The Stanford Cardinal won their ninth NCAA women's volleyball national championship, and second consecutive title, with a 3-0 victory over Wisconsin on Saturday night in Pittsburgh. Kathryn Plummer ended her college career with 22 kills in the championship game.
The Cardinal have now won three national championships in the past four years, led by one of the best senior classes in the history of the game.
- We caught up with Kathryn Plummer shortly after the game and she had nothing but thanks for her teammates. The Cardinal senior was filled with emotion after a legendary career at Stanford.
- Stanford coach Kevin Hambly tells us what he will miss the most about Stanford's senior class and gives thanks to his players who stepped up.
- Steady libero Morgan Hentz on what it's like to be a three-time national champion.
- Here's the final 2019 interactive bracket and links to the box score and play by play from the championship game.
Here are our live updates on how the championship match unfolded, a printable bracket, and a round-by-round look at this year's tournament:
Set 3: Stanford wins the 2019 national title
In this must-win set, Wisconsin came out with some energy to prevent the sweep. Molly Haggerty and Grace Loberg started heating up, but right as they took an 8-6 lead, Stanford went on a 6-0 run with three consecutive Plummer kills.
The Badgers showed their heart, and the fans got behind them. They went on a 3-0 run to take a 16-15 lead, and then tied it up at 19. But Stanford was the first to 20. Madeleine Gates finished it off for the Cardinal with a monster kill to win the national championship:
Set 2: Stanford takes second set 25-17, leads 2-0
Wisconsin started swinging a bit more, but Stanford started blocking more successfully. For a Badger team that has out-blocked every team in the NCAA tournament so far, they are getting out-blocked by the Cardinal. Out of a Badger timeout, Wisconsin got two straight kills in a row from Danielle Hart to boost its confidence a bit, but Stanford won’t go away.
Hart has been the Badgers' spark, and Grace Loberg turned it on late. Down 20-11, the Badgers went on a 4-0 run, forcing Stanford to call a time out when up 20-15. But, they came out and finished it off with a kill from Gates.
Here’s some observations from the first two sets:
- Everything is working for Stanford, and it so hard to defend Plummer.
- Defensively, Stanford has 37 digs to Wisconsin’s 28,.
- Only one Wisconsin player is hitting above .300. Stanford has four.
Set 1: Stanford wins first set 25-16
Both teams came out with plenty of fire. This is certainly the national championship match. Stanford took an early 9-4 lead; Plummer clearly doesn’t need any time to warm up. She racked up five kills on seven swings right off the bat. Not only that, but the Cardinal backcourt seemed to be defending every thing.
Wisconsin took a timeout when the Cardinal went up 19-13, in need of a momentum shift. But out of the time out, Madeleine Gates hammered one down, followed by another kill from Plummer and the Cardinal went up 21-13. Audriana Fitzmorris’ first kill of the evening finished it off for the Cardinal.
Plummer finished the set with seven kills on a 0.583 hitting percentage. Gates and Meghan McClure are right behind her. Wisconsin will need to regroup, and start attacking amp up their offense. They are currently being outhit by Stanford .441 to .162 percent.
Prematch: 7:45 p.m.
Energy levels are high as both Stanford and Wisconsin took the court for this national championship matchup. Wisconsin will be looking for its first title in history, but they will have to go through one of the most successful volleyball programs in history.
Stanford has a strong senior class that has already won two national championships in their time. With a win, they would leave Stanford with three national championships, and the Cardinal would move to nine titles total. Win or lose, this will be two-time AVCA National Player of the Year Kathryn Plummer's last match in a Stanford uniform.
The tournament bracket:
NCAA Division I women's volleyball tournament results
- Wisconsin 3, Baylor 1 — Wisconsin downs Baylor 5-27, 25-21, 25-17, 25-19 and advances to its third national championship game with the victory Dana Rettke led the Badgers with 17 kills andcMolly Haggerty had 14.
- Stanford 3, Minnesota 0 — Kathryn Plummer had 26 kills to lead the Cardinal past Minnesota 25-19, 25-22, 25-22. Stanford advanced for a chance at its third title in four years and ninth overall.
No. 1 seed Baylor, which was in the regional final for the first time, took down Washington to reach the national semifinals for the first time in program history. Wisconsin became the second team of the evening to secure a spot in the national semifinals with a big sweep over Nebraska. Minnesota secured a spot with a sweep over Louisville to redeem their loss last season in the regional final, and Stanford was the last team to cash in its ticket to Pittsburgh and will look to defend its title.
- Baylor 3 vs Washington 1 — Earlier in the regular season, one of Baylor's biggest critiques was that Yossiana Pressley was its only weapon. Tonight, that wasn't the case, as there were threats coming from everywhere, and this Baylor offense was so versatile and so hard to stop. Baylor won the first set, then dropped the second before dominating the next two to close it out. Pressley had 24 kills on an unbelievable .512 hitting efficiency, and then had the help of Shelly Stafford, Marieke Van Der Mark, Gia Milana, and even their setter, Hannah Lockin, who had seven kills herself on seven attempts. The Bears are advancing to the national semifinals for the first time in program history to extend their historic season. >> Watch highlights here.
- Wisconsin 3 vs Nebraska 0 — The Badgers reached their third national semifinal after sweeping Nebraska for the third time this season. In the first set, Wisconsin completely dominated the Huskers, even without any points from Dana Rettke. Nebraska took a 14-11 lead in the second set before Wisconsin came back and tied it up. There were nine ties in that set before Wisconsin took the 2-0 lead. Wisconsin kept control in the third as well, and secured the sweep. Molly Haggerty led all hitters with 14 kills. >> Watch highlights here.
- Minnesota 3 vs Louisville 0 — Minnesota is back in the national semifinals this year after being upset in the regional final last season by Oregon. Adanna Rollins led the Gophers to a 3-0 win over Louisville, ending the Cardinals' Cinderella run. The first set was a close battle, with Minnesota winning 25-21. but the next two sets were dominated by the Gophers. Rollins led all hitters with 12 kills, and Stephanie Samedy was great all-around with nine kills, three service aces and seven digs. >> Watch highlights here.
- Stanford 3 vs Penn State 0 — Stanford will return to the national semifinals this year and looks to defend its national title. Penn State and Stanford matched up in the regional final for the second year in a row, and Stanford took home the win both times. In the first set, Penn State looked promising with a big 19-13 lead. The Cardinal then sparked a huge comeback, and took the first set 25-22. The second and third sets were all Stanford. Kathryn Plummer was dominating with 24 kills on .512 hitting, and Madeleine Gates had 11 kills on .733 hitting. But, there also was unbelievable performances from Holly Campbell, Audriana Fitzmorris and setter Jenna Gray. >> Watch highlights here.
REGIONAL SEMIFINALS (Third round)
- (8) Washington 3 vs (9) Kentucky 1 — Washington secured its spot in the regional final after taking down Kentucky in four sets. Kara Bajema was completely on her game, and tallied 23 kills to power the Huskies in their win. They will now face the No. 1 seed Baylor on Saturday.
- (1) Baylor 3 vs. (16) Purdue 1 — Baylor advanced to the regional final for the first time in program history with a 3-1 win over Purdue. Marieke Van Der Mark had an unbelievable match with 16 kills on .464 hitting efficiency. Yossiana Pressley tallied 15 kills, but she had a full team behind her in this match. Shelly Stafford and Gia Milana played great as well, with nine and 13 kills, respectively.
- Regional Final - Baylor vs Washington — Saturday, Dec. 14 | 4 p.m. ET | ESPNU
- (4) Wisconsin 3 vs (13) Texas A&M 0 — Wisconsin became the second team to advance to the regional final today with a sweep over Texas A&M. Dana Rettke had a stunning .667 hitting efficiency in the win, and the triple threat of Rettke, Molly Haggerty and Grace Loberg, was unstoppable again. The Aggies put up a good fight in the third set, taking their first lead since the first set, but then the Badgers rallied to secure the sweep.
- (5) Nebraska 3 vs Hawai'i 0 — In the first set, Nebraska fought off a Hawai'i set point to tie it up at 24. There were three more ties until the Huskers finished it off. After that tight set, the Huskers won the next two and secured the sweep over the Rainbow Wahine, advancing to the regional final match for a third matchup against Wisconsin this season. >> Watch highlights here.
- Regional Final - Wisconsin vs Nebraska — Saturday, Dec. 14 | 6 p.m. ET | ESPNU
- Louisville 3 vs. (2) Texas 2 — Louisville pulled off the cinderella story tonight, upsetting the No. 2 seed Texas on the Longhorn's home court. Louisville came out and stunned the crowd when they took the first two sets 25-22. In the third and fourth, the Longhorns gained confidence and started playing like a completely different team, with their season on the line. They took the next two sets to force a fifth set. In the fifth, Louisville took an early 7-3 lead and then 10-5, and then pulled away with it. Aiko Jones had 23 kills in the win. >> Watch highlights here.
- (7) Minnesota 3 vs. (10) Florida 2 — Minnesota had four players with double-digit kills in the five-set win over Florida. Alexis Hart led with 16 kills on .342 hitting. Stephanie Samedy wasn't one of those four players, but she led the team with 17 digs.
- Regional Final - Minnesota vs Louisville — Saturday, Dec. 14 | 8 p.m. ET | ESPNU
- (3) Stanford 3 vs Utah 2 — Stanford came out on top to advance to the regional final against Penn State for the second consecutive year, after a tough battle against Utah. Dani Drews and Kenzie Koerber put together a great effort for Utah, but when it came down to it in the fifth set, they couldn't stop Kathryn Plummer in her prime rotation. Plummer ended up with 29 kills on .389 hitting efficiency.
- (11) Penn State 3 vs Cincinnati 2 — Penn State rallied to take down Cincinnati in five sets, despite the valiant efforts of Jordan Thompson and Maria Mallon. Serena Gray had an unbelievable .700 hitting percentage and Tori Gorrell had a .519 hitting percentage. Jonni Parker led with 17 kills. >> Watch the fifth set here.
- Regional Final - Penn State vs Stanford — Saturday, Dec. 14 | 10 p.m. ET | ESPNU
Baylor, Stanford and Wisconsin all won Saturday, advancing to the regionals of the 2019 NCAA women's volleyball championship, where they'll join two-seed Texas, won a five-set thriller Friday over UCSB. Penn State and Nebraska also advanced.
However, Pittsburgh, the No. 6 seed and potential opponent for Penn State in the round of 16, lost a thriller to Cincinnati in five sets. Pittsburgh led late in the fifth set before Maria Mallon took the serve and led a comeback from down 12-9 to win six of the final seven points. Jordan Thompson had 27 kills for Cincinnati. Watch the thrilling finish here.
- (10) Florida 3 vs UCF 0 — Florida cruised through the second round, and without its star outside hitter, Thayer Hall. Paige Hammons and Rachael Kramer each had 15 kills apiece in the sweep.
- (13) Texas A&M 3 vs Rice 1 — Texas A&M was powered by Hollann Hans, who led all hitters with 28 kills. Watch highlights from the match here.
- (2) Texas 3 vs UCSB 2 — Wow. What a match. UCSB pushed the No. 2 seed Longhorns to five sets in a nail-biter of a match. Lindsey Ruddins played great for UCSB, with 23 kills, and helped bring her team to a 2-1 set advantage in Gregory Gym. But, Texas won the must-win fourth set with complete momentum, and then powered through the fifth set. Logan Eggleston was the player of the match with 22 kills on .426 hitting for the Longhorns. Brionne Butler hit .522, and Micaya White added on 17 kills.
- Louisville 3 vs (15) Western Kentucky 2 — Louisville beat Western Kentucky for the second time this season, going down as the only team to beat Western Kentucky this season, and ending its postseason run. Aiko Jones tallied 20 kills in the win.
- (11) Penn State 3, Towson 1 — Jonni Parker had 19 kills for Penn State.
- (4) Wisconsin 3, UCLA 0 — Wisconsin swept UCLA behind Molly Hagerty's 14 kills, while Dana Rettke had 10. Highlights.
- (9) Kentucky 3, Michigan 0 — Kentucky had little problem with Michigan and Leah Edmond led the way with 15 kills.
- (16) Purdue 3, Marquette 1 — Purdue advances after dropping the first set to Marquette. Caitlyn Newton had 23 kills.
- Cincinnati 3, (6) Pittsburgh 2 — Maria Mallon won crucial service points late in the fifth set and Jordan Thompson had 27 kills as Cincinnati upset No. 6 Pitt and will face Penn State in the Regionals. Highlights - Final 5 points of the fifth set.
- (5) Nebraska 3, Missouri 1 — Nebraska dropped the first set and had to win the third 32-30 to advance. It moves on to the Wisconsin regional.
- (7) Minnesota 3, Creighton 2 — Minnesota fought two match-points in the fourth set vs. Creighton and won that set 26-24 before winning the fifth set 15-10.
- Utah 3, (14) BYU — Utah swept 14-seed BYU, winning each set by an identical 25-15. Dani Drews had 17 kills and they'll face Stanford Friday.
- (3) Stanford 3, Cal Poly 0 — The 3-seed Stanford Cardinal swept Cal Poly and will host one of four regionals next weekend. That region will include Utah, Penn State and Cincinnati.
- (1) Baylor 3, USC 0 — The top seed Baylor advances to the regionals for the second time in program history, and it will host the regional. Highlights.
- (8) Washington 3, South Carolina 0 — Washington won behind Kara Bajema's 18 kills and will face 9-seed Kentucky in the Baylor regional.
- (12) Hawai'i 3, San Diego 0 —For the first time since 2015 Hawai'i advances to the NCAA Championship Regionals. Hanna Hellvig led with 12 kills followed by McKenna Ross with 10.
- UCF 3 vs Florida State 2 — UCF took down in-state rival Florida State in five-sets to move on to the second round. McKenna Melville had 20 kills, followed by Kristina Fisher with 19 kills.
- Rice 3 vs Oklahoma 0 — Nicole Lennon led the way for the Owls with 16 kills for the Rice's first NCAA tournament win in program history.
- UCSB 3 vs Texas State 1 — Lindsay Ruddins and Tallulah Froley powered the Gauchos to a 3-1 win over Texas State. Ruddins added 13 digs and Froley hit .394 percent.
- Louisville 3 vs Samford 0 — Aiko Jones had 17 kills on .382 hitting efficiency in Louisville's clean sweep of Samford. They move on to take on the winner of Western Kentucky and Kennesaw State.
- (10) Florida 3 vs Alabama State 0— Paige Hammons and Mia Sokolowski had 10 kills apiece in the sweep over Alabama State. The Gators pulled off the sweep without their star outside hitter, Thayer Hall.
- (13) Texas A&M 3 vs St. John's 0 — Texas A&M outhit St. Johns .500 to .029 in the third set to pull off the sweep. Hollann Hans had 15 kills on .400 hitting efficiency in the win.
- (15) Western Kentucky 3 vs Kennesaw State 0 — Western Kentucky never won a set by more than three points, but pulled off the sweep over Kennesaw State. Paige Briggs led the way with 11 kills. Kayland Jackson had nine kills on a whopping .750 hitting efficiency.
- (2) Texas 3 vs Albany 0 — The Longhorns cruised past Albany in the first round (25-9, 25-16, 25-15.) The Longhorns had 43 kills to Albany's 19, and move on to play UCSB in the second round. Texas displayed their balanced offense, Micaya White had 13 kills, Skylar Fields and Logan Eggleston had 10 kills, and Brionne Butler tallied 7.
- Cincinnati 3 vs VCU 1 — Cincinnati pulled off the first win in today's slate of tournament matches, beating VCU 3-1. Jordan Thompson led the way with 27 kills, and Maria Mallon followed with 16 kills. Watch highlights from tonight's match here.
- Marquette 3 vs Dayton 0 — Allie Barber had 17 kills in Marquette's clean sweep over Dayton.
- Towson 3 vs American 2 — This matchup was the first five-setter of the evening. Towson pulled of the win over American powered by Olivia Finckel's 23 kills on .362 hitting.
- Michigan 3 vs Northern Kentucky 0 — Paige Jones led the way for the Wolverines with 11 kills, followed by Cori Crocker with 9.
- Missouri 3 vs UNI 0 — Missouri held UNI to negative hitting in the third set to secure the sweep. Tyanna Omazic led the Tigers with 10 kills.
- UCLA 3 vs Notre Dame 0 — UCLA's Mac May had a stellar performance with 20 kills on .487 hitting efficiency in the sweep over Notre Dame. As a team, UCLA hit .421in the third set. Watch highlights from UCLA's win here.
- Creighton 3 vs Iowa State 0 — Another sweep in the books for tonight. This time, Creighton overpowered Iowa State. Freshman Keeley Davis tallied 15 kills on .448 hitting.
- USC 3 vs SFA 0 — USC displayed a powerful offense in the sweep over Stephen F. Austin to move onto the second round. Brooke Botkin had 17 kills and Khalia Lanier put up 15 in the sweep.
- Utah 3 vs Illinois 2 — Dani Drews tallied a whopping 27 kills in the five-set win over Illinois in the first round. Jacqueline Quade was strong for the Illini with 23 kills, but ultimately fell short in this even matchup.
- (16) Purdue 3 vs Wright State 0 — Purdue had a strong first round outing, with a clean sweep of Wright State. The Boilermakers hit .542 in the first set. Caitlyn Newton led with 13 kills.
- (6) Pitt 3 vs Howard 0 — The Panthers continue their magical season. They pulled off the sweep over Howard in the first round, powered by 10 kills from Stephanie Williams.
- (9) Kentucky 3 vs SEMO 0 — The Wildcats added another sweep tonight. Leah Edmond was really strong, with 18 kills on the night, and she was followed by Alli Stumler with 12 kills.
- Cal Poly 3 vs Georgia 2 — Cal Poly pulled off the reverse sweep to get the win after dropping the first two sets to the Bulldogs. Georgia actually outhit Cal Poly .222 to .214, but the Mustangs prevailed. Maia Dvoracek led with 14 kills.
- (11) Penn State 3 vs Princeton 0 — The Nittany Lions move on to the second round after sweeping Princeton. Jonni Parker had 14 kills, and Serena Gray and Kaitlyn Hord both hit above .400 percent.
- (1) Baylor 3 vs Sacred Heart 0 — The No. 1 seed in the tournament moves on. This time, Yossiana Pressley wasn't the leading scorer. They displayed a much more balanced offense, and Marieke Van Der Mark led with 13 kills on a stunning .600 hitting percentage. Pressley followed with 12 kills.
- South Carolina 3 vs Colorado State 2 — South Carolina and Colorado State alternated matches until the Gamecocks secured the win in the fifth set with a score of 18-16. Mikayla Robinson led the Gamecocks in the tight win with 16 kills.
- (5) Nebraska 3 vs Ball State 0 — The Huskers pulled off the sweep over Ball State, led by Lauren Stivrins and Madi Kubik's 11 kills apiece. Watch highlights of the match here.
- (4) Wisconsin 3 vs Illinois State 0 — The Badgers joined the sweep club tonight in the first round over Illinois State. Dana Rettke led all hitters with 13 kills on .400 hitting, with some help from Molly Haggerty and Danielle Hart.
- (7) Minnesota 3 vs Fairfield 0 — Minnesota held Fairfield negative hitting in the first two sets, and .000 percent in the third. Meanwhile, the Gophers hit .478, .385 and .441 in the first, second and third set. Adanna Rollins led with 14 kills.
- (14) BYU 3 vs New Mexico State 0 — Another seeded team will move on to the second round. BYU held New Mexico State to negative hitting in the first set in the sweep. McKenna Miller led the Cougars with 13 kills and Kate Grimmer had a .667 hitting percentage.
- San Diego 3 vs Washington State 1 — Four players had double-digit kills for San Diego, led by Grace Frohling's 17.
- (3) Stanford 3 vs Denver 0 — The Cardinal made it out the first round with a sweep, and Kathryn Plummer put up 17 kills on .433 hitting efficiency.
- (8) Washington 3 vs Winthrop 0 — Kara Bajema led the Huskies in their first round sweep with 18 kills on .667 hitting efficiency.
- (12) Hawai'i 3, Northern Colorado 1 — After winning the opening set, Hawaii regrouped from a 26-24 defeat in the second set by dominating the final two (25-8, 25-15).
2019 DI women's volleyball championship: History
|2019||Stanford (30-4)||Kevin Hambly||3-0||Wisconsin||Pittsburgh|
|2018||Stanford (34-1)||Kevin Hambly||3-2||Nebraska||Minneapolis|
|2017||Nebraska (32-4)||John Cook||3-1||Florida||Kansas City|
|2016||Stanford (26-7)||John Dunning||3-1||Texas||Columbus|
|2015||Nebraska (32-4)||John Cook||3-0||Texas||Omaha|
|2014||Penn State (36-3)||Russ Rose||3-0||BYU||Oklahoma City|
|2013||Penn State (34-2)||Russ Rose||3-1||Wisconsin||Seattle|
|2012||Texas (29-4)||Jerritt Elliott||3-0||Oregon||Louisville|
|2011||UCLA (29-6)||Michael Sealy||3-1||Illinois||San Antonio, Texas|
|2010||Penn State (32-5)||Russ Rose||3-0||California||UMKC|
|2009||Penn State (38-0)||Russ Rose||3-2||Texas||South Florida|
|2008||Penn State (38-0)||Russ Rose||3-0||Stanford||Nebraska|
|2007||Penn State (34-2)||Russ Rose||3-2||Stanford||Sacramento State|
|2006||Nebraska (33-1)||John Cook||3-1||Stanford||Nebraska|
|2005||Washington (32-1)||Jim McLaughlin||3-0||Nebraska||UTSA|
|2004||Stanford (30-6)||John Dunning||3-0||Minnesota||Long Beach State|
|2003||Southern California (35-0)||Mick Haley||3-1||Florida||Dallas|
|2002||Southern California (31-1)||Mick Haley||3-1||Stanford||New Orleans|
|2001||Stanford (33-2)||John Dunning||3-0||Long Beach State||San Diego State|
|2000||Nebraska (34-0)||John Cook||3-2||Wisconsin||VCU|
|1999||Penn State (36-1)||Russ Rose||3-0||Stanford||Hawaii|
|1998||Long Beach State (36-0)||Brian Gimmillaro||3-2||Penn State||Wisconsin|
|1997||Stanford (33-2)||Don Shaw||3-2||Penn State||Washington State|
|1996||Stanford (31-2)||Don Shaw||3-0||Hawaii||Cleveland State|
|1995||Nebraska (32-1)||Terry Pettit||3-1||Texas||Massachusetts|
|1994||Stanford (31-2)||Don Shaw||3-1||UCLA||Texas|
|1993||Long Beach State (32-2)||Brian Gimmillaro||3-1||Penn State||Wisconsin|
|1992||Stanford (31-2)||Don Shaw||3-1||UCLA||New Mexico|
|1991||UCLA (31-5)||Andy Banachowski||3-2||Long Beach State||UCLA|
|1990||UCLA (36-1)||Andy Banachowski||3-0||Pacific||Maryland|
|1989||Long Beach State (32-5)||Brian Gimmillaro||3-0||Nebraska||Hawaii|
|1988||Texas (34-5)||Mick Haley||3-0||Hawaii||Minnesota|
|1987||Hawaii (37-2)||Dave Shoji||3-1||Stanford||Indianapolis|
|1986||Pacific (39-3)||John Dunning||3-0||Nebraska||Pacific|
|1985||Pacific (36-3)||John Dunning||3-1||Stanford||Western Michigan|
|1984||UCLA (33-6)||Andy Banachowski||3-2||Stanford||UCLA|
|1983||Hawaii (34-2)||Dave Shoji||3-0||UCLA||Kentucky|
|1982||Hawaii (33-1)||Dave Shoji||3-2||Southern California||Pacific|
|1981||Southern California (27-10)||Chuck Erbe||3-2||UCLA||UCLA|