Freshman outside hitter Rachel Williams tallied nine kills on 16 swings for a .375 attack percentage, while senior Cassidy Lichtman finished with four kills and her fifth double-double of the season with 14 assists and 10 digs. As a team, Stanford out hit Texas .250 to -.012.

Unforced errors by the Cardinal saw the team trail the Longhorns 4-2 early on. Stanford tied the score at four on a service ace by Klineman, but a 5-0 reclaimed the lead for Texas. The Cardinal cut the lead to two on kills by freshman Carly Wopat, sophomore Hayley Spelman and an ace by Lichtman and then tied the score at 12 on a blocking error by the Longhorns. Stanford took its first lead of the match on an attack error by Texas and a kill by Klineman to put the Cardinal ahead 15-13. A 6-1 stretch by Stanford was capped off by a solo block by Klineman. The Cardinal closed out the set with a 25-16 first-set win. As a team, Stanford hit .312 in the opening set, while holding Texas to a -.130 clip.

The Cardinal began the second set on a 6-2 run which included two kills by Spelman and a huge block by Klineman and junior Stephanie Browne. More errors by Texas and kills by Williams and Lichtman pushed the Stanford lead to 13-4. Klineman's seventh kill of the match put the Cardinal up 16-9. An ace by Wopat and a kill by Browne gave Stanford a nine-point advantage and forced Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott to burn a timeout. Out of the break, Stanford posted a 7-2 run to close out the set with a 25-11 victory. Klineman and Williams each totaled seven kills to lead the team after two.

Stanford held onto a 6-5 lead to open the third set. Texas took its first lead since the first set, but Klineman tied it up at seven with her eighth kill. Back-to-back kills by Klineman and Williams gave the Cardinal a three-point edge. Texas came back to tie the score at 14 as both teams tried to find their rhythm. Texas regained the lead, 18-17, but an attack error by Texas' Juliann Faucette and a huge block by Lichtman and Browne put Stanford back on top. An ace by Klineman put the Cardinal back up by three. Stanford went on to win the third and final set, 25-21.

Stanford advances to the championship match of the Nike Big Four Volleyball Classic on Saturday, Sept. 11 at the O'Connell center. The Cardinal will battle No. 1 Penn State at 6:30 p.m. ET and will have a chance to snap the Nittany Lions' 109-match winning streak. Stanford was the last team to defeat Penn State back in 2007.