Without middle blockers Kristina Baum (knee, season) and Jacy Norton (concussion, day-to-day), the Wildcats dropped their first Pac-10 road match of the year and their third consecutive contest overall.
“We’re playing without our starting lineup (right now), and we’ve got people playing out of position,”
The Cardinal displayed its experience and proved its lofty ranking, leading the youthful Wildcats in hitting percentage (.429-.220), blocks (7-4) and digs (38-32), while coming up with a season-high 12 service aces.
Individually, SU’s Cynthia Barboza led the way with a match-high 19 kills on .385 hitting. Teammates Foluke Akinradewo and Kristin Richards chipped with 10 kills each, and teamed up for a combined seven aces from the service stripe. UA’s Brooke Buringrud led the way for the Wildcats, finishing with a team-best 15 kills, while hitting at a .343 clip.
Stanford pulled ahead early in game one and led for much of it, but had to overcome numerous
Game two was nip-and-tuck early on, as there were nine tie scores and an equal number of lead changes, but after pulling even at 12-12, Stanford went on a 10-2 run to pull out to a commanding 22-14 lead. With the comfortable advantage, the Cardinal exchanged points with the Wildcats and cruised into the break up 2-0 with the 10-point win.
Game three was all Stanford, as the Cardinal raced out to 9-1 lead to start the frame, and then breezed to the match victory. Stanford connected on eight of its first 10 attempts and finished the game with only one error for a a match-high .615 hitting percentage in the game, while limiting the Wildcats to a .143 attack.
The Wildcats will return to action on Saturday with a match against