- No. 9 Stanford def. Denver 3-0, (25-12, 25-22, 25-20)
- First Round NCAA Tournament
- Stanford advances to play Boise State on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 7 PM ET
- Stanford, CA
- Attendance: 1,346
With the sweep, Stanford remains undefeated in NCAA first-round matches, and is their 110th overall win in NCAA play, the most of any other team in the nation.
Inky Ajanaku put down 12 kills, while Kathryn Plummer recorded a double-double with 11 kills and 11 digs. Jenna Gray also posted a double-double with 42 assists and 11 digs.
Kayla Principato put down a match-best 13 kills for Denver, while Cassidy Rooke picked up 17 digs in the back court.
Courtesy of Stanford Athletics
STANFORD, Calif. – No. 9 Stanford opened the postseason with a convincing 25-12, 25-22, 25-20 sweep over Denver in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night at Maples Pavilion.
Stanford (22-7) lived up to its billing as the tournament’s No. 6 overall seed, remaining undefeated (36-0) in NCAA first-round play. The win was also the 110th overall in NCAA play for Stanford, the most by any team in the nation.
Next up for the Cardinal is a second round match on Saturday at 7 p.m. against Boise State (26-6), which swept No. 20 Western Kentucky in Friday’s other first-round contest.
The Cardinal hit .361 for the match, but featured at least three players with double-digit kills for the first time since Nov. 12 against UCLA. Redshirt senior Inky Ajanaku totaled 12 kills on .526 hitting, while redshirt junior Ivana Vanjak and freshman Kathryn Plummer both added 11 kills. Plummer also accounted for three of Stanford’s five service aces, a career-high.
Ajanaku also added three blocks, while freshman Audriana Fitzmorris finished with a match-high four. The trio of Plummer, freshman setter Jenna Gray and freshman libero Morgan Hentz contributed 11 digs apiece. Plummer now has a team-best nine double-doubles on the year.
Denver’s only lead of the first set at 8-7 was short-lived, as Stanford countered with five unanswered points. Leading 14-11, the Cardinal regained control with a 9-0 run that featured two kills apiece from Ajanaku and Vanjak. Stanford posted a .423 hitting percentage compared to Denver’s .057 clip.
The Pioneers (23-9) looked sharp again to open the second set, building an early four-point advantage and holding the lead until an error put the Cardinal in front 16-15. Tied at 17-17, Stanford seized momentum to close out the set despite its hitting percentage dipping to .250 in the frame.
The third set featured five lead changes and nine ties, the last of which occurred at 17-17. Stanford earned some breathing room by winning back-to-back points before closing out the set with an 8-3 run.
Denver was limited to .173 hitting and paced by Kayla Principato’s match-high 13 kills.
Stanford and Boise State will meet on Saturday for the first time in a women’s volleyball match.
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