Sports

Stanford's perfect volleyball season comes to an end

 

Jordan Burgess recorded a team-high 14 kills but the top-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team suffered its first loss of the season, 25-18, 25-21, 23-25, 25-20, to host No. 5 Washington in a Pac-12 Conference match Wednesday.

Inky Ajanaku had 11 kills and Megan Boukather added 10 as the Cardinal (18-1, 28-1) had its record-setting 28-match winning streak halted.

The Huskies (17-2, 28-2) kept alive their title hopes with the victory. Stanford, which clinched at least a co-title last weekend, travels to California to end the regular season with a 3 p.m. match Friday.

Washington could still clinch the Pac-12's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament with a win over Washington State and a Cal victory over Stanford.

Stanford committed six attack errors in the first set and the Huskies delivered six service aces in front of a crowd of 8,646 at the Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle.

The Cardinal held a two-point edge in the second set and the match was tied at 15 before Washington ripped off four straight points, one on an ace and another on a Stanford attack error.

Stanford trailed, 13-9, in the third set before a Brittany Howard kill and subsequent service ace sparked a six-point Cardinal run.

The Huskies tied the match two more times but could never regain the lead as an Ajanaku kill put Stanford at set point and a kill from Merete Lutz finished it off.

Stanford took a 10-9 lead in the fourth set but was then outscored 6-2 and Washington secured the victory.

The loss will probably not affect Stanford's RPI rating (at No. 1 headed into the week) but will significantly help Washington's bid for a No. 1 seed.

The Huskies were undefeated and ranked second behind the Cardinal until losing consecutive matches at Colorado and Utah. Stanford was the last undefeated team in the nation.

Madi Bugg added 48 assists and 13 digs and Kyle Gilbert had 11 digs. Stanford has lost nine of the past 13 matches played at Washington.

The Huskies hit .331 as a team while Stanford hit at a respectable .265 clip. Washington junior Melanie Wade from Palo Alto High had eight kills and four block assists while hitting .727.

On Tuesday, Wade was named to the second team on the Pac-12 All-Academic Team for the second year in a row.

To be eligible for selection to the academic team, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 overall grade-point average and appear in at least 50 percent of their team's games.

Wade, one of the most well-rounded players on the court, brings that same focus to the classroom, where she maintains a 3.77 cumulative grade point average majoring in Psychology.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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