Lutz helps Stanford women topple Illinois in volleyball | News | Palo Alto Online |

Sports

Lutz helps Stanford women topple Illinois in volleyball

 
In order for all area residents to have important local information on the coronavirus health emergency, Palo Alto Online has lifted its pay meter and is providing unlimited access to its website. We need your support to continue our important work. Please join your neighbors and become a subscribing member today.
Merete Lutz recorded 12 kills in her first match of the season. Photo by Mike Rasay/isiphotos.com

Making her season debut, redshirt senior Merete Lutz helped guide No. 4 Stanford women's volleyball to a 25-23, 25-23, 25-22 win over Illinois, Friday, in front of a sellout crowd of 4,152 at Huff Hall.

Stanford (5-1), which improved to 8-0 all-time against Illinois (6-1), spoiled the previously undefeated Illini's home opener. The Cardinal hit .414 in all three sets, holding off Illinois which hit at a .409 clip for the match.


Kate Formico
Lutz finished with 12 kills on .381 hitting and two blocks after missing Stanford's first five matches due to injury.

Sophomore outside hitter Kathryn Plummer led Stanford with 14 kills on a .440 attack percentage to go with four digs, three blocks and an ace. Sophomore middle blocker Audriana Fitzmorris hit .636 with eight kills and four blocks.

Sophomore setter Jenna Gray dished out 40 assists and matched her career-high with six kills, including one on match-point. The Shawnee, Kansas native also had a season-best eight digs and tied her career-high with two aces.

In a competitive first set, which had 16 tie scores and nine lead changes, Stanford found itself down 23-21 and forced to call timeout. Out of the break, Fitzmorris went to work, notching a kill, while a service ace from freshman Kate Formico tied it at 23-23. Fitzmorris tacked on another kill and teamed up with Michaela Keefe for a block to seal the 25-23 win for Stanford.

Stanford trailed again late in the second set, 22-20, before utilizing a 5-1 run to capture a 2-0 lead in the match. Plummer tallied two kills down the stretch while Illinois was hurt by unforced errors.

Illinois was led by junior middle blocker Ali Bastianelli, who finished with 15 kills on a .619 hitting percentage and six blocks. Outside hitters Beth Prince and Jacqueline Quade recorded 13 and 11 kills, respectively.

Illinois fans graciously welcomed back Cardinal head coach Kevin Hambly, who spent eight seasons at the helm of the Illini program.

Stanford has a quick turnaround, playing No. 3 Penn State on Saturday at 3 p.m.

— Stanford Athletics

We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay up to date on local coronavirus coverage with our daily news digest email.

Food Safety and Coronavirus: A Comprehensive Guide
By Laura Stec | 11 comments | 30,452 views

These local restaurants are donating meals to Bay Area residents in need. Here's how to help.
By Elena Kadvany | 6 comments | 11,087 views

Coronavirus: Plan ahead now for a big outbreak
By Diana Diamond | 19 comments | 4,098 views

Will the Coronavirus Save Lives?
By Sherry Listgarten | 29 comments | 3,864 views

How COVID-19 Affects Communities
By Jessica Zang | 14 comments | 1,224 views

 

DEADLINE EXTENDED

The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by April 10, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category. Sponsored by Kepler's Books, Linden Tree Books and Bell's Books.

Contest Details