STANFORD, Calif. - In a complete team effort, the eighth-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team defeated Loyola (Chi.) 25-16, 25-27, 25-15, 25-15, Saturday, in the Stanford Invitational at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal moves to 5-2 overall, while the Ramblers dropped to 5-4.
Freshman outside hitter Jordan Burgess led the team with 13 kills and six digs. Rookies Brittany Howard and Madi Bugg recorded their second and third career double-doubles, respectively. Howard finished with 10 kills and 10 digs, while Bug totaled 48 assists and 13 digs to go with four blocks. Senior Hayley Spelman added 11 kills and a .450 attack percentage, while freshman Inky Ajanaku posted nine kills and three blocks.
As a team, Stanford hit .314 and held Loyola to a .107 attack percentage. Sophomore libero Kyle Gilbert collected a team-best 20 digs, marking her fourth straight match with double-digit digs. Stanford finished with 11 blocks, while the Ramblers totaled 5.5.
Stanford opened the match with a 25-16 win in the first set. The Cardinal led virtually the entire way, holding the Ramblers to a .029 hitting percentage. Stanford, which hit .333, was led by sophomore outside hitter Lydia Bai, who tallied four kills and two blocks. Bugg tallied 11 assists and three digs, while Spelman added three kills on five swings. Kathleen Vogel led Loyola with three kills and four digs.
Loyola responded and won the second set, 27-25, to even the match. The score remained close throughout, but Stanford was unable to recover from its errors. There were 16 tie scores and seven lead changes in the second in which the Cardinal was held to a .156 attack percentage. The Ramblers led 23-20, but the Cardinal came back to tie it at 24-24. After Stanford took the lead at 25-24, Loyola reeled off three straight points to capture the set. Stanford committed eight attack errors in the set to go with three service errors. Spelman and Ajanaku paced the Cardinal with four kills each. Anna Eytchison led the Ramblers with five kills in the second.
Stanford came out of the break to win the pivotal third set, 25-15. The Cardinal limited its attack errors to three and hit .387 in the third. Loyola was held to a .062 hitting percentage. Howard led the way with five kills and five digs. Burgess and Spelman added three kills apiece. Laura Purcell was 3-for-4 in the set to lead the Ramblers.
The Cardinal secured the win with a 25-15 win in the fourth set. Stanford again held Loyola to under a .100 hitting percentage for the set. The Cardinal posted its best attack percentage of the match (.441) and recorded 17 digs as a team. Burgess put down seven kills to lead the team, while Ajanaku and Howard each registered three kills. Purcell and Eytchison led Loyola with four kills each.
Stanford will play its second match of the day, tonight at 6 p.m., against Pacific. Loyola (Chi.) and Santa Clara will close out the tournament at 8 p.m.