Stanford Downs Minnesota 3-1 in Top Five Showdown

  0 Nathan Keil | September 09th, 2018 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News, Pac 12


  • Maples Pavilion, Stanford, California
  • September 7-9.

No. 2 Stanford hosted the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge over the weekend, welcoming two of the Big Ten’s best, #4 Minnesota and #9 Penn State to the Maples Pavilion (along with #18 Oregon, though the two aren’t playing). Before taking care of Minnesota on Sunday, the Cardinal swept Penn State on Friday evening. In Friday’s opener, Oregon stunned Minnesota in four sets. The Nittany Lions rebounded Saturday afternoon with a sweep of the Ducks.

  • Stanford finished Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge 2-0.
  • Oregon and Penn State each finished 1-1.
  • Minnesota finished 0-2.

#2 Stanford def. #4 Minnesota 3-1 (25-23, 23-25, 25-17, 25-23)

Minnesota opened the first set the aggressor, surging out in front 14-8. The Golden Gophers kept the Cardinal at bay, drawing within two points of the set at 23-21. But Stanford would score the final four points, orchestrated by a pair of kills by outside hitter Kathryn Plummer to take the opener.

In the second, after another great start for Minnesota, Stanford took control, building a 15-11 lead. From that point forward, aided by its .444 hitting percentage, the Golden Gophers nabbed the second set 25-23.

With the match tied at a set apiece, Stanford blitzed Minnesota from the first point as the Cardinal raced out to an early 10-3 lead in Set 3. The Cardinal kept up the pressure and ran way with the third, 25-17.

The fourth set was a back and forth affair. With the score deadlocked at 23, Stanford got back-to-back kills from Plummer and middle blocker Tami Aladi to send Minnesota home winless in the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge.


  • Stanford’s Plummer led all players with 25 kills. Outside hitters Meghan McClure (16) and Audriana Fitzmorris (14) notched double digit kills as well.
  • Minnesota outside hitter Adanna Rollins led the Golden Gophers with 16 kills. Outside hitter Alexis Hart tallied 15.
  • Stanford hit .358 as a team with 71 kills and 17 errors. The Cardinal did not make an error in the third set, converting 20 kills out of 31 swings, good for a .645 clip.
  • Minnesota finished at .285 and made just one error, 17-1-36 in winning the second set.


  • Stanford will host Texas at 10 p.m. ET Tuesday.
  • Minnesota will host Wisconsin-Green Bay at 8 p.m. ET Thursday in the Gopher Fall Classic.

 #9 Penn State def. #18 Oregon 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-19)

Less than 24 hours after suffering its first loss of the season on Friday, #9 Penn State rebounded quickly to knock off #18 Oregon Saturday afternoon in straight sets to finish the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge.

In the opening set, Penn State got off to a great start, but Oregon worked its way back into the match and charged ahead 21-17. However, the Nittany Lions made a late surge, putting together a 5-1 run late to capture the win.

The second set was back and forth before Penn State used another 5-1 run to gain control. The Nittany Lions were two points way from the set at 23-20 before the Ducks stormed back to tie. Penn State then executed the attack off the serve and finished the set with an ace.

Penn State buried the Ducks early in the final set. The Nittany Lions jumped out 9-4 early and extended the lead with an 8-1 run and an 18-8 advantage. Oregon did its best to get back in the set, but outside hitter Nia Reed’s kill ended the rally and the match.


  • Oregon right side hitter Willow Johnson led the Ducks with 11 kills while hitting at a .400 clip. As a team, Oregon hit just .136 and had three players hit at a negative percentile.
  • Middle blocker Kaitlyn Hord led Penn State with 16 kills. She made just one error in 27 attacks, good for a .556 attack percentage.
  • Penn State libero Kendall White finished with a match-high 18 digs.
  • Oregon outside hitter Brooke Van Sickle served up two aces, bringing her total to 16 on the season and earning the top spot in the Pac-12 this season.
  • All three of Oregon’s losses have come to teams in VolleyMob’s Top 10 Power rankings.


  • Oregon will take on Hawaii in Honolulu at 1 a.m. ET Friday.
  • Penn State heads to Washington D.C. for a 7 p.m. ET Friday match with Howard.

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