BERKELEY, Calif. – The seventh-ranked Stanford women’s volleyball team held off rival California, 20-25, 25-23, 25-22, 28-26, Wednesday, in the Pac-12 opener for both teams at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif. The Cardinal improves to 8-2 on the season and 1-0 in the Pac-12, while the Golden Bears dropped to 7-3 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
Five different Cardinal players recorded double-digit kills on Wednesday. Sophomore outside hitter Jordan Burgess led the team with a season high 14 kills on a .406 attack percentage. Senior middle blocker Carly Wopat also tallied 14 kills and seven blocks. Senior Rachel Williams registered her team-best fifth double-double of the season with 11 kills and 12 digs to go with four blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Brittany Howard finished with her third double-double of the year with 11 kills and 13 digs. Sophomore middle blocker Megan McGehee, starting for Inky Ajanaku who was out sick, finished with career highs of 11 kills, six blocks and a .562 attack percentage, which led all players.
Sophomore setter Madi Bugg recorded a career high 55 assists to with four kills and three blocks. Junior libero Kyle Gilbert collected a season high 29 digs. As a team, Stanford hit .314, while holding Cal to a .216 attack percentage. The Cardinal also tallied 15 team blocks, while the Bears had six.
Stanford dropped the opening set, 25-20. Errors were the difference in the set as the Cardinal committed 12 to just four by the Bears. Stanford posted a .303 hitting percentage in the first, but allowed Cal to hit .310. Burgess led the team with five kills and two digs. Williams and Wopat each added three kills for the Cardinal. Lillian Schonewise paced Cal with four kills and a solo block.
The Cardinal answered in the second, tying the match at 1-1 with a 25-23 victory. Stanford outhit Cal .286 to .133 and registered six blocks. McGehee and Wopat led the Cardinal with five kills and three blocks each. Gilbert led the defense with 11 digs in the set, while Bugg racked up 13 assists. For Cal, Adrienne Gehan and Christina Higgins tallied four kills apiece.
Stanford took the third set, 25-22, to secure a 2-1 lead in the match. The Cardinal hit .208 as a team and recorded six blocks in the third. Sophomore outside hitter Brittany Howard led Stanford with five kills and three digs. McGehee, Williams and Bugg added two kills each. Gilbert added six digs, while Williams collected eight in the set. Gehan continued to lead Cal with four kills and five digs.
The Cardinal held off the Bears 28-26 in the fourth set to seal the match. Stanford hit a match-high .475 in the set, while Cal turned in a .333 attack percentage. The Bears kept it close throughout as there were 16 tie scores and five lead changes in the set. However, a solo block by Williams gave the Cardinal the victory. Burgess led the team with seven kills in the fourth, while Wopat added five. Gilbert added eight digs on defense, while Howard notched seven in the set. Gehan finished with a match-high 19 kills for Cal.
Stanford returns to The Farm to host 16th-ranked Arizona State on Friday, Sept. 27. First serve is scheduled for 6 p.m. PT on the Pac-12 Networks. The Sun Devils swept rival Arizona in Tempe on Tuesday.