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Women’s volleyball sweeps Oregon to start road swing

Junior middle blocker Merete Lutz (left) led both teams with 14 kills. The Cardinal combined a high volume of kills with incredible efficiency, converting on 36.1 per cent of their swings (DAVID BERNAL/isiphotos.com)

No. 8 Stanford’s women’s volleyball (16-5, 10-3 Pac-12) started its two-week road swing on the right foot on Thursday night, defeating Oregon (11-11, 5-8) in a three-set sweep in Eugene, 25-23, 25-17, 25-18.

STANFORD, CA - September 5, 2014:  The Stanford Cardinal vs Penn State Nittany Lions  at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, CA. Stanford wins the match 3-2.
Junior middle blocker Merete Lutz (left) led both teams with 14 kills. The Cardinal combined a high volume of kills with incredible efficiency, converting on 36.1 per cent of their swings (DAVID BERNAL/isiphotos.com)

The Cardinal continued to show the offensive balance that marked their last four matches – all wins – as three players had double-digit kills: Junior middle blocker Merete Lutz had a match-high 14, senior outside hitter Brittany Howard had 13 and freshman opposite hitter Hayley Hodson had 12. Stanford outhit the Ducks .361 to .195 in the match.

Stanford actually started off the match playing from behind, as it trailed for almost the entirety of the first set. But after the Cardinal faced a six-point deficit at 17-11, the Oregon offense went dead, combining for six attack errors over the rest of the set. The Cardinal took their first lead at 21-20 and went on to clinch the opening game on a 14-6 run.

The Ducks were plagued with attack errors over the rest of the match as well – the Cardinal outhit them .421 to .237 in the second set, and then .195 to .065 in the third.

Both Howard and Hodson added double-digit digs to their kill totals to notch double-doubles, their sixth and ninth of the season, respectively.

As they have for the majority of the season, the Cardinal spent most of the game with their starters on the court, rotating just eight players compared to the Ducks’ 11.

After getting so many minutes from their top players, the Cardinal now have a couple days off in Oregon before they head to Corvallis to take on Oregon State (4-17, 2-9) on Sunday. There, they’ll look to extend their 62-0 all-time record against the Beavers.

Stanford last took on Oregon State back on Oct. 9 at Maples Pavilion, when Hodson carried the team to a three-set sweep. She tallied a match-high 16 kills on 23 swings with just 1 error in the match, good for a .652 hitting percentage (still her career-high).

Sophomore Mary-Kate Marshall is the player to watch on the Oregon State side, as she leads the Beavers and ranks seventh in the Pac-12 with 3.88 kills per set. In the first matchup between the two teams this season, she took the most swings on the floor – 40 – and tallied 12 kills, good for a .250 hitting percentage.

First serve between the Cardinal and the Beavers is set for 11 a.m. on Sunday morning, and the match will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

 

Contact Jordan Wallach at jwallach ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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