Stanford women continue winning ways in Pac-12 volleyball


The top-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team continues to add to its legacy, matching the 1994 team for the second-most consecutive wins to open a season.

The Cardinal would be the first to say its been a long, arduous journey to get to this point and that there's still another four weeks left in the Pac-12 Conference season.

Stanford beat No. 19 USC, 23-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-19, as the midway point of the conference season was reached on Sunday. The Cardinal (10-0 in Pac-12 play) won its 20th consecutive match and remained undefeated on the year.

Only the 1991 team, at 27-0, had a better start. That team did not win a national title.

Stanford (.233) hit under .250 for just the third time this season and the Trojans (5-5, 12-8) to a .171hitting percentage.

Junior middle blocker Inky Ajanaku led the team with 16 kills, three blocks and two digs. Junior outside hitter Jordan Burgess had her team-best 11th double-double with 13 kills and a season high 21 digs. She also collected four blocks and three assists.

Junior setter Madi Bugg guided the Cardinal offense with 51 assists and added 12 digs for her ninth double-double of the year. She was one kill shy of her career high with six and she added four blocks. Senior libero Kyle Gilbert anchored the defense with a season best 26 digs.

Redshirt freshman Merete Lutz, who leads the nation in hitting percentage, finished 12-1-27 (.407) and added five blocks and three assists. Junior outside hitter Brittany Howard added nine kills and 14 digs, while senior opposite Morgan Boukather added seven kills and eight digs.

Stanford also got production from sophomore Kelsey Humphreys, who tied her career high with 10 digs and junior Megan McGehee, who tied her career high with three service aces.

Stanford hits the road this week, opening in Corvallis for a match against Oregon State at 6 p.m. on Friday night.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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