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).
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.
No. 5 women’s volleyball (14-4, 8-2 Pac-12) will host their first rematches of the year when Oregon State (9-12, 3-7 Pac-12) and Oregon (6-13, 2-8 Pac-12) visit the Farm on Friday and Sunday, respectively. The Cardinal made the trip to the Beaver State four weekends ago, playing their first matches without senior outside hitter Kathryn Plummer. The Ducks fell in four sets, while the Beavers were swept.
Second-ranked women’s volleyball (13-3, 7-1 Pac-12) is heading to Los Angeles to face UCLA (10-7, 5-3 Pac-12) on Friday and USC (11-7, 5-3 Pac-12) on Sunday. While the matches already have the in-state rivalry factor, this weekend will be especially charged as graduate middle Madeleine Gates will face her old team for the first time.
Down 14-12 in the fifth set and on the brink of surrendering its third loss in Maples, No. 2 Stanford (13-3, 7-1 Pac-12) rallied with a 5-1 run to secure a nail-biter of a match against No. 18 Utah (13-6, 5-3 Pac-12). The band aptly played Gustav Holst’s “Mars, the Bringer of War” as the Cardinal mounted their decisive comeback, but instead of the Roman god of war, it was senior opposite Audriana Fitzmorris who became Stanford’s agent of destruction.