Sunday afternoon saw fourth-ranked Stanford (20-4, 14-2 Pac-12) exact their revenge in terrifying fashion, dominating the Bruins in all aspects of the game. In front of the Maples faithful, the Cardinal out-hit, out-blocked, out-dug and out-served UCLA (14-11, 9-7 Pac-12) for three full sets.
Senior setter Jenna Gray moved into second place in program history for career assists as the fourth-ranked Cardinal trounced USC in four sets. The 25-12, 25-17, 22-25, 25-20 match was the result of extremely tough defensive play which held the Women of Troy to their second-worst offensive match of the season (.142 hitting percentage).
The Los Angeles schools are coming to town, and this time much more is riding on the matches than just petty in-state rivalries. Three weeks ago, UCLA swept Stanford for the first time since 2015, before any current member of the team was even on the Farm. Two days later, USC nearly made it six-straight losing sets before the Cardinal rallied and pulled off the reverse sweep. With senior outside hitter Kathryn Plummer back on the court for Stanford, the matches this weekend will be a clash of offensive titans.
An intense debate has broken out in the Maples locker room of the women’s volleyball team as to whether the numbered dial on the toaster corresponds to the toasting time (in minutes) or some enigmatic level of toastiness. The bagels spring back up, and the distraction means an official verdict is never reached. Each player finds a spot on a couch or the floor and the conversations turn from toasters to Oregon.
Senior setter Jenna Gray broke 5,000 career assists on Saturday evening when No. 5 Stanford (18-4, 12-2 Pac-12) downed Arizona (12-14, 2-12 Pac-12) 25-16, 25-17, 25-16. Gray is the active career assists leader (5,008) in Division I, and she is just seven away from holding the No. 2 spot in the school’s record books (Madi Bugg, 2012-15; 5,014 assists).
Outside of the win itself, the best news for the Cardinal was the fact that senior outside hitter Kathryn Plummer made a cameo, ending a 10-match absence due to an undisclosed injury.
The Cardinal defense came to play, as No. 5 women’s volleyball (16-4, 10-2 Pac-12) swept Oregon (7-14, 3-9 Pac-12) to the tune of 25-18, 25-12, 28-26 at Maples Pavillion on Sunday afternoon. The Ducks were held to a season-low .102 hitting while Stanford posted 13 total blocks.
Fifth-ranked women’s volleyball (15-4, 9-2 Pac-12) punctuated their sweep of Oregon State (9-13, 3-8 Pac-12) with a 25-9 third-set victory on Friday night. The Cardinal entered the match with their two top left pins — senior Kathryn Plummer and freshman Kendall Kipp — sidelined, but freshman outside hitter Natalie Berty rocked the Beavers with eight kills on ten errorless swings in her first-ever court appearance.