Last month on Thursday, December 14th, the No. 3 ranked Stanford women’s volleyball team’s (30-4, 19-1 Pac-12) season came to a shocking end, as they failed to finish their comeback and fell in five total sets to the No. 2 ranked Florida Gators (30-2). This loss, only the Cardinal’s fourth of the season, left the team out of the final game, and stopped their attempted repeat at a national championship.
On Monday, November 27th, the Pac-12 athletic conference announced its annual awards for the regular season of women’s volleyball. The Cardinal claimed an incredible number of honors, highlighted by sophomore wing Kathryn Plummer’s player of the year award.
Stanford women’s volleyball (26-3, 19-1 Pac-12) secured a No. 3 seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament last week with two blowout victories. They dispatched the No. 15 ranked Utah Utes (22-9, 13-7) at home on Wednesday before taking down Cal (13-18, 4-16) across the Bay on Saturday.
It seems unreasonable to describe anything as a challenge for the No. 2 ranked Stanford women’s volleyball team. After all, the Cardinal have absolutely steamrolled their way through conference play, dropping only seven sets over the course of 14 matches. However, if there was one team that could stand in the way of an undefeated conference season, it may be No. 11 Washington, who Stanford plays Wednesday as part of a trip to the Pacific Northwest, where they will also face Washington State on Saturday.
Stanford’s No. 2 ranked women’s volleyball team cannot be stopped. Over the weekend they crushed Oregon State (17-9, 7-7 Pac-12) and No. 16 ranked Oregon (15-7, 8-6), improving their record to 21-2 and remaining undefeated in the Pac-12 with a 14-0 record. They are still riding a 16 game winning streak that doesn’t show any signs of stopping.
The No. 3 ranked Stanford women’s volleyball team (15-2, 8-0 Pac-12) won two road games against No. 12 ranked UCLA (12-5, 5-2 Pac-12) and No. 19 ranked USC (14-5, 6-2 Pac-12) during their road trip to Southern California this past weekend. These victories improve the active Cardinal win streak to 10 straight.
In the second set of second-ranked Stanford’s (10-2, 3-0 Pac-12) 25-12, 25-18, 26-24 home sweep of Arizona State (10-5, 0-3), Lutz claimed her 1,000 career kill, becoming just the 18th Stanford player since 1986 to reach that mark.
Sitting fourth in the nation, Stanford women’s volleyball (9-2, 2-0 Pac-12) came into its match against No. 25 Colorado (10-3, 0-2) having only lost sets against Penn State, otherwise dominating opponents with a combination of stellar team defense and powerful outside hitters. On Sunday, however, the Cardinal had to recover from an injury to star sophomore middle blocker Audriana Fitzmorris and battle back to win a close five-set decision 20-25, 25-13, 27-29, 29-27, 15-12.