Despite career-best performances from several players, No. 9 Stanford women’s volleyball (17-7, 11-5 Pac-12) was unable to defeat No. 13 UCLA (21-5, 12-4 Pac-12) in Maples Pavilion Saturday, falling in five sets.
Senior outside hitter Ivana Vanjak tied her career high with 13 kills, while senior opposite Merete Lutz set a career mark with five blocks in addition to her 13 kills. Freshman outside hitter Kathryn Plummer continued her dominant season, recording her team-best seventh double-double of the year, tallying 17 kills and 10 digs.
Although the Cardinal had some strong offensive performances, they struggled with accuracy in some sets and were outhit by the Bruins .282 to .279. This season, Stanford has lost each game in which it has been outhit.
In particular, Stanford faltered in the first set, hitting -.036 while recording 10 attack errors. UCLA capitalized, routing the Cardinal to take the set 25-16. They rebounded to win a close-fought second set 25-21, and Lutz led the squad with five kills.
Throughout the match, UCLA and Stanford traded blows, and the momentum swung back in the Bruins’ favor in the third set. In an even closer matchup, the teams alternated runs until the score was tied at 22 apiece. UCLA took three of the last four points to take the set 25-23.
The Cardinal kept themselves alive with a 25-16 win in the fourth set. After the Bruins recorded the first point, Stanford took control, maintaining a lead for the remainder of the set to force a decisive fifth set.
With the fifth-set score tied at 11-11, the Bruins took the next four points on a Stanford error and three kills from UCLA junior Reily Buechler, who recorded 18 total kills on the day, second only to teammate Torrey Van Winden, who recorded 19.
This loss snapped Stanford’s six-match win streak and dropped the team from a tie for first place in the conference.
Up next, Stanford prepares to close out its season on the road, taking on Arizona State and No. 25 Arizona. The Cardinal will face off against the Sun Devils on Friday and the Wildcats on Sunday. The matches will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network.
Contact Olivia Hummer at ohummer ‘at’ stanford.edu.