Women’s volleyball in search of season sweep over Wildcats

Oct. 28, 2021, 8:50 p.m.

No. 15 Stanford women’s volleyball (12-6, 7-3 Pac-12) heads to the desert to take on Arizona (12-9, 4-6 Pac-12) Friday night. The Cardinal will look to defeat a struggling Wildcats squad, which has fallen in six of its last seven conference matches.

In the two teams’ first matchup of the season — an Oct. 3 showdown at Maples Pavilion — Stanford won in straight sets (25-15, 25-18, 25-17). For the match, the Cardinal posted a .380 hitting percentage, compared to the Wildcats’ .122.

Rdshirt outside hitter Caitie Baird and junior opposite Kendall Kipp were the Cardinal’s offensive leaders in the Cardinal victory — a trend that has continued throughout the season. Baird averages 4.07 kills per set, which is the third-most in the Pac-12. Kipp averages 3.51 kills per set and has hit at a consistent .324 clip.

While Baird and Kipp’s prowess above the net is undeniable, their numbers would not be as strong without the presence of freshman setter Kami Miner. Miner, a three-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week, has been the pulse of Stanford’s offense this year. She averages 11.27 assists per set, which ranks her seventh in the nation.

Defensively, Stanford is anchored by sophomore libero Elena Oglivie and sophomore defensive specialist Alex Lougeay. Oglivie leads the team with 4.48 digs per set. Lougeay has played in every set this season and averages 1.66 digs per appearance. 

To defeat the Wildcats for the second time, Stanford will need to contain Arizona’s pair of sophomore outside hitters, Jaelyn Hodge and Sofia Maldonado Diaz. Hodge leads the Wildcats with 3.27 kills per set, while Diaz is close behind with 3.04 kills per set.

Following Stanford’s loss in straight sets to No. 10 Washington, the Cardinal are now in a tie for third in the Pac-12 standings with No. 22 Washington State. As the Cardinal begin to play Pac-12 teams for the second time this season, every match is consequential.

First serve against the Wildcats is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. PT at McKale Memorial Center.

Gavin McDonell is a former managing editor of the sports section. He is a junior from San Francisco, California who is studying Economics and Mathematics. His rooting interests include the San Francisco Giants, the Golden State Warriors, Max Homa and of course, the Stanford Cardinal. Contact him at gmcdonell 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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