No. 7 Stanford hands No. 2 Oregon first loss of season in five sets
STANFORD, Calif. -- Seventh-ranked Stanford knocked off previously undefeated and second-ranked Oregon, 25-23, 18-25, 23-25, 25-20, 15-10, Friday, in front of a raucous crowd at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal, which has won 11 in a row, moves to 13-2 overall and 5-0 in the Pac-12, while the Ducks drop to 14-1 overall and 5-1 in the conference.
Junior middle blocker Carly Wopat led Stanford with 15 kills, hitting .371, and tallied eight blocks. Freshman outside hitter Brittany Howard finished with a career high 14 kills to go with 13 digs for her third double-double of the year. Freshman Jordan Burgess was one kill shy of a double-double with nine kills and 13 digs. Sophomore Morgan Boukather added eight kills and five blocks, while freshman Inky Ajanaku totaled eight kills and posted a career high 10 blocks.
Freshman setter Madi Bugg recorded 32 assists, eight digs and two blocks, while senior setter Karissa Cook added 14 assists and six digs. Sophomore libero Kyle Gilbert finished with a career high 24 digs. Stanford outhit Oregon .227 to .168 and finished with a season-best 18.5 blocks.
Stanford edged Oregon 25-23 to capture the first set. The Cardinal trailed early, but gained momentum down the stretch. Oregon used its second timeout with Stanford up 20-17. The Ducks tied it at 22-22, but the Cardinal was able to close it out. Neither team hit well offensively, as Stanford posted a .152 attack percentage and Oregon hit .119. Boukather led the Cardinal with three kills, while Burgess, Howard and Wopat each tallied two. Gilbert anchored the defense with seven kills, while Wopat registered three blocks. Senior Alaina Bergsma paced the Ducks with seven kills.
Oregon answered in the second, evening the match with a 25-18 victory. The Cardinal led early, but the Ducks found their offensive rhythm and limited their errors. Tied 11-11, Oregon used a 6-1 run to take the lead for good. The Ducks outhit the Cardinal .231 to .125 in the set. Ajanaku and Wopat led Stanford offensively with three kills apiece. Liz Brenner and Canace Finley each put down five kills for the Ducks.
The Ducks escaped with a 25-23 win in the third set after 14 tie scores and nine lead changes. Stanford outhit Oregon .256 to .212, but was unable to recover from its nine errors. Wopat and Howard each had five kills to lead the Cardinal. Gilbert collected 10 digs in the set, while Burgess tallied five for Stanford. Bergsma continued to lead the Ducks with six kills and three digs.
Stanford forced a fifth set by winning the fourth, 25-20. Tied 10-10, the Cardinal took advantage of an 8-3 run and held off the Ducks. Stanford hit a match-high .326 in the fourth, while holding Oregon to a .186 clip. The Cardinal was led by Wopat's five kills. Howard added four kills, while Ajanaku tallied three kills and four blocks. Brenner led Oregon with six kills.
The Ducks jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the fifth, but the Cardinal clawed its way back to tie the score at 8-8 and outscored the Ducks 14-4 overall. Stanford limited its attack errors to just two for a .238 hitting percentage. Oregon was unable to recover from its seven hitting errors and posted a .038 clip in the fifth. Burgess led Stanford with three kills, while junior Rachel Williams added two. Stanford's defense was huge in the fifth, registering five blocks. Bergsma and Brenner finished with a match-high 19 kills each.