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).
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.
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.
Entering the third set of Sunday’s road match at USC (12-8, 6-4 Pac-12), No. 2 Stanford women’s volleyball (14-4, 8-2 Pac-12) was reeling. The Cardinal had dropped five straight sets for the first time since September 2015. They were missing two-time National Player of the Year Kathryn Plummer for the eighth straight match. But with their season seemingly on the line, Stanford pulled off the reverse sweep.