Cardinal women rally to stay unbeaten at home in volleyball

Kathryn Plummer led the team with a career-high 28 kills and then she led the team in a victory dance. Photo by Karen Ambrose Hickey/

Stanford sophomore Kathryn Plummer and senior Merete Lutz were just two of the five women's volleyball players on the court Thursday to record at least 19 kills in a marathon Pac-12 Conference session between the fourth-ranked Cardinal and No. 18 UCLA inside Maples Pavilion.

It was an incredible night for the hitters as they combined to take 358 swings at the ball, producing 142 kills.

Merete Lutz
When Plummer's career-high 28th kill (on her 65th swing) finally ended the proceedings, Stanford had survived, 25-19, 23-25, 20-25, 25-21, 15-13, to take a tiny step forward in its bid to earn one of the four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament.

The Cardinal (24-3, 17-1) has two regular-season matches remaining, with Wednesday's contest against Utah the final home game. A lot can happen in just a few days.

Lutz also recorded a career-high with 21 kills on .476 hitting. The other four players who took swings combined for 21 kills.

Of course, setter Jenna Gray had her own set of impressive statistics: 63 assists, 12 digs and 7 blocks. In fact, blocking was where the match turned. Stanford had 17 team blocks and UCLA had three.

Audriana Fitzmorris added seven kills and eight blocks, Tami Alade had five kills and eight blocks. Plummer and Lutz combined for another eight.

Morgan Hentz recorded 24 digs, including the 1,000th of her career, and Meghan McClure added another 17. Kate Formico also got into the double-digits with 11 digs.

A night after claiming its 17th Pac-12 title outright, Stanford found a way to rally from a 2 sets to one deficit and remain unbeaten at home.

UCLA had three players register double-digit kills: Reily Buechler and Madeleine Gates each notched 22. Jenny Mosser added 19 kills. Sarah Sponcil had a double-double with 61 assists and 22 digs.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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