Stanford sweeps Cal for 16th Pac-12 title
BERKELEY, Calif. -- Behind junior outside hitter Jordan Burgess, top-ranked Stanford swept rival California (25-15, 25-19, 25-15) on Friday at Haas Pavilion. The win secured the program’s 16th Pac-12 championship for the 29-1 Cardinal, who finished 19-1 in the conference.
In 14 seasons as Cardinal head coach, John Dunning has brought eight Pac-12 titles to The Farm, including seven of the past nine. Since 1986, Stanford has finished first or second in the conference 27 of 29 years. The Cardinal now have 19 conference championships in program history (1977 Nor-Cal, 1984 WCAA and 1985 Pac-West).
As a team, Stanford hit .347 while holding Cal to a .094 clip. Burgess led the Cardinal with 14 kills Friday, hitting .303. She is just 16 kills away from becoming the 15th Stanford player to reach 1,000 career kills. She will become the ninth to also collect 1,000 career digs.
Junior middle blocker Inky Ajanaku tallied 10 kills on 16 swings with just one error to hit .562. She also totaled a match-high four blocks. Redshirt freshman Merete Lutz added eight kills and two blocks, while junior Brittany Howard finished with six kills and nine digs.
Junior setter Madi Bugg racked up 37 assists, three kills and three digs in the win. Senior libero Kyle Gilbert registered a match-best 16 digs. Gilbert has collected double-digit digs in all 30 matches this season.
Cal was led by senior Christina Higgins’ 11 kills, while Lillian Schonewise added 10 kills on a .474 attack percentage.
Stanford now awaits is postseason fate as the NCAA selection show airs on Sunday, Nov. 30 at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU. Should the Cardinal host the first and second rounds, they would be played on Friday, Dec. 5 and Saturday, Dec. 6, respectively. Stanford is one of just two teams in the nation to have appeared in all 33 NCAA Tournaments.