Top-ranked Stanford stays unbeaten, gets by No. 18 Arizona State in four sets
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Top-ranked Stanford defeated No. 18 Arizona State 20-25, 25-15, 25-22, 25-18 on Sunday, at Wells Fargo Arena. The Cardinal are now 16-0, their best start since 2007, and 6-0 in the Pac-12, while the Sun Devils fall to 13-5 and 3-3 in the conference.
ASU caught Stanford off guard in the opening set, but it was just the wake-up call the Cardinal needed. After recording just 10 kills in the opening set, the Cardinal cruised to the win behind 14 kills and four blocks junior middle blocker Inky Ajanaku.
Junior setter Madi Bugg directed the offense, which hit .282, tallying 45 assists to go with seven digs, three blocks and three kills. Junior outside hitter Brittany Howard finished with a season high 11 kills, including the 700th of her career, on a .323 hitting percentage.
Junior outside hitter Jordan Burgess recorded her 800th career kill in the win, posting her team-best eighth double-double with 10 kills and 16 digs. She also collected three blocks, including two solo. Redshirt freshman middle blocker Merete Lutz finished with 10 kills and a match-high five blocks.
Senior libero Kyle Gilbert anchored the Cardinal defense with a season high 25 digs. It marks the third straight match she has reached the 20-dig plateau. As a team, Stanford totaled 14 blocks, one off of its season high.
Arizona State was led by junior outside hitter Macey Gardner’s 14 kills and eight digs. Merecedes Binns chipped in with 12 kills, while McKenzie Willey finished with 10 kills and three blocks. The Sun Devils hit .200 as a team and totaled eight blocks.