Oct. 26, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - The second-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team captured its 18th consecutive win by defeating Arizona State, 25-15, 19-25, 25-16, 25-20, Friday, at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, Calif. The Cardinal, which is off to its best start in conference play since 1998, improves to 20-2 overall and 12-0 in the Pac-12, while the Sun Devils drop to 14-10 overall and 3-8 in the conference.
Junior outside hitter Rachel Williams led the team with 13 kills on 19 attempts with no errors for a career-high .684 attack percentage. Freshman outside hitter Jordan Burgess recorded a double-double with 12 kills and 17 digs, while freshman outside hitter Brittany Howard also recorded a double-double with 10 kills and 14 digs. Freshman middle blocker Inky Ajanaku finished with 11 kills on 18 swings with just one error to hit .556, while junior middle blocker Carly Wopat totaled seven kills and four blocks, including the 400th of her career.
Senior Karissa Cook and freshman Madi Bugg controlled the offense, with Cook tallying 30 assists and seven digs and Bug finished with 20 assists and nine digs. Sophomore libero Kyle Gilbert tallied 19 digs and four assists. Stanford hit .315 as a team and held ASU to a .176 clip.
Stanford came out fired out, capturing the first set over ASU 25-15. The Cardinal hit .472 in the opening set, committing just one attack error, and held the Sun Devils to a .175 attack percentage. Ajanaku was a perfect 5-for-5 in the first, while Burgess added four kills, seven digs and a solo block. Four different ASU players registered three kills to lead the Sun Devils.
ASU picked up its defensive intensity and evened the match with a 25-19 win in the second set. The Sun Devils outhit the Cardinal .255 to .200 in the second and racked up 23 digs. Stanford fell behind early and was unable to fully recover. The Cardinal trailed 15-10, but utilized a 5-0 run to tie the score at 15. However, a 6-0 run by ASU put the set out of reach. Burgess and Williams tallied three kills each to lead Stanford. Senior Erica Wilson and freshman Macey Gardner combined for 14 of ASU's 18 kills in the set.
Stanford answered with a 25-16 win in the third set. The Cardinal, which hit .289 in the set, held the Sun Devils to a .070 attack percentage. Stanford fell behind early, but picked up its defense, tallying 21 digs and four blocks. Burgess, Williams and Howard all put down three kills to lead the Cardinal. Howard also racked up seven digs, while Wopat recorded two solo blocks. Gardner paced ASU with five kills, while Nora Tuioti-Mariner registered four.
The Cardinal finished off the Sun Devils with a 25-20 win in the fourth set. Stanford again fell behind early, but bounced back to hold off ASU down the stretch. The Cardinal hit .312 in the fourth, while the Sun Devils posted a .200 hitting percentage. Howard and Williams drilled four kills each to lead Stanford. Ajanaku added three kills, while Gilbert collected five digs. Gardner finished with a match-high 20 kills to lead the Sun Devils.
The Cardinal hits the road next week to travel to Oregon State and No. 3 Oregon. Stanford will face the Beavers in Corvallis on Friday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. and the Ducks in Eugene on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 1 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.