Widgets Magazine
Volleyball finishes regular season with senior night and win over Cal
Fifth-year senior Merete Lutz led the team with 12 kills against Utah in her final regular season game at home.(ERIN CHANG/isiphotos.com)

Volleyball finishes regular season with senior night and win over Cal

Stanford women’s volleyball (26-3, 19-1 Pac-12) secured a No. 3 seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament last week with two blowout victories. It dispatched the No. 15 ranked Utah Utes (22-9, 13-7) at home on Wednesday before taking down Cal (13-18, 4-16) across the Bay on Saturday.

These games came off the back of a two-game home series in which the Cardinal took down No. 14 ranked USC (22-9, 14-6) and No. 18-ranked UCLA (19-10, 12-8). In those two matches, the Cardinal defense was dominant, registering 15 blocks on the Trojans and 17 blocks on the Bruins, and netting sophomore middle blocker Audriana Fitzmorris the Pac-12 defensive Player of the Week honors.

During its final two games, the team’s defense wasn’t as dominating, but was less crucial, as the offense was in full swing, decimating the Utes and the Golden Bears in two 3-0 victories.

Wednesday’s game was the final home game of the regular season, and was senior night for the team’s only graduating player, fifth-year senior opposite Merete Lutz. While an emotional night, it wasn’t Lutz’s final game in Maples Pavilion, as the team will host NCAA tournament games this weekend.

Lutz led the team to a resounding victory, going off for a team-high 12 kills and four blocks, hitting .250 on the night. A persistent Cardinal presence at the net held the Utes to just .119 hitting on the match, in comparison to Stanford’s .231 cumulative percentage.

The usual suspects added onto the Cardinal victory, with sophomore ace Kathryn Plummer adding 11 kills and seven digs, sophomore libero Morgan Hentz contributing an incredible 17 digs, and sophomore setter Jenna Gray picking up a double-double with 37 assists and 11 digs.

When asked about her time playing for Stanford, Lutz had nothing but praises to sing: “It’s been the best, Stanford volleyball means the world to me. The fans, everyone who’s come to a game, everyone who’s supported us has been awesome and I can’t thank them enough for five awesome years.

The Cardinal rode their wave of momentum into Saturday’s match against Cal, and promptly smashed the Golden Bears to close the regular season. Stanford women’s volleyball is now 73-11 all time versus Cal.

The Cardinal hit a massive .373 in the match, led by Plummer’s match-high 16 kills, along with six digs and four blocks. Freshman wing Meghan McClure also added 9 kills, hitting .400 on the night.

The middle blockers for Stanford played an excellent game, with junior Tami Alade racking up seven kills and a match-high nine blocks. Fitzmorris had six kills and dominated from the service line, collecting two aces.

Gray and Hentz were as magnificent as always, with Gray feeding 40 assists to the team and Hentz picking up a match-high 12 digs, keeping the Cardinal alive on several different plays.

The Cardinal close out the regular season as the Pac-12 champions, and move into the tournament as a top four seed and a host for the preliminary rounds. The action begins this Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Maples Pavilion, when the Cardinal take on CSU Bakersfield in the first round.

 

Contact Bobby Pragada at bpragada “at” stanford.edu.