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Women’s volleyball falls to Washington, bounces back against Washington State
Freshman Meghan McClure recorded a career-high 13 kills against Washington State on Saturday, helping the Cardinal bounces back from its first conference loss. (KAREN AMBROSE HICKEY/isiphotos.com)

Women’s volleyball falls to Washington, bounces back against Washington State

Stanford’s No. 2 ranked women’s volleyball team (22-3, 15-1 Pac-12) was handed their first conference loss by No. 13 Washington (21-6, 11-5 Pac-12) last Wednesday, as the Cardinal’s 16 game winning streak was brought to an end. The team bounced back on Saturday to take down Washington State (15-13, 4-12 Pac-12) on Saturday.

Both matches were away, and the team spent much of last week in Washington for the two games. The match against the Huskies was highly anticipated by both teams, as in their previous meeting, the two duked it out in a five-game slugfest at Maples Pavilion, with the Cardinal prevailing 3-2.

On paper, this didn’t seem like a game the Cardinal should have lost. The final score of the game against the Huskies was 3-1, with Washington only winning sets one and three by a margin of two points (23-25).

The Cardinal didn’t struggle killing the ball either, finishing the match with a hitting percentage of .308, beating out the Huskies with .256. This is the first time this season Stanford has lost a match while outhitting their opponents.

Sophomore ace Kathryn Plummer was in her usual form as well, racking up a massive, match-high 26 kills on a team-high .438 hitting percentage. Plummer was one dig away from a double-double on the night with nine and added four blocks as well.

Senior opposite Merete Lutz was in rhythm too, collecting 11 kills on a .308 hitting percentage. Sophomore setter Jenna Gray had 53 total assists on the game, in addition to four blocks and seven digs, and sophomore libero Morgan Hentz had 16 total digs, along with two service aces.

How then, did the Cardinal lose? The team accumulated a whopping 14 service errors and 10 reception errors off of serves, struggling heavily from the service line. That’s a total of 24 points donated to Washington, in a game where the Huskies only scored six more points than Stanford.

After keeping it close for three sets, the Cardinal finally faltered and gave up the final set 17-25 as the Huskies sealed the deal, holding the offense to a hitting percentage of .121. The Cardinal and Huskies split the season series 1-1 but may see each other again in the postseason.

On Saturday the team found it’s rhythm once again as the Cardinal picked apart the WazzU Cougars. It took them about a set and a half to get going, but once they found their groove, they didn’t stop.

The Cougars took the first set 19-25, holding the Cardinal to just .119 hitting percentage. The second set quickly devolved into chaos, as a deuce continued until the Cardinal finally broke it at a score of 32-30.

Stanford easily took the next two sets behind the massive 22 kills from Plummer and the career-high 13 kills from freshman wing Meghan McClure. Both players recorded double-doubles, as Plummer picked up 13 digs and McClure registered a massive, also career-high 17 digs. The outstanding performances from these two players propelled the Cardinal to victory.

Gray once again put up exactly 53 assists, complimented by nine digs and one service ace. Hentz had 23 digs and five assists. Sophomore middle blocker Audriana Fitzmorris also left a mark on this game as she laid down 13 kills with a massive .423 hitting percentage.

The Cardinal will return home this Wednesday to take on USC in Maples Pavilion. The game begins at 7:00 p.m.

 

Contact Bobby Pragada at bpragada “at” stanford.edu