#12 Stanford Sweeps Oregon for 16th-Straight 20 Win Season

  0 Braden Keith | November 24th, 2016 | College - Women's Indoor, News, Pac 12

Match Stats

The Stanford Cardinal secured their 16th-straight 20 win season on Friday with a 3-0 sweep of the 19th-ranked Oregon Ducks. The win also keeps the Cardinal in contention for at least a share of the Pac-12 title at 14-5. That’s one game behind Washington (15-4), who finish the season on the road with a rivalry match against #25 Washington State on Saturday.

The Cardinal out-hit Oregon .356-.196, notable for two reasons: Oregon now is 0-6 when they hit under .200 (and 0-9 when trailing in hitting percentage by any number); and it was only the second time this season that the Ducks have given up better than a .300 average to any opponent.

Stanford relied on their usual cast of characters in the game. Inky Ajanaku had 4 of her 5 blocks in a dominant second set, and in the final set, Kathryn Plummer, the reigning Pac-12 Freshman and Offensive Player of the Week, served the Cardinal from an 11-12 deficit to a 17-12 lead. Stanford didn’t record a single service error in the game.

While Oregon overall struggled offensively, it wasn’t for wont of a monumental effort from their freshman Ronika Stone. She had 14 kills on 21 swings for a .524 hitting percentage to lead Oregon.


Press Releases

Courtesy Stanford Athletics:

STANFORD, Calif. – No. 12 Stanford made quick work of 19th-ranked Oregon in women’s volleyball action at Maples Pavilion on Wednesday, sweeping the visitors 3-0 (25-22, 25-11, 25-22) for its ninth straight over the Ducks. It secured a 20-win season for the 16th time in as many seasons with head coach John Dunning at the helm.

Stanford (20-7 overall, 14-5 Pac-12 Conference) again proved why it’s one of the Pac-12’s most efficient squads, hitting .356 while stuffing nine shots. The last win for Oregon (19-9, 13-6) over the Cardinal came in 2011, a five-setter on Stanford’s home court.

The Cardinal continued the Ducks’ sliding trend, as the visitors fell to 0-9 when trailing in attack percentage and 0-6 when hitting under .200. They finished hitting .196 compared to Stanford’s .356, only the second time this season the Ducks’ surrendered a percentage greater than .300 in 28 matches.

In the first set, the Cardinal turned a four-point deficit (11-7) into a three-point lead (20-17) behind Jenna Gray’s steady distribution. She assisted on 10 of Stanford’s 14 first-set kills.

The penultimate frame featured a pair of blocks by Inky Ajanaku and Merete Lutz which helped the Cardinal double-up Oregon, 20-10, while boat racing the visitors to take a 2-0 cushion. Ajanaku had a hand in four blocks in the set.

Stanford held Oregon to its lowest hitting clip on the evening in the second set, a .033 mark for a team that entered the match as the Pac-12 leader in hitting percentage (.275) and kills (14.32).

Kathryn Plummer, the reigning Pac-12 Freshman of the Week and Offensive Player of the Week, held serve midway through the final stanza to flip a 12-11 hole into a 17-12 advantage. Stanford trailed by as many as three (7-4) before mounting the comeback.

However, the Ducks orchestrated a 5-0 run and the teams traded points until Stanford pulled away by winning six of the final eight rallies.

Plummer was one of two Cardinal with double-figure kills, totaling 10 along with Ajanaku.

Ajanaku needed just two blocks to pass Foluke Akinradewo for fourth place on Stanford’s career chart. She got five before the end of the second set and ended with five on the night. Akinradewo totaled 579 during her time on The Farm from 2005-08.

Morgan Hentz notched a match-high 12 digs, a few shades under her 4.65 season average, the fourth-best single-season mark in program history.

Oregon’s Ronika Stone had a match-high 14 kills on 21 swings.

Stanford will put the finishing touches on its regular season Friday when it plays host to Bay Area rival Cal. That match will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks beginning at 5 p.m. PT. Ajanaku and Kelsey Humphreys will be honored prior to the match, their final on The Farm.

Oregon, four years removed from the program’s most successful season when it fell in the national championship game against Texas, entered 2016 with its sights set on returning to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth straight season. The Ducks have another chance to boost their resume when they travel to Oregon State on Friday.

The NCAA Tournament field will be announced on Sunday at 6 p.m. PT on ESPNU. Stanford looks to extend its postseason streak to 36 consecutive seasons, as the Cardinal is one of only two programs in the nation to appear in every NCAA Tournament since the current format began in 1981.

Courtesy Oregon Athletics:

EUGENE, Ore. – The 19th-ranked Oregon volleyball team struggled with errors and containing long scoring runs in a straight-set loss at No.12 Stanford, 25-22, 25-11, 25-22, on Wednesday night at Maples Pavilion.

How It Happened: The Ducks (19-9, 12-7 Pac-12) hung tough with the Cardinal (20-7, 14-5 Pac-12) in the first set, building an early four-point lead before Stanford used a 7-1 run to move ahead and hold on for the win. Stanford used three different runs of four points or more to run away with the second set, and then rattled off a 10-2 stretch in the third to seal the sweep.

Freshman Ronika Stone was an offensive standout for the Ducks on a night they hit just .196 as a team, putting down 14 kills on 21 swings with a .524 hitting percentage while also adding two blocks. Lindsey Vander Weide had eight kills and Taylor Agost put down five, but both players finished with hitting percentages below .100. Sophomore Sumeet Gill got the start at middle blocker and contributed three blocks, and Maggie Scott paced the offense with 21 assists. Amanda Benson recorded nine digs, marking only the second time this season she failed to finish in double-digits. Stanford hit .356 with only 11 attack errors and no serving errors.

Set 1: Back-to-back kills by Stone helped fuel a 4-0 Oregon run that put the Ducks up 11-7 and forced an early Stanford timeout, but the Cardinal responded with a 7-1 stretch after trading a few rallies to jump ahead, 20-17. Oregon scored three out of four to get within one, 21-20, and then two in a row to again cut the lead to one at 23-22 before two Duck errors sealed the opening win for the Cardinal. Stone carried the offense with six kills on eight swings while adding a block, and Benson did the bulk of her night’s work in the opening set with seven digs.

Set 2: The second was all Stanford from the start, as the Cardinal took control early with a 13-6 lead. Up 16-10, Stanford scored five in a row and nine of the last 10 points to run away with the game, 25-11, and go up 2-0 in the match at intermission. Stone was stellar once again with six kills on eight swings, but the Ducks only added three more kills total while hitting .033 in the set.

Set 3: Looking to force a fourth set, the Ducks started strong out of the break with an initial 6-3 lead. With Oregon up 10-7, Stanford used a 4-0 run to take a one-point lead and then a 6-0 run to extend its lead to 17-12. The Ducks fought back furiously with five in a row to pull the set even and played with the Cardinal to a 19-19 tie, but Stanford found its groove again with a 6-3 stretch to end the set and the match. The Ducks hit .265 in the set, their best mark of the night, with Vander Weide leading the way with four kills and Agost adding two service aces.

What It Means: Entering the match at No. 21 in the RPI ranking, the loss probably nullifies any hopes the Ducks had of hosting in the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament. But with 19 overall wins,12 in conference and five over top-25 teams, Oregon’s chances of getting into the tournament field appear very strong. The Ducks’ loss at Stanford was only their second road loss of the season (8-2), and their .196 hitting percentage marked only the sixth time in 28 matches they failed to hit better than .200.

Up Next: Oregon will look to rebound from this loss and finish the regular season strong in a Civil War match-up at Oregon State on Friday at noon on Pac-12 Network. The NCAA tournament field will be announced at 6 p.m. on Sunday on ESPNU.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of VolleyMob.com. Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined SwimSwam.com as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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