Defending national champion Stanford women’s volleyball (3-0) cruised in its opening weekend at the Long Beach State University Invitational, sweeping Long Beach State (1-2) on Friday before delivering Saturday doubleheader sweeps of Iowa (2-1) and Wright State (0-3).
Despite playing without fifth-year senior opposite Merete Lutz due to injury, the Cardinal rolled past Long Beach State 25-19, 25-21, 25-13 in their season opener. Sophomore outside hitter Kathryn Plummer proved why she was named AVCA Freshman of the Year last season, dominating the 49ers with a match-high 12 kills and 10 digs. Sophomore setter Jenna Gray guided Stanford to .229 hitting with her 30 assists. Gray also delivered the final kill to win the match.
On defense, sophomore libero Morgan Hentz earned a match-best 18 digs while sophomore middle blocker Audriana Fitzmorris collected seven blocks, including four solo. Freshman defensive specialist Kate Formico put in a solid effort in her first collegiate match, finishing with eight digs and two assists. Stanford defense held LBSU to a -.010 hitting percentage and forced 26 errors, staying consistent throughout the match, including holding the 49ers to just 13 points in the decisive third set.
A Saturday doubleheader yielded similar results. Although Iowa brought the score to a tie five times in the first set, Stanford never relinquished the lead in game one, downing the Hawkeyes 25-23, 25-16, 25-10. The Cardinal hit .333 to Iowa’s .111, led by Plummer’s 16 kills and Gray’s 33 assists. Freshman outside hitter Meghan McClure was impressive once again, recording eight kills in the first two sets. Sophomore outside hitter Michaela Keefe came in to deliver seven kills of her own, helping the Cardinal offense in the second and third sets.
Up two sets to none, Stanford did not take its foot off the gas, using a 14-3 run to put the match away in the third set. Fitzmorris recorded four of her five blocks in the final frame. The sophomore also contributed seven kills in the match.
In game two, Stanford produced an all-around team effort, rolling past Wright State 25-19, 25-11, 25-21. Plummer, McClure and Michaela Keefe shared much of the offensive responsibility throughout the match. Plummer and McClure both racked up nine kills while Keefe finished with eight. The Cardinal remained crisp during the game, hitting .349 while holding the Raiders to a .087 hitting percentage. Stanford committed just seven errors to Wright State’s 25, and the Cardinal out-blocked the Raiders 12-4.
With three wins in the books, Stanford looks ahead to another road weekend in College Station, Texas at the Texas A&M Tournament. The No. 2 Cardinal will play No. 6 Penn State on Friday at 4:30 p.m. and Texas A&M on Sunday at 9:00 a.m.
Contact Laura Anderson at lauraand ‘at’ stanford.edu.