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Michella Chester | NCAA.com | September 29, 2019

No. 8 Washington upsets No. 1 Stanford: How the Huskies ended a 12-year drought

Stanford and Tulane headline this week's top volleyball plays

No. 8 Washington women's volleyball upset the No. 1 team in the country in four sets (25-17, 18-25, 25-15, 25-16) Sunday night. 

It was the Huskies' first win at Stanford's Maples Pavilion since Oct. 12, 2007 and their first overall victory over Stanford since 2017.

Washington stayed composed, sticking to its system and waiting for Stanford to make the mistakes. The Cardinal ended the match with 28 attacking errors to Washington's 15. 

Huskies senior Kara Bajema finished with 17 kills and an impressive hitting percentage of .302. This was the first time her senior class beat Stanford on the road. 

Here's how it happened: 

To start out the first set, they were tied 5-5 before Washington went on a 5-1 run to take a 10-6 lead with Stanford's one point coming off a Huskies attack error. Two kills in a row from Washington's Samantha Drechsel improved UW's lead to 12-7, and Stanford struggled to catch up. Washington pulled away 18-13 before Stanford reduced the deficit to two on a Kathryn Plummer kill and service ace, Kendall Kipp kill and a Washington error. Following that, the Huskies went on a 5-0 run to take the first set 25-17.

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The second set looked more like a steady, even race. The Cardinal opened with a 6-3 edge and maintained the lead the entire set. The Cardinal looked strong and well-rounded, with points coming from all of their offensive weapons, especially Plummer. Washington didn't trail far behind though, only down by one or two points for the majority of the set. Ultimately, the Cardinal stayed on top and took the second set 25-18.

The third set looked a little different — meaning Washington dominated. After a 4-4 tie, the Huskies went on a scoring frenzy with an 11-1 run, forcing Stanford to take two timeouts. That run consisted of six attacking errors on Stanford. Up by 10, the Huskies didn't take their feet off the gas pedal and took points where they could from Cardinal errors. They ended up winning the set by double digits, 25-15.

Bajema looked good in the fourth set, and this one followed a similar tune to the third. Stanford continued with attacking errors to give Washington their first four points, and the Huskies maintained the lead. Bajema had the winning kill, taking the third set 25-16 and securing the upset. 

Plummer finished with 14 kills for the Cardinal, but her hitting percentage was much lower than usual at .067.

Comparing stats:

 
55 Kills 43
15 Attack Errors 28
139 Attempts 135
0.288 Percentage 0.111
74 Points 58.5
52 Assists 40
3 Service Aces 6
9 Service Errors 7
6 Reception Errors 3
56 Digs 56
2 Block Solo 0
28 Block Assist 19
16 Total Blocks 9.5
2 Block Errors 2

Washington was simply more consistent and accurate in this match. The Huskies had a strong hitting percentage of .288, whereas Stanford's was a low .111. The Cardinal also committed a significant amount more attacking errors in the loss. 

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What's next: 

There should be some decent movement in the AVCA coaches poll that will be released Monday afternoon. With this loss, it is probable that the Cardinal will move out of its No. 1 seat. Stanford plays Oregon next Friday, Oct. 4 and Oregon State on Saturday, Oct. 5. 

Washington makes an interesting case to rise in this week's AVCA poll, coming off a loss to Washington State on Wednesday and an upset over the No. 1 team Sunday. The Huskies continue their difficult Pac-12 schedule, playing USC on Friday and then UCLA on Sunday.

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