- #9 Washington def. #2 Stanford 3-1 (25-23, 19-25, 25-23, 25-17)
- #9 Washington improves to 20-6 (10-5, Pac-12); #2 Stanford falls to 21-3 (14-1, Pac-12)
- Seattle, Washington (Pac-12 Match)
- Attendance: 3,358
- Box Score
Seattle, Washington – Playing in front of a loud home environment, the ninth-ranked Washington Huskies upended #2 Stanford behind a stellar serve that kept the Cardinal out of sorts seemingly throughout. The loss not only gives Stanford their first of the Pac-12 season and ends a 16-match winning streak, but it will have an effect on our rankings and potentially NCAA Tournament seeding.
It was an interesting dynamic for the match with the tribes and tribulations of Stanford All-American Kathryn Plummer, who led the match with 26 kills (.438) and added nine blocks and four digs. However, for all that Plummer gave the Cardinal offensively, she was one of a few targets in serve reception that struggled for the match as the Huskies posted a gargantuan 10 aces led by Tia Scambray‘s (17 digs) match-best five aces. Additionally, that was all compared to just four serve errors. Of those 10 aces, six came against Plummer, who also had three serve errors.
Beyond Washington’s aggressive and accurate serving, led by some deadly float serves, Stanford struggled keeping the ball in the court as they had 14 serve errors to their five aces. In total, that works out to be a 15 point swing just in regards to serving. Some nights you have it; others you don’t. It’s possible that Washington exposed something for Stanford, but it would also be difficult to recapture how well the Huskies served. At the same point in time, Washington continues to show they can beat any team in the country.
Those points were critical in sets one and three when Washington came out in front by tight two-point margins in each. The Huskies block was also key with a 14-12 advantage as Lauren Sanders led the way with seven of them. Stanford’s advantage meanwhile was in out-hitting Washington .308 to .256 as they led coast-to-coast in the second set.
The tightest of the sets would be the third as 11 ties and two lead changes took place. Washington took off from 15-15 to a 22-19 lead in the set, but Stanford battled back to tie at 22 after a Merete Lutz (11 kills, .308, three blocks) kill. She again tied it at 23, but two straight Kara Bajema (14 kills, .212, five blocks) kills pushed the Huskies to the 2-1 set lead.
From there, Washington went out in front 7-3 in the fourth set. It seemed they put more urgency on the set after they let the fourth go in losing a five-setter to Stanford the first time around in Palo Alto. Sure enough, Washington hammered home their lead to the finish as a block from Carly DeHoog (eight kills, .273) and Avie Niece (nine kills, .533) ended the match.
Other strong numbers on the night came from Stanford setter Jenna Gray (53 assists, seven digs, four blocks) and Audriana Fitzmorris (10 kills, .286, five blocks) as well as Crissy Jones (11 kills, .364, four blocks) and Bailey Tanner (23 assists, five digs, three aces) for Washington.
Last week, the initial NCAA Tournament committee rankings had Stanford at four. This may not change things, but with Florida, Kentucky and Texas on their tale it puts more pressure on them to win toward the season’s finish. For Washington, they should be a lock to host in the first two rounds barring a huge collapse.
Stanford isn’t done in the state, as next up they get Washington State in Pullman on Saturday looking to bounce back for the first time in conference play. It’s flipped for the Huskies, who stay at home for the other northern California school, as the Cal Bears come to town.
Courtesy of Washington:
SEATTLE – Washington Volleyball raised Krista Vansant‘s No. 16 jersey into the Alaska Airlines Arena rafters before tonight’s showdown with No. 2 Stanford, and then the Huskies channeled Vansant’s fighting spirit throughout a thrilling 3-1 upset win. The 13th-ranked Huskies (20-6, 10-5 Pac-12) snapped the defending NCAA Champion Cardinal’s 16-match win streak with vicious serving from senior Tia Scambray and big swings from Kara Bajema and Crissy Jones.
Vansant, who joined Courtney Thompson as the only women to have their jerseys retired in Alaska Airlines Arena, had to be reminded of one of the highlights of her Husky career, when she led UW over then-No. 1 and undefeated Stanford on her Senior Night back in 2014. Stanford had only lost twice all year, both to No. 1 Penn State, and came in 14-0 in Pac-12 play, but UW had taken the Cardinal (21-3, 14-1) to five sets in the first meeting between the teams at Palo Alto, so the Huskies knew they could compete.
Washington pulled out narrow wins in sets one and three, and pulled away late in set four to get the win, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23, 25-17. Scambray served up a career-high five aces to go with 17 digs, while Bajema backed up her great match at Utah with a team-high 14 kills plus five blocks. Jones added 11 kills and four blocks and hit .364, and sophomore Avie Niece came in with a career-high nine kills, hitting .533. Carly DeHoog had eight kills and Courtney Schwan had seven kills and five blocks in the total team effort.
The Cardinal outhit the Huskies for the match, .308 to .256, but most of that was due to a second set that saw Stanford hit .600. Washington matched its season-high with 10 aces tonight and missed just four serves, while the Cardinal had five aces but 14 service errors. UW also edged out Stanford in the blocking battle between the top-ranked squads in the league, as the Huskies had 14 blocks (seven assisted by freshman Lauren Sanders) to Stanford’s 12.
“Gritty win by our team,” said Head Coach Keegan Cook. “A lot of credit to Stanford for playing good volleyball. It’s not every day you get a win when your opponent’s hitting over .300. I thought we were pretty resilient, you’ve heard me say that a lot this year. I told them we didn’t have to win all the points, just the right ones. We won a couple deuce sets and then the offense got going the last two sets which was really impressive against one of the best teams in the nation.”
Scambray, who moved back to the starting libero role prior to the Huskies’ win at Utah, is one of the most prolific “acers” in Husky history, but prior to tonight she had never had more than three in a match. She had recorded three aces in nine matches in her career, but connected on five tonight to reach 134 for her career and move up to No. 6 in school history.
“Look at that. Five aces, seventeen digs, a tremendous performance by Tia,” said Cook. “Moving back to the libero position, having two great matches in a row; I thought she was good against Utah and she was better tonight against Stanford. Putting pressure on them from the service line and then playing tremendous defense, that’s outstanding. I couldn’t be happier for her.”
Cook also couldn’t have been happier to get the win when Vansant was honored pre-match with her friends and family and UW Athletic Director Jen Cohen. Cook joined UW as an assistant in 2013 as Vansant won her first of two Honda Awards and Pac-12 Player of the Year awards that season. Vansant has served as a Program Assistant for the Huskies these past two years.
“I could feel (Vansant’s) eyes on me all week, like ‘Hey, you know what needs to happen this week,’ Cook said. “She’s a true Husky and she would have traded anything for us to get a win tonight against Stanford. For sure, that was a motivation keeping me watching film and getting up early, knowing I wanted this night to be complete for her.”
The first set had more drama and momentum swings than most full matches, as the Huskies stormed out of the game and built a nine-point lead, only to have the Cardinal come all the way back and go up two points late. Courtney Schwan hammered down the first Husky kill to tie the first set up at 2-2. Scambray then served the Dawgs to an early lead as she dropped two aces and another shanked Stanford pass resulted in an attack error. Jones and Niece put down the first stuff for the Dawgs as UW went up 6-2. A third early Husky ace, this one from Crissy Jones, extended it to a 8-3 lead and forced the Cardinal to take time. Another 3-0 Husky run on kills from Avie Niece and Kara Bajema, and a DeHoog tool off the block, made it 11-4. Niece slammed another quick to keep the Dawgs rolling, and then Bajema stuffed one straight down for a 13-5 lead. Bajema then had a transition blast off the block set by Schwan for a 14-5 lead, but Stanford dug in and rallied back with the next four points to make it 14-9 and the Huskies used their first timeout. The Cardinal continued to score and got it down to 14-12, before a service error snapped the 7-0 Stanford run. Jones and Sanders stuffed one on the next point to get the lead back to four. The Cardinal had another three point run to close within a point but Jones responded with a kill on the right for 18-16. Stanford finally tied it back up at 19, but then missed serve. But Stanford took its first lead since 2-1 with a kill for 21-20 and the Huskies called time. The Dawgs tied it back at 22-all on a second stuff by Bajema on the left and Stanford used its last timeout. Out of the break, a tough Julye serve helped lead to a back row swing that went down for Schwan to put UW back on top by one. A Stanford hitting error then got UW to set point at 24-22 on a 4-0 run. Stanford got a kill to save the first, but Finau set one quick to Bajema and she beat it off the block and down to take the wild first set, 25-23. The Huskies hit .214 compared to .233 for the Cardinal, but had 4.5 blocks to 3.0 for Stanford and had three aces and three errors, while Stanford had two aces but missed five serves.
Kills from Bajema and Jones had it at 3-4 in the second set, but the Cardinal then scored three straight to open up a 3-7 lead and UW took an early timeout. A Cardinal ace pushed the lead to five but DeHoog snapped it with a tough crosscourt swing from the left. Tanner earned a point back with UW’s first ace of the second set, and she then followed that with a second in a row to make it 8-11 Cardinal. Tanner then lasered a third-straight ace for 9-11 and Stanford took timeout. The Cardinal pushed back ahead by five, with Sanders slamming a quick in the middle for a key sideout, and then Scambray drove another ace off the defense for 12-15. A Cardinal block error made it 14-16, but the Cardinal scored two straight for 14-18 and the Huskies used their final timeout. A block from Sanders and Bajema pulled the Dawgs within 17-20, but the Cardinal responded with two back. The Cardinal continued siding out and closed the set with a block to win it, 19-25. Stanford hit a sizzling .600 in the second set to offset UW’s four aces.
Sanders opened the third set by beating a triple block for the first point, but Stanford put together five of the next seven points for a 3-6 lead. The Huskies went to the service ace well again, this one from Schwan, to cut it to 5-6. Bajema evened things up at 8-8 with a solo rejection. Jones ripped one crosscourt from the right for 10-11 Cardinal, then Schwan tied it up by hammering down a Cardinal overpass off the Scambray serve. Jones bump set DeHoog for a right side kill for 13-all. Schwan then tracked down a solo block on the left pin to edge the Huskies in front by one, 14-13. Niece killed a quick to get UW to the media timeout up one, 15-14. Bajema had a stuff on one rally and two points later blocked one straight down to keep UW up, 17-16. Jones and Sanders roofed the Cardinal on the right pin to build a 19-16 Husky lead, and the Cardinal called time. A tough dig from Scambray let Tanner bump to Jones for a kill for 21-18. After another Jones kill made it 22-19, Stanford scrapped for three straight to tie it up at 22-22. But DeHoog came through on the next rally through the block from the left for 23-22. Stanford answered to tie it again, and UW called its last timeout. Finau flipped a set to Bajema out of the break and she went high hands for the kill for set point at 24-23. On the next rally, Schwan got a big dig and Finau went right back to Bajema, and she converted again to grab the third set for the Dawgs, 25-23. Stanford outhit the Huskies, .333 to .303, but the Cardinal missed five serves, while Jones landed five kills for the Dawgs and Bajema put down four more.
Bajema buried a kill to start the Dawgs off in the fourth, and then a solo block from Schwan made it 2-1. Scambray picked up her third ace of the match for a 5-2 lead. Schwan then chopped one up the line and the Cardinal hit into the antenna for 7-3 Dawgs and the Cardinal took the early timeout. Stanford responded with three points right back, but Niece had an out of system bump set to DeHoog for a kill and then Niece had another big dig on the next rally that ended in a Bajema blast for 9-6. Bajema lasered another Finau set straight to the floor, and then Scambray dove to cover a Stanford dump attempt and Bajema killed another Finau set for 12-8 Dawgs. The Cardinal came up with a couple blocks, however, to slow down Bajema for the moment and they tied it at 12-12 and UW used its first timeout. Jones converted from the right side to snap that Cardinal run, and then she and Sanders teamed for a rejection on the next rally for 14-12. Schwan then sniffed out a quick attempt in the middle to score again for 15-12, but Stanford responded with two back. A perfect Tanner set was hammered off the block by Schwan and then Scambray stepped back and dropped in her fifth ace for 17-14, forcing the final Cadinal timeout. The Cardinal got Scambray off the line with a kill but Jones answered back from the right. Jones then had a perfect back set and DeHoog terminated on the right for 19-15. A right side blast in transition from DeHoog pushed it to 21-16, and the Cardinal then put one in the net for 22-16. The Dawgs then won a marathon rally with a final big swing off the block from Niece to keep the momentum going at 23-16 on Schwan’s serve. Niece then crushed down a Stanford overpass to bring up match point at 24-16, before she missed serve to snap the 5-0 Husky run. But the Huskies didn’t mess around and let Stanford make it interesting, as Niece and DeHoog teamed up to reject one on the next point to seal the set and the upset, 25-17. The Huskies hit .308 in the fourth and cooled Stanford off to .121. Schwan and Bajema had four more kills apiece while Scambray had two aces and six digs in the final frame.
Washington won’t have long to savor the victory, as California comes in tomorrow night for another 7 p.m. first serve live again on Pac-12 Networks.
Courtesy of Stanford:
SEATTLE – Despite 26 kills from Kathryn Plummer, No. 2 Stanford suffered its first loss since Sept. 9 in a 3-1 setback at No. 13 Washington, Wednesday, at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Stanford (21-3) now stands at 14-1 in the Pac-12 Conference with a three-match lead over second place USC.
The Cardinal hit .308 for the match, while the Huskies posted a .256 clip. It marked the first time this season Stanford lost a match when out hitting its opponent.
Plummer finished one kill shy of her career-high, while hitting .438. The sophomore also collected nine digs and four blocks.
Stanford struggled from the service line against Washington. The Cardinal recorded 14 service errors and had 10 reception errors.
Down 14-5 early in the first, the Cardinal utilized a 7-0 run, including two blocks and a kill from Fitzmorris, to get back into it. A kill by Meghan McClure put Stanford up 21-20, but the Huskies won five of the final seven points to edge the Cardinal 25-23. It was just the third time this season Stanford lost the opening set.
Redshirt senior Merete Lutz added 11 kills on a .308 attack percentage, while sophomore Audriana Fitzmorris had 10 kills and five blocks. Sophomore libero Morgan Hentz recorded a team-high 16 digs, four assists and two aces.
Stanford bounced back in the second, leading wire-to-wire. Plummer came alive, notching nine kills on .571 hitting in the set after being held to just two kills in the first.
Sophomore setter Jenna Gray turned in 53 assists, seven digs and four blocks. Freshman outside hitter Meghan McClureregistered six kills and six digs, while junior middle blocker Tami Alade had six kills and seven blocks.
The team traded points early in the third and the score remained close throughout. There were 11 tie scores and two lead changes in the set before the Huskies came out on top. Washington closed the door on the Cardinal mid-way through the fourth, holding Stanford to a .121 attack percentage in the set.
Washington was led by Kara Bajema, who had 14 kills and five blocks. Crissy Jones added 11 kills on .364 hittiing and four blocks. As a team, the Huskies posted 14.0 blocks. Stanford is now 55-15 all-time against Washington.
Stanford closes out its trip to the Pacific Northwest on Saturday against Washington State. The Cardinal and Cougars will square off at 7 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Bay Area and Pac-12 Washington.