Two days after losing its No. 1 spot in the AVCA national poll, No. 2 Stanford knocked off the top-ranked team in the country on the road.
The Cardinal defeated No. 1 Nebraska 3-1 Wednesday night in front of a record crowd at Bob Devaney Sports Center. Kathryn Plummer led Stanford with 19 kills and four aces.
Stanford won the first set 25-21 before dropping the second 25-22. The Cardinal then won the next two series, 25-17 and 25-16, to close out the match in four sets. In the clinching fourth set, Stanford used an 11-2 run to build a commanding lead.
With Nebraska's loss, there are now just nine remaining undefeated teams in the nation.
Stanford-Nebraska volleyball: Preview
Prior to the upset Saturday, Stanford had lost only three sets over a five-match span. The Cardinal's first ranked opponent of the season came in Week 2 against No. 7 Florida. The 3-0 sweep seemed routine. Four days later, they hosted then-No. 3 Texas and held on for a 3-2 (17-25, 25-18, 25-11, 21-25, 15-12) victory.
Two-time AVCA Player of the Year Kathryn Plummer's playmaking abilities have punctuated the Cardinal's effort each match. Over the Longhorns, she scored a career-high 34 kills, including the fifth set match-winner.
Her relentless 20-kill performance against Minnesota kept the match tight in the four-set loss.
Audriana Fitzmorris has been another offensive threat, shown in her 18-kill performance against Penn State.
|TALE OF THE TAPE|
|No. 2||AVCA Ranking||No. 1|
|Kevin Hambly 69-6||Coach (Record at School)||John Cook 567-76|
|Champion||2018 NCAA tournament||Runner-up|
|38||NCAA tournament appearances||37|
|Kathryn Plummer, 121||Kills leader||Lexi Sun, 105|
|Jenna Gray, 259||Assists leader||Nicklin Hames, 259|
|Madeleine Gates, 27||Blocks leader||Lauren Stivrins, 32|
|Morgan Hentz, 104||Digs leader||Kenzie Knuckles, 106|
loss to No. 8 Minnesota,
def. Loyola Marymount,
3-1 (31-33, 25-19, 25-20, 27-25)
vs. No. 12 BYU
3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21
|Next match (times ET)||
vs. Wichita State
4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21
Nebraska dances to a similar tune as one of the best teams in the country. But this week the Huskers sit atop the AVCA Coaches Poll as the best team in the country, pushing off none other than Stanford.
Their schedule hasn't been as difficult as Stanford's thus far with zero top-10 opponents to the Cardinal's four. Victories against then-No. 18 Creighton (3-1) and then-No. 25 San Diego (3-2) have headlined Nebraska's schedule. Down 2-1 and trailing 22-21 in the fourth set against San Diego, Nebraska came back to win the final two sets. Lexi Sun shined in the five-set comeback victory, tying her career high in kills (21).
Stanford will be Nebraska's first real test of the season.
Stanford-Nebraska volleyball: How to watch, time, TV channel
SCOREBOARD: Track Top-25 teams and other matches here
Stanford-Nebraska volleyball: Series history
The Cardinal leads the all-time series, 9-6.
Stanford beat Nebraska in the 2018 national title match, 3-2. Meghan McClure's kill on the third match point gave the Cardinal their eighth national title, after overcoming an early fifth set deficit — just Stanford's third five-setter of the season. And in their 15-game series history, only last year's went to five sets.
Here's a look at the complete series history:
|Dec. 15, 2018||Minneapolis, MN||Stanford 3-2|
|Aug. 31, 2014||Lincoln, NE||Stanford 3-0|
|Aug. 29, 2008||Omaha, NE||Nebraska 3 - 0|
|Dec. 16, 2006||Omaha, NE||Nebraska 3 - 1|
|Aug. 27, 2005||Omaha, NE||Nebraska 3 - 0|
|Dec. 13, 2001||San Diego, CA||Stanford 3-0|
|Sept. 4, 1998||San Diego, CA||Nebraska 3 - 1|
|Dec. 19, 1996||Cleveland, OH||Stanford 3-1|
|Aug. 26, 1995||Lincoln, NE||Stanford 3-1|
|Oct. 12, 1990||Stanford, CA||Stanford 3-0|
|Sept. 23, 1989||Lincoln, NE||Nebraska 3 - 1|
|Dec. 18, 1986||Stockton, CA||Nebraska 3 - 1|
|Sept. 21, 1985||San Jose, CA||Stanford 3-1|
|Nov. 1, 1980||Los Angeles, CA||Stanford 2-1|
|Nov. 5, 1976||Los Angeles, CA||Stanford 2-0|