Entering this weekend as the only team in the nation still undefeated, the No. 1 Stanford women’s volleyball team (26-0, 16-0) seeks to make program history tonight to open up its final weekend of regular season matches at Maples.
A win over the Utes would give the Cardinal their 27th consecutive victory to start the season, matching the program record set by the 1991 squad. But it won’t be easy, as Utah looks to knock off its second top-ranked opponent within a week, after taking down then-No. 2 Washington in five sets on Saturday. Almost exactly a month ago in Salt Lake City, the Cardinal defeated the Utes in four tightly contested sets behind senior opposite hitter Morgan Boukather’s career-high 18 kills on a .467 hitting percentage.
“Our record is perfect, but our play is not perfect,” Boukather told GoStanford. “What’s really cool is that our entire team understands that and we are not comfortable where we are. We have to get so much better to be where we need to be. We know how good we can be.”
Though Stanford won’t have to deal with the altitude in this rematch, they will have to contend again with Utah’s leading offensive weapon, senior outside hitter Chelsey Schofield. The team’s leader in kills with 3.04 per set, she is just the fourth player in Utah history to tally 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs over her career and just last weekend, she had 26 kills and 18 digs combined in Utah’s two wins.
The Cardinal will counter with their balanced offensive attack that propelled them to two sweeps in Los Angeles last week, which is led by middle blockers Merete Lutz and Inky Ajanaku, who rank third and fifth nationally in hitting percentage respectively.
Contact Jordan Wallach at jwallach ‘at’ stanford.edu.