The nation’s most formidable home volleyball team returns to the Farm tonight. Riding a 27-match home winning streak, No. 2 Stanford women’s volleyball (20-1, 12-0 Pac-12) takes on Colorado (14-10, 6-7) tonight and Utah (13-10, 5-7) on Sunday.
The Cardinal have been victorious at home for almost two straight years. Their last home loss came at the hands of UCLA on Nov. 12, 2016. In that span, Stanford has only lost seven sets at home.
This past weekend the Cardinal went undefeated in Southern California, sweeping both USC and UCLA. On Friday, the Cardinal were led by junior opposite Audriana Fitzmorris’ 14 kills to beat the Trojans. Junior outside hitter Kathryn Plummer paced the Cardinal with 16 kills on Sunday against the Bruins. Senior middle blocker Tami Alade had 10 blocks and hit .423 on the weekend, earning her Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors.
The Buffalos enter the match coming off two straight wins, against then-No. 21 Washington and California. They swept the Golden Bears Wednesday night in Berkeley. In Boulder earlier this season, Stanford swept Colorado, though each set was decided by three points or fewer. In the match, Plummer had a huge night, tallying 23 kills. The Buffalo’s offense may look a little different than the norm; they utilize a 6-2, meaning they have two setters, one in the back row and the other opposite her in the front. When one setter rotates to the front row, she is often subbed out for a hitter.
Last weekend, Utah beat then-No. 21 Washington for the second time this season. They will play Cal tonight before heading to Palo Alto for Sunday’s match. Stanford traveled to Salt Lake City on Oct. 5 and beat the Utes in four games. After trading a pair of tight sets to start the match, the Cardinal cruised through the next two sets to win the match. Plummer and Fitzmorris led Stanford with 18 kills and junior libero Morgan Hentz had 26 digs. Alade controlled the net with 10 blocks.
With eight games left to play in the conference season, the Cardinal sit atop the Pac-12 standings with a commanding lead. They are four games ahead of their closest competitors, Washington State, USC, and Oregon, who are all tied for second place. If they can finish the season strong, the Cardinal look poised to host their second straight NCAA Regional in Palo Alto.
The Cardinal hope to defend home court tonight against the Buffalos. First serve is at 7 p.m. Sunday’s match will start at 2 p.m. PST, with both matches televised on Pac-12 Network.
Contact Jake Stuebner at jstuebs ‘at’ stanford.edu.