Widgets Magazine
Women’s volleyball prepares for Arizona road trip
Sophomore libero Morgan Hentz (right) was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. Her defense has helped carry the Cardinal into an undefeated conference record.(AL CHANG/isiphotos.com)

Women’s volleyball prepares for Arizona road trip

Still undefeated in conference play, No. 2 Stanford women’s volleyball team (17-2, 10-0 Pac-12) heads to the desert on Friday to face Arizona State (10-12, 0-10) and Arizona (8-11, 2-8).

Currently riding a 12-game winning streak, the Cardinal are coming off a pair of resounding home victories against No. 14 Washington and Washington State. While Stanford struggled in its five-set win over the Huskies, it was able to eke out the victory before cruising to a straight-sets win over the Cougars.

The Cardinal have rarely been challenged in conference play, only dropping six sets through their first 10 games. While road matches always prove to be difficult, neither the Sun Devils nor the Wildcats have proven to be legitimate contenders in the highly competitive Pac-12.

Junior middle blocker Tami Alade will look to build on the momentum from the Washington match, where she rallied the Cardinal from a 2-1 deficit with both her on-court play and her sideline energy. She led the Cardinal with 14 kills and a .632 kill percentage. Alade leads the Pac-12 in total kill percentage for the season with .401. Alade’s emergence was needed as the Huskies were able to shut down Kathryn Plummer, Stanford’s star outside hitter. The Cardinal comeback was also aided by sophomore setter Jenna Gray, who compiled 51 assists.

In Sunday’s match against the Cougars, Stanford had no problem dominating with the front line. Plummer returned to her typical form with a team-high 10 kills as Washington State was unable to put up any sort of fight.

Stanford faced both Arizona teams at home in late September and did not drop a single set. In the Arizona match, the Cardinal’s defense led the way, as they recorded 14 blocks to hinder any sort of offensive attack from the Wildcats. The front line should prove to be critical once again for the Cardinal, as Arizona’s outside hitter Kendra Dahlke will look to build on her strong 12-kill showing in her last match against Stanford.

Friday’s match against Arizona State begins at 8 p.m. while Sunday’s showdown in Tucson starts at 1 p.m. Both matches will be streamed live on Pac-12 networks.

 

Contact Gregory Block at gblock ‘at’ stanford.edu.