AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 2 Stanford women’s volleyball team fell at No. 6 Texas, 27-29, 25-18, 16-25, 25-27, Sunday, at Gregory Gymnasium in Austin, Texas. The Cardinal drops to 2-2 on the season, while the Longhorns improved to 4-1.
Sophomore outside hitter Brittany Howard led the Cardinal with 14 kills and 17 digs for her first double-double of the season. Senior middle blocker Carly Wopat finished with 13 kills and three blocks, while sophomore middle blocker Inky Ajanaku had 11 kills and three blocks. Senior Rachel Williams recorded 12 kills and 10 digs for her third consecutive double-double.
Sophomore setter Madi Bugg also collected a double-double, registering 46 assists and 12 digs. Junior libero Kyle Gilbert tallied a season-high 24 digs, while sophomore Jordan Burgess finished with 16 digs. As a team, Stanford outhit Texas .190 to .159.
Texas edged Stanford 29-27 in the opening set, which had 10 tie scores and five lead changes. The Longhorns jumped out to an early lead, but four straight kills by Williams tied it at 17-17. Neither team hit well as the Cardinal posted a .135 attack percentage to a .125 clip by the Longhorns. Williams led the team with five kills and two digs, while Wopat added four kills and two blocks. Bailey Webster led Texas with six kills.
The Cardinal answered with a 25-18 win in the second set. Stanford jumped out to an early lead and never relinquished it, hitting .273 in the set. Each team tallied a block in the set as Texas was held to a .146 attack percentage. Williams and Ajanaku each put down five kills to lead the Cardinal. Howard chipped in with four kills and racked up seven digs in the set. Webster and Haley Eckerman recorded three kills each to lead the Longhorns.
Texas won the third set, 25-16, hitting .294 in the set. The Cardinal committed six service errors in the third and was limited to just 11 kills. Howard led the team with four kills and two digs. Gilbert anchored the defense with eight digs in the set. Eckerman paced the Longhorns with four kills and two digs.
The fourth set went down to the wire with Texas prevailing, 27-25. Neither team hit well as Stanford posted a .139 attack percentage to just .098 by Texas. Wopat led the Cardinal with four kills and a block. Howard added three kills and five digs for the Cardinal. Eckerman and Webster finished with 15 and 13 kills, respectively.
Stanford will remain on the road this week, heading to our nation’s capital to play in the Service Academy Challenge, Sept. 12-13. The Cardinal will face Air Force, Army and Yale in the Pentagon.