Stanford women survive Gators' attack in volleyball


So what does the third-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team do for encore after winning Nike Volleyball Big Four Classic at Maples Pavilion over the weekend?

That would be a trip to Berkeley and a Pac-12 opener against top-ranked California on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Expect a near-capacity crowd at Haas Pavilion too.

Cal (10-0) and Stanford (6-0) may just be the best two teams in the country right now.

Stanford made its pitch with a dramatic 25-17, 25-20, 20-25, 21-25, 15-13 victory over No. 7 Florida on Saturday.

The Cardinal topped four-time defending national champion Penn State on Friday night.

The Bears, who lost to the Nittany Lions in the national title match, is coming of a tournament win themselves.

Cal won its own Garden Inn Classic, with senior outside hitter Tarah Murrey earning MVP honors.

The Bears, coached by Palo Alto grad Rich Feller, are 7-0 at home this season and have yet to drop a set.

Stanford sophomore outside hitter Rachel Williams was named the Big Four tournament MVP after recording her third double-double of the season with 23 kills and 14 digs.

Sophomore Carly Wopat, an all-tournament pick, finished with 13 kills, six digs and six blocks, while junior middle blocker Jessica Walker had nine kills, three blocks and three service aces.

Setter Karissa Cook, another all-tourney election, recorded her fourth double-double of the year with 48 assists and 10 digs.

Freshman defensive specialist Kyle Gilbert registered 14 digs, tying Williams for the most of the team. Junior libero Hannah Benjamin chipped in with 10.

The Gators were led by senior Kelly Murphy's triple-double of 14 kills, 29 assists and 10 digs. Senior outside hitter Kristy Jaeckel added 20 kills and 16 digs, while junior Tangerine Wiggs added 18 kills and five digs.

Stanford jumped to an early lead in the opening set and never looked back as the Cardinal hit .250, while holding Florida to a .152 clip.

Despite being out-hit in the second set, Stanford maintained the lead throughout. Neither team hit over .200 in the set. The Cardinal collected 13 digs, three blocks and five service aces, while taking advantage of 12 Florida errors.

Florida recovered to take the next two sets, forcing the fifth set, in which Stanford successfully conquered by the slimmest margin.

Women's basketball

Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer received the Phyllis Bailey Career Achievement Award from Ohio State's Varsity "O" Women's Alumnae Society as part of the school's Hall of Fame Induction Weekend.

VanDerveer was formally presented the award during a dinner ceremony Friday night in Columbus, in which Ohio State's 11-member Hall of Fame Class of 2011 was inducted.

Former Stanford athletic director Andy Geiger was presented the Barbie Tootle Buckeye Spirit Award.

"Receiving this award is a very special honor, and holds very special meaning to me," VanDerveer said. "Phyllis Bailey gave me my first job in collegiate basketball at Ohio State.

"When I was beginning my coaching career, I wrote letters to the top 20 programs, and only heard back from two," VanDerveer added. "Ohio State was one of those two schools, and Phyllis wrote back and offered me a position at Ohio State as assistant coach and the junior varsity head coach. And with everything Phyllis has done for the advancement of women's collegiate athletics, I am very proud to earn this award named after her, and would like to thank Ohio State and the Varsity "O" Women's Alumnae Society."

The Phyllis Bailey Career Achievement Award is designed to pay tribute and to extend recognition to those individuals who, through their careers, have contributed to the honor and fame of The Ohio State University through the field of athletics by continuing to demonstrate, in their daily lives, the values learned in intercollegiate athletics and have continued the advancement of women's athletics.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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