🏆 Stanford makes a statement over No. 2 Cards
Sets 1 & 2 versus Sets 3, 4 and 5 showcased completely different Stanford squads as the No. 5 Cardinal found their drive and handed the No. 2 Cardinals their first loss of their 2023 campaign. Stanford was held to a measly .194 hitting percentage in the first two, then emerged from the ashes to post a .431 and 47 kills in the final three.
A seesaw battle that saw four ties, Set 5 was simply about which team could outlast the other. Caitie Baird shined early, smacking down Stanford's first four kills, and then cleaned up Stanford's match point at 15-12. In the match, Stanford out-blocked Louisville 10-6 and out-dug them 70-61, a double whammy that the Cards have not yet faced this season (they've only gotten out-blocked once by Penn State and out-dug once by Northern Kentucky).
This win improves Stanford to 7-2 on the season. A school with the most difficult early schedule in the country, Stanford emerges 4-2 against ranked opponents. In addition, the Cardinal avenged its 2022 loss to Louisville on their home court, evening the programs' overall series to 1-1 ahead of ACC realignment.
🍿 Aaaand we're headed to Set 5
It took three sets for the Cardinal to play like themselves, and now they've finally hit their stride. Stanford now leads Louisville in sideouts, going 65.1% to UofL's 59.8%. Elia Rubin tacked on five kills and an assist to the onslaught, as demonstrated below:
The battle between the liberos (named Elena) continues, as Stanford's Elena Oglivie has added 17 digs and four assists, whereas Louisville's Elena Scott has dug up 16 and assisted five. Stanford hit a match-high .571 to cruise with a comfortable lead to the fifth set, 25-20.
🏃🏼♀️💨 Stanford gains momentum in Set 3
As if it expected to cruise by in the third set, Louisville stepped off the gas... And Stanford pounced. Capitalizing on the Cardinals, Stanford held Louisville to negative hitting for most of the set. UofL finished the set going 6-6 with an even .000 clip.
Starting the match going 1-6, Kendall Kipp now tallies 13 kills on 32 swings. Kami Miner also found her rhythm with a .600 kill percentage and Caitie Baird tacked on six kills in the frame. The Cardinal also blocked eight balls in the third, as many as the first two sets combined. Stanford stomped on Louisville, 25-14, and heads to Set 4.
🚮 Kami Miner dumps one
Stanford gets back on its feet with 12 kills halfway through set 3 (the first two sets, the Cardinal tallied only 12 and 11 kills overall). Kami Miner utilizes a setter dump here to spark the Cardinal offense. Stanford leads Set 3, 16-8.
🗡️ Louisville lances Stanford in second set
Louisville performed another near-flawless set, hitting .361, killing .472 and registering only four errors and no service errors. Phekran Kong broke the hardwood with her divisive smackdowns, boasting seven kills on nine swings and hitting .667. Elena Scott and Charitie Luper have done their parts to keep the ball in play, both tallying eight digs each. Luper also contributed five kills in Louisville's final eight points.
Puzzling a top-5 team is no easy task, and Louisville's stellar blocking, serve reception and attack have proven the Cardinals' dominance in both sets thus far, winning them 25-22 and 25-20.
🤔 Stanford stumped early in Set 2
In a similar fashion as Set 1, Louisville stole an early 9-4 lead, forcing Stanford to regroup in a timeout. Here's the block that flustered the Cardinal:
🔥 Cards come swinging, take Set 1
Louisville broke free from Stanford early on a 6-0 scoring run, highlighted by this rally that ended with Anna DeBeer and Cara Cresse tag-teaming this block:
The Louisville offense overwhelmed the Cardinal; OH Charitie Luper and Cresse both put up three kills on four swings and MB Phekran Kong tacked on four kills at a .8 clip. Forcing Stanford out of system, UofL capitalized on Stanford's shaky transition defense.
Stanford hit just .182 — compared to its season average, .311 — registering 12 kills but getting bogged down by six attack errors. AVCA All-American opposite Kendall Kipp hit in the negatives for most of the set, with her three errors costing the Cardinal. Stanford's middles also struggled throughout this set; MBs Sami Francis and McKenna Vicini only combined for one kill on the frame.
Here are the starting lineups for this afternoon:
- Kami Miner
- Elena Oglivie
- Kendall Kipp
- Ella Rubin
- McKenna Vicini
- Sami Francis
- Caitie Baird
- Charitie Luper
- Elle Glock
- Phekran Kong
- Cara Cresse
- Anna DeBeer
- Aiko Jones
- Elena Scott
📺 How to watch Louisville-Stanford
- When: Sunday, Sep. 17
- Where: Louisville, KY | KFC Yum! Center
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
- 👉🏼 Click here for live stats
📐 How these teams measure up
Even though No. 2 Louisville and No. 5 Stanford are meeting for just the second time ever to end their nonconference schedules, they'll be seeing a lot more of each other once Stanford joins the ACC in 2024. And with both squads boasting top-5 rankings, this matchup is sure to heighten the rivalry between the soon-to-be conference opponents.
If Stanford didn't already have a chip on its shoulder going into this matchup from its 3-1 loss to Louisville last year, it most certainly does after dropping its second match of the season on Tuesday against No. 4 Nebraska. In that match, Stanford hit a season-low .218 and was out-dug (38-30) and out-blocked (11-8) by the Huskers. So far this season, though, Kendall Kipp and Elia Rubin are the Cardinal's weapons of choice in the front line, leading the team with 91 kills apiece this season. After missing first three matches of the season, OH Caitie Baird has also been a problem for opposing defenses, hitting .377 against ranked opponents. With a challenging early slate of matches, the Cardinal is currently 3-2 against top-15 teams; No. 2 Louisville is the final obstacle they will face before Stanford starts Pac-12 play.
On the contrary, Louisville has remained relatively unfazed by its first nine contests thus far, dominating in all of its top 25 matches (Washington State, Penn State and Kentucky) with decisive 3-0 shutouts. Dayton has been the only team to push the Cardinals to a fifth frame, but setter Elle Glock's career-high 46 assists and Anna DeBeer's season-high 24 kills propelled the Cardinals to victory. Thus far, Louisville has led its opponents in blocks, 74-46, and ranks ninth in the nation in hitting, averaging .303 per match. The Cardinals present a tall task for Stanford, as Louisville looks to get to 10-0.
⏮️ A look back at Cards vs. Cardinal in 2022
The rich history of these two teams facing each other dates all the way back to... last year. The Louisville and Stanford volleyball programs have met only once before, and that matchup was on Sep. 17, 2022 (oddly, the same date as this year's match). In this meeting, the then-No. 3 Cardinals topped the No. 9 Cardinal at Maples Pavilion in four sets (26-24, 27-25, 14-25, 25-13). The Louisville brigade was spearheaded by Aiko Jones' 12 kills and eight blocks, Cara Creese's 10 blocks and Elena Scott's match-high 19 digs. As for the Cardinal, Kendall Kipp was the ringleader across the stat board, going for 15 kills, four digs, four blocks and two aces. In the first two sets — which Louisville narrowly claimed — the teams were tied 25 times and traded the lead nine times, then Stanford dominated the third before sputtering out in the fourth, getting out-hit .067 to Louisville's .438. Stanford has a chance to even the scales this year against its soon-to-be conference opponent in 2024.
Where they rank
Louisville and Stanford are ranked in the top 5 for both the Power 10 and the AVCA poll.
Michella Chester ranks them second (Louisville) and fifth (Stanford) — the same as the AVCA. Here's the complete top 25 AVCA poll:
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