Stretching its winning streak from two games to three, No. 2 women’s volleyball (10-3, 4-1 Pac-12) took down the Arizona Wildcats (11-6, 1-4 Pac-12) at Maples Pavilion on Friday. The three-set victory was Stanford’s first home victory since Sep. 8, when the Cardinal took down Texas in five.
Without senior powerhouse outside hitter Kathryn Plummer out for the third-straight match, the Cardinal again looked to senior opposite Adriana Fitzmorris for her strength at the net. Fitzmorris, who finished the match with a 0.615 hitting percentage, collected nine total kills.
“I’m just excited to help the team whatever way I can,” Fitzmorris said, attributing much of the team’s success to a strong setting performance from fellow senior, setter Jenna Gray, and a reliable Cardinal defense. Gray unsurprisingly led Stanford in assists with 30, while also adding 3 aces to her stats during a Cardinal scoring run in the second set.
The second set also featured an impressive defensive show from senior libero Morgan Hentz. Hentz picked up 11 of her 20 total digs in the second set as the Cardinal fought its way to a 25-14 victory, its largest off the night. Not eager to give up its momentum, Stanford never allowed the Wildcats more than 16 points in a set. The Cardinal was able to carry its success from set to set, securing the first point in each.
“It felt nice…finally finding that rhythm and having a good match where we were in control the whole time,” Gray said.
Such control was especially evident in the team’s offense as the Cardinal tallied 10 aces and fought its way to a .405 hitting percentage, a shocking improvement from the .111 hitting percentage fans in Maples witnessed in a match against the Washington Huskies on Sep. 29. The Wildcats failed to gain the lead at any point during the night.
“I feel like we have good balance, and we’re playing more efficiently,” head coach Kevin Hambly said. “We’re just cleaner. We’re getting cleaner.”
The next test for the Cardinal comes on Sunday, with a home match against the Arizona State Sun Devils. Pac-12 action kicks off at 2:00 p.m. PST.
Contact Savanna Stewart at savnstew ‘at’ stanford.edu and James Hemker at jahemker ‘at’ stanford.edu