No. 7 Stanford women’s volleyball (9-3, 3-1 Pac-12) prepares to host conference opponents No. 19 Colorado (10-4, 2-2) and Utah (11-4, 2-2) on Friday and Sunday, respectively. The homestand follows last weekend’s rollercoaster in which the Cardinal split a two-game road trip against two highly ranked opponents, No. 8 Washington (12-2, 2-2) and No. 10 Washington State (14-0, 4-0).
This homestand kicks off a packed October schedule for the Cardinal, who are expected to play a total of eight games, all against Pac-12 opponents. Stanford started Pac-12 play strong, opening 3-0 before taking on Washington State and losing a heartbreaker to the Cougars in the final set.
With the loss of sophomore All-American outside hitter Hayley Hodson, who will miss the rest of the season due to a medical leave of absence, every member of the Cardinal team will need to step up and contribute.
In order to rebound and establish true dominance throughout the conference, Stanford will rely on its strong freshman players, including opposite Kathryn Plummer, middle blocker Audriana Fitzmorris and setter Jenna Gray. Plummer and Fitzmorris own two of the three best kill tallies on the team (125 and 123, respectively) while their classmate Gray has accumulated 293 assists and 78 digs on the year, good for second in the team.
The veteran presence of fifth-year senior middle blocker Inky Ajanaku and senior setter Kelsey Humphries should help to steady the young team.
The Cardinal play in Maples Pavilion on Friday at 6 p.m. against Colorado and Sunday at 1 p.m. against Utah. Friday’s match will be televised on Pac-12 Network.
Contact Lorenzo Rosas at enzor ‘at’ stanford.edu.