The Stanford women’s volleyball team, after starting the season with the high but attainable goal of becoming national champions has fallen to 13-4 on the season and 6-2 in the Pac-12. The No. 6 Washington Huskies (15-1, 7-1) put up a fight and pulled out a five-set home win Sunday, 14-25, 25-21, 25-11, 22-25, 15-12.
Stanford is now 0-2 in playing higher-ranked opponents. This was also the Card’s first five-set match of the season.
Despite the loss, the Card outhit the Huskies .287 to .210 in the match. It was also a night of season highs, double-doubles and record making for Stanford as it experienced contributions from all starters.
Sophomore outside hitter Brittany Howard led the team with her fourth double-double of the season, picking up 14 kills and 11 digs. Senior Rachel Williams still leads the team in double-doubles as she recorded her seventh of the season with 13 kills and 12 digs. Senior Carly Wopat, though tallying below her average number of kills per game, hit her 1,000th career kill, becoming only the 14th Stanford player since 1986 to do so.
Another sophomore outside hitter, Jordan Burgess, had her second double-double with 13 kills and 10 digs. Sophomore setter Madi Bugg tied her career high in kills at five and had her fourth double-double of the season with 49 assists and 14 digs. Finally, junior libero Kyle Gilbert recorded a match-high 25 digs to go along with her season-high seven assists.
Stanford took the first set confidently 25-14, to set the pace of the game, posting a .352 attack percentage and holding the Huskies to -.026. Washington was limited to just seven kills in the set, and the Card tallied 23 digs.
The Huskies made some adjustments on the offensive side, however, to improve to a .310 attack percentage and took the second set 25-21. Gilbert led the Cardinal defense with six digs, but Washington outside hitter, Krista Vansant, led the huskies offensively with six kills in the set.
The Huskies outhit the Card for the first time in the third set (.400 to .174) and was able to take the lead, winning easily 25-11, led again by the dominant play of Vansant.
Stanford rallied back from the low offensive output of the last set to take the fourth set 25-22, and force a fifth and final set. It was in the fourth set that Howard showed her dominance, recording eight kills and two blocks. Vansant again showed up and had seven of the Huskies’ 12 kills in the set.
Down 8-2 to start the final set, the Card rallied back to almost tie the set, but it was never ever to fully recover in order to take the lead and fell 15-12. Again the Card was outhit, .125 to .308. Vansant finished the game with a match-high 23 kills and 20 digs to hand the Huskies the win.
Stanford will return to Maples Pavilion this week for a four-match home stand. First up is No. 21 Oregon on Wednesday, with first serve scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Contact Ashley Westhem at awesthem ‘at’ stanford.edu.