Senior outside hitter Rachel Williams recorded 21 kills, 11 in the first set, as the second-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team dropped a 28-26, 25-17, 18-25, 25-22 decision to No. 8 Florida on Saturday at the Gregory Gymnasium in Austin, Texas.
The Cardinal (2-1) takes on defending national champion Texas on Sunday. The Longhorns knocked off No. 1 Penn State in five sets on Saturday.
Williams hit .390 overall and .733 in the first set to go with 12 digs for her second straight double-double. Sophomore Brittany Howard added 12 kills and three blocks, while senior middle blocker Carly Wopat finished with 10 kills on a .450 attack percentage.
Sophomore setter Madi Bugg tied her career high with 54 assists and was one dig shy of a double-double. Junior libero Kyle Gilbert registered a match-high 16 digs. As a team, Stanford posted a .317 hitting percentage, but was unable to overcome 15 attack errors and 14 service errors. Florida finished with a .326 attack percentage.
Jordan Burgess recorded a kill to put Stanford ahead, 26-25, in the first set, though the Gators responded with three straight points and the win. The Cardinal hit .333 but committed 14 errors.
Stanford went down 6-0 early in the second set and was unable to recover. An ace by Gilbert pulled Stanford to within four at 14-10, but that was as close as it would get.
The Cardinal turned it around in the third set, avoiding the sweep with a 25-18 win. Stanford hit .469 as a team, limiting itself to just one attack error in the set. Bugg controlled the offense, with 15 assists in the third. Sophomore middle blocker Inky Ajanaku had five kills and two blocks.
There were 10 tie scores and four lead changes in the fourth set, which ultimately went to the Gators, 25-22. Florida hit .429 in the set and recorded 18 kills.
Eric Verso followed his own shot off the crossbar with a header into the net and Stanford downed host Santa Clara, 1-0, in a nonconference match on Saturday night.
The Cardinal (1-1-1) hosts Grand Canyon on Friday at 7 p.m.
Stanford's defense allowed the Broncos one shot on goal and five shots overall.
The Cardinal had 12 shots, half on them on goal.
Men's water polo
Third-ranked Stanford recorded a pair of victories Saturday at the Bruno Fall Classic Saturday in Providence, R.I., defeating the 16th-ranked host Brown Bears, 23-3, in the morning before downing Harvard, 17-5, in the afternoon.
Stanford (2-0) finishes its East Coast trip with another doubleheader Sunday, taking on No. 10 St. Francis Brooklyn, followed by a match with MIT.
Against the Crimson in the afternoon, the Cardinal led 6-3 at halftime then pulled away with a seven-goal third period and added four in the fourth.
Menlo School grad John Holland-McCowan led the Crimson with two goals. Harvard is coached by former Castilleja coach Ted Minnis.