Seniors help Stanford earn share of Pac-10 title


Stanford claimed a share of its fifth consecutive Pac-10 title after beating visiting Arizona State, 25-15, 25-15, 25-23, in the regular-season finale Friday night.

The fourth-ranked Cardinal (15-3, 24-3) awaits the NCAA selection show to be aired on ESPNews at noon Sunday.

"It's pretty cool," Stanford coach John Dunning said. "I don't know how else to say it. I'm really happy for this team. What a treat for the program for the three seniors who were honored and all they have contributed."

Senior outside hitter Alix Klineman recorded 18 kills and a .500 hitting percentage, while senior Cassidy Lichtman had a triple-double with 15 kills, 13 digs and 18 assists in addition to a hitting percentage of .577. Senior libero Gabi Ailes had a match-high 18 digs.

"This has been a neat season for us so far up to this point," Dunning said. "We're starting to play better again. In the end, we stepped up and put an end to a good season in a good way."

It was a fitting end to the regular season for Stanford's three seniors -– Ailes, Klineman and Lichtman, who earned their fourth consecutive conference championship. The win over the Sun Devils gave Stanford just what it needed to tie rival California for the Pac-10 title (the team's fifth straight).

As a team, Stanford hit .398 while holding ASU to a .172 attack percentage.

Stanford will head to the tournament for the 30th consecutive year. The Cardinal and Penn State are the only two programs in the nation to appear in all 30 NCAA Championships.

-- Palo Alto Online Sports

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