After a three-week hiatus that Stanford Athletics spokesperson Regina Verlengiere attributed to “a combination of injuries and COVID-19-related issues within the Cardinal program,” women’s volleyball (1-3, 1-3 Pac-12) will travel to Salt Lake City to take on No. 9 Utah (8-2, 8-2 Pac-12) on Friday and Sunday.
Stanford struggled to start the season: It took the team four games to enter the win column in a sweep of Cal in straight sets. However, the Cardinal dropped a match to Cal just two days prior, and was beaten in back-to-back matches against Arizona a week prior.
Utah is a combined 4-0 against the same two opponents this year.
Stanford’s lone win coincided with the return of senior outside hitter Meghan McClure, who, along with junior middle Holly Campbell and junior opposite Mackenzie Fidelak, missed the start of the season due to COVID-19 protocols. McClure, Campbell and Fidelak are the lone upperclassmen on what is an extremely young Cardinal roster that will take time to develop. Head coach Kevin Hambly will look to hit the ground running with the battle-tested trio hopefully back in the lineup.
“There’s no player left in the country that has as much experience, especially on the biggest stages, as Meghan,” Hambly said after the team’s win over Cal.
McClure, along with sophomore outside hitter Kendall Kipp, was named to the Pac-12 Preseason All-Conference Team. Against Cal, the duo combined for 21 kills, and redshirt freshman outside hitter Caitie Baird added nine more.
The Cardinal has a 19-2 all-time record against the Utes and has not lost to the team in more than four years. Utah, a team that has not finished with a losing record since 2015, is coming off a pair of losses to No. 9 Washington last weekend after starting the season 8-0.
Friday’s match will begin at 5 p.m. PT, while Sunday’s contest is scheduled for 11 a.m. PT.