Senior Brittany Howard recorded a career-high 22 kills on a hitting percentage of .404 and the sixth-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team rallied from behind to beat host No. 13 UCLA, 25-18, 22-25, 20-25, 25-21, 15-11, Friday in the regular-season finale.
The Cardinal (22-6, 16-4 Pac-12) finished third, two games behind co-champions USC and Washington and two games ahead of the fourth-place Bruins. It is the first time in 30 years in which Stanford has not placed first or second in the conference.
Howard, along with her fellow seniors Madi Bugg and Jordan Burgess, finish their careers 7-0 against UCLA in Pac-12 play. Freshman opposite Hayley Hodson added 21 kills and 13 digs for her 12th double-double of the year.
Bugg controlled the offense, which out hit UCLA .283 to .211, with a season-best 60 assists, one shy of her career high. She also collected 13 digs and four blocks, posting her 12th double-double of the season.
Redshirt sophomore middle blocker Merete Lutz finished with 17 kills, including match point, on a .394 hitting percentage and five blocks.
Burgess tied her season-high with 18 digs, while freshman libero Halland McKenna tallied her third 20-plus dig performance of the season.
Stanford, likely to host the first two rounds next Thursday and Friday, will wait for the NCAA selection show, which airs on Sunday at 6 p.m. on ESPNU, for postseason information.
Stanford was down, 8-7, in the fifth set before recording three consecutive points to take the lead for good.
The Cardinal, which had the final eight blocks of the match, eventually built a 14-10 edge before closing it out on a Lutz kill down the line.