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Colorado on tap for women’s volleyball

Freshman outside hitter Kendall Kipp (#10 above) has stepped up for the Cardinal, registering a career-best .625 hitting percentage on Sunday's victory over the Sun Devils. Kipp enters Friday's game against the Buffaloes as the reigning Pac-12 Freshman Player of the Week for the second consecutive week. (HECTOR GARCIA-MOLINA/isiphotos.com)

No. 2 women’s volleyball (11-3, 5-1 Pac-12) looks to continue their recent streak of home wins Friday night as they take on Pac-12 opponent Colorado (8-8, 0-6 Pac-12) in Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal enter the game after winning their last two home appearances and are currently on a four-game win-streak.

Last weekend’s home stand against Arizona on Friday and Arizona State on Sunday marked a key turning point for Stanford’s play at home this season. Prior to those matches, the Cardinal had lost their previous two games at Maples. Stanford is looking to continue this upswing on Friday.

Historically, the Cardinal have dominated Colorado. Stanford holds a 20-1 all-time series record against the Buffaloes and has never lost to them at home, with the lone loss in the series in 2015 at Boulder. In head coach Kevin Hambly’s three-year tenure at Stanford, the Cardinal have never lost to Colorado.

Although Stanford is unquestionably the favorite to win this game, Colorado could potentially cause some trouble for the Cardinal. In particular, Colorado senior outside hitter Justine Spann boasts 218 kills this season, including three matches in which she registered at least 20. She leads her teammates by a significant margin in this category. She also averages 3.96 kills per set, leading her team and ranking sixth in the Pac-12.

The Cardinal, however, appear poised ahead of this match. If they continue to play as they did last Sunday against Arizona State — despite playing without two key seniors, outside hitter Kathryn Plummer and opposite Audriana Fitzmorris — Stanford will likely take home another victory. Freshman outside hitter Kendall Kipp and sophomore opposite Mackenzie Fidelak both stepped up in Sunday’s game, with Fidelak recording a career-high 11 kills and Kipp registering a career-best .625 hitting percentage.

“Under the circumstances with Fitzmorris being out, I thought we played great,” Hambly said of the game against the Sun Devils.

Kipp, in particular, can be expected to contribute significantly to the game this Friday. For the second straight week and the third time this season, she was named the Pac-12’s Freshman Player of the Week. This is following her recording a career-high four blocks against Arizona this past Friday and also the first ace of her collegiate career.

The Cardinal will take on the Buffaloes at 8 p.m. PST in Maples Pavilion on Friday, Oct. 18.

Contact Niles Egan at negan ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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