STANFORD, Calif. — Stanford recorded a 25-14, 23-25, 25-22, 25-11 win against Sacred Heart in the first round of the 2011 NCAA tournament. The Cardinal improved to 22-7 overall, while the Pioneers finished their season 27-8.
Sophomore middle blocker Carly Wopat registered a career high 13 blocks for Stanford, which posted 20 blocks as a team. Sophomore outside hitter Rachel Williams led the team offensively with 18 kills and posted 11 digs for her 20th double-double of the year. She also tied her career high in blocks with seven. Redshirt freshman Lydia Bai added 14 kills on a .444 hitting percentage, while junior Hayley Spelman finished with 10 kills and a .421 hitting percentage.
Junior setter Karissa Cook controlled the offense with 46 assists, 14 digs and a career-best six blocks. Junior libero Hannah Benjamin led the defense with 15 digs. Stanford hit .346 in the match as a team, while holding Sacred Heart to a .075 clip. The Cardinal is now 21-1 on the season when outhitting its opponents.
Stanford cruised to a 25-14 win in the opening set. The Cardinal hit .500 and held the Pioneers to a -.057 attack percentage. Bai led the team with seven kills and two blocks, while Spelman went 3-0-3. Stanford posted six blocks in the set, including two solo blocks by Williams. Sacred Heart committed 10 attack errors in the first. The Pioneers were led by Dianis Mercado’s four kills and two digs.
Sacred Heart edged the Cardinal 25-23 in the second set to tie the match. Despite outhitting the Pioneers, Stanford committed nine errors and trailed for much of the set. There were eight tie scores and one lead change as each team posted three blocks. Wopat led Stanford with five kills and two blocks in the second. Williams chipped in with four kills and six digs, while Bai added three kills and two digs. Senior Kimmee Roleder and junior Johanna Ovsenek each tallied four kills to lead Sacred Heart.
The Cardinal captured the pivotal third set 25-22. Stanford hit .250 in the set, while holding the Pioneers to a .149 clip. The Cardinal recorded seven blocks in the set, led by Wopat’s five. Williams registered six kills to lead the offense, while Benjamin racked up eight digs for the defense. Ovsenek paced the Pioneers with five kills, while freshman Alissa Young collected four.
Stanford finished off Sacred Heart with a 25-11 win in the fourth set. The Cardinal posted a .464 hitting percentage and limited itself to just one attack error. Williams led Stanford with six kills and two blocks in the set. Bai added three kills, while freshman defensive specialist Kyle Gilbert tallied four digs. Sacred Heart it -.032 in the set. Roleder finished with 12 kills and 11 digs for the Pioneers, while senior libero Jessica Colberg recorded 21 digs in her final match.