WASHINGTON, D.C. – The No. 8 Stanford women’s volleyball team defeated Yale (25-17, 25-20, 25-18) and Army (25-15, 25-17, 25-17), Friday, in the Service Academy Challenge at the Pentagon Athletic Center in Washington, D.C. The Cardinal improves to 5-2 on the season, while the Bulldogs fell to 2-2 and the Black Knights dropped to 3-6.
Against Yale, senior Rachel Williams led the team with 11 kills and six digs, while sophomore Brittany Howard tallied 10 kills, nine digs and three blocks. Stanford’s middle blockers, Carly Wopat and Inky Ajanaku, finished with nine kills and four blocks and six kills and five blocks, respectively. Sophomore outside hitter Jordan Burgess added nine kills on a .364 attack percentage.
Sophomore setter Madi Bugg controlled the offense with 39 assists and finished one dig shy of a double-double. Junior libero Kyle Gilbert tallied 17 digs and two assists in the win. As a team, the Cardinal posted a .385 hitting percentage, while holding the Bulldogs to a .171 clip.
Yale’s Brittani Steinberg paced the Bulldogs with 10 kills in the match, while libero Maddie Rudnick led all players with 20 digs.
Against Army, Howard was 9-0-21 (.429) with seven digs and a solo block to lead the Cardinal. Ajanaku hit .700 (7-0-10) with three blocks, while Williams finished with eight kills and three blocks. Burgess and sophomore middle blocker Megan McGehee each tallied six kills and two blocks.
Bugg shared time at setter with freshman Kelsey Humphreys. Bugg recorded 29 assists, seven digs and two blocks, while Humphreys notched nine assists. Gilbert led the defense with 10 digs.
As a team, Stanford hit .337, while Army posted a .097 attack percentage. It also marked just the second time this season that the Cardinal had more service aces (9) than service errors (6). Howard led the team with a career high four aces.
Margaux Jarka led the Black Knights with nine kills and five digs.
Stanford returns to The Farm next week to play host to Cal Poly on Wednesday, Sept. 18 and Saint Mary’s on Friday, Sept. 20. Both matches are slated for 7 p.m. from Maples Pavilion. Friday’s match will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.