'Replacement' players just as good in Cardinal VB victory

Morgan Hentz (far left), Kathryn Plummer and Tami Alade (6) each had a say in Stanford's victory over Colorado. Photo by Mike Rasay/

A few slight tweaks to the starting lineup due to injury did nothing to slow the fourth-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team. Middle Tami Alade took the challenge and made the most of it, recording a career-best 17 kills as the Cardinal went five sets to beat host Colorado, 20-25, 25-13, 27-29, 29-27, 15-12, in a Pac-12 meeting Sunday.

Sophomore Audriana Fitzmorris was forced to miss the first match of her career due to injury. No problem. Redshirt senior Merete Lutz returned to middle blocker, a position she played her first two seasons at Stanford. Sophomore Kathryn Plummer, who seems capable of playing any position on the court, made the adjustment back to the right side.

Merete Lutz
Stanford (9-2, 2-0 Pac-12) hit .282 as a team after struggling for most of the first set. The Cardinal finished with season-highs as a team in digs (74) and blocks (15). Colorado (10-3, 0-2 Pac-12) finished with a .181 attack percentage and nine blocks.

In addition to Alade, who recorded seven kills, then a career-high, in the conference opener Wednesday, three others players finished with double-digit kills and four recorded double-digit digs.

Plummer notched her fourth double-double of the season with 18 kills and a career-high 19 digs. She also had a season-best six blocks and two aces.

Alade also finished with a career-high nine blocks while hitting .483. Lutz chipped in with season-highs in kills (17), blocks (5) and hitting percentage (.625).

Freshman Meghan McClure recorded her first collegiate double-double with with 10 kills and a season-best 14 digs. Sophomore libero Morgan Hentz finished with 18 digs, four assists and her first kill of the season.

Sophomore setter Jenna Gray controlled the offense with a career-high 64 assists to go with three kills and two blocks.

Redshirt freshman Michaela Keefe recorded seven kills for Stanford, while junior Payton Chang notched her first career ace.

Stanford improves to 18-1 all-time against Colorado, though the Buffaloes became just the second team, with Penn State, to win a set against the Cardinal this season.

Stanford returns to The Farm next week to host Arizona State on Wednesday and Arizona on Friday. Both matches are slated for 7 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks.

— Stanford Athletics

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