Looking to continue their dominating run through conference play, the No. 2 Stanford women’s volleyball team (13-2, 6-0 Pac-12) heads to Los Angeles on Friday for a two-game road trip against No. 12 UCLA (11-4, 4-2 Pac-12) and No. 15 USC (13-4, 5-1).
The Cardinal returned Monday from a road trip against No. 16 Oregon and Oregon State in which they won both matches in businesslike fashion. They have rarely been challenged this season, winning all but two of their matches in straight sets.
On Friday night the Cardinal swept 3-0 in front of almost 6,000 people in the Duck’s home arena. This was the second largest crowd present for a women’s volleyball game since the building opened in 2011. Sophomore standout Kathryn Plummer led the Cardinal’s .337 hitting percentage with 13 kills on the night. Plummer leads the Pac-12 with the most kills and points per set of any player.
Plummer and fellow sophomore Jenna Gray set the tone for the Cardinal offensive during Sunday’s match in Corvallis against Oregon State. Plummer led the way with 17 kills and 11 digs, while Gray contributed 44 assists from the setter position.
Despite their fast start, the Cardinal faced some adversity in the third set, as Oregon State jumped out to a 15-10 lead. The Beavers, led by senior Mary-Kate Marshall and freshman Kylee McLaughlin, were determined not to let the Cardinal leave their state without losing a set. However, Stanford quickly went on a 6-1 run, regaining the lead and claiming the straight-sets victory.
Stanford heads south this week sitting atop the Pac-12 standings with their 6-0 record, but will be facing a tough opponent in UCLA, who enters Friday’s matchup on a three-match win streak. The Bruins are coming off a 3-1 victory at Arizona State and are led by senior setter Sarah Sponcil, who controlled the offense with 48 assists in Friday’s match.
The Cardinal’s lead in the Pac-12 is by no means guaranteed, with Utah and USC both only one game behind. The Trojans will have a chance to tie the Cardinal atop the standings when the two teams face off on Sunday.
Friday’s match against UCLA begins at 6 p.m. and will be streamed live on the Pac-12 network. Sunday’s match at USC begins at 3 p.m. and will also be streamed live on the Pac-12 network.
Contact Gregory Block at gblock ‘at’ stanford.edu.