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Women’s volleyball dominates Duke in undefeated opening weekend

Senior setter Jenna Gray (#1 above) put away the game point against Duke in the third and final game of the College of Charleston Classic. Gray totalled 32 assists, seven digs, four kills and four blocks in the Saturday match-up. (MIKE RASAY/isiphotos.com)

Following Friday night’s sweep against unranked College of Charleston (0-1, 0-0 CAA), No. 1 Stanford (2-0, 0-0 Pac -12) returned to the court on Saturday for its final game in the College of Charleston Classic, defeating Duke (0-2, 0-0 ACC) in, yet again, sweeping fashion. Stanford registered a dominant 44 kills and committed just six attack errors in the 3-0 victory.

With the victory, the Cardinal extends its undefeated history with the Blue Devils. The teams first met on Sept. 18, 1992, and Stanford has won all six games since. In the most recent meeting in 2015, the Cardinal beat the North Carolina team in five sets in Durham.

But Saturday was a different story. The starting line-up for the Cardinal was relatively predictable, featuring seniors opposite Audriana Fitzmorris, setter Jenna Gray, libero Morgan Hentz and outside hitter Kathryn Plummer. The All-Americans were joined by sophomore middle blocker Holly Campbell, junior outside hitter Meghan McClure and graduate-transfer middle blocker Madeleine Gates — a former All-American at UCLA.

The Cardinal triumphed in the first two sets with relative ease, dominating 25-19 and 25-14. Hentz, a two-time Pac-12 Libero of the Year, was key to Stanford’s lead and responded to Duke’s offense with a season-high 16 digs and five assists. 

The third set was closer, however, as the Blue Devils attempted a triumphant comeback. Duke and Stanford were neck-and-neck until matchpoint, when Stanford broke ahead. Duke made a strong case for a fourth set with a powerful dig by freshman setter Camille Nazor, but the attempt was met by Gray’s final kill to break ahead and end the match. The Cardinal won the final set 26-24.

Two-time AVCA National Player Plummer delivered 12 kills out of 22 total attempts, leaving room for only two errors for a hitting percentage of .455. 

While it was only her second game in a Cardinal uniform, Gates shined on the court with nine kills out of 14 attempts for a hitting percentage of .643. 

Stanford will try to extend its unbeaten streak of 34 games when it returns to the court against No. 10 Florida on Wednesday, Sept. 4. The game will start at 5 p.m. PST in Gainesville, Florida. 

Contact Inyoung Choi at ichoi ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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