Senior Kathryn Plummer recorded 17 kills and the third-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team opened the NCAA tournament with a 25-20, 25-11, 25-15 win over Denver at Maples Pavilion on Friday.
Plummer hit .433 (17-4-30) and registered a season-high five aces to go with eight digs and a block for the Cardinal (25-4), which meets Cal Poly in the second round on Saturday at 6 p.m. The winners advances to the Sweet Sixteen.
Plummer's five aces ties for second in program history in an NCAA tournament match. Senior opposite Audriana Fitzmorris added seven kills on .333 hitting, six blocks and five digs.
Stanford improves to 39-0 in NCAA opening round matches. The Cardinal hit .356 and held Denver (23-9) to a .062 clip. Stanford held a 7-3 advantage in aces and out blocked (9.0-5.0) and out dug (52-37) the Pioneers.
Senior setter Jenna Gray spread the offense around, distributing 30 assists, with seven digs, two blocks and two kills. Senior libero Morgan Hentz finished with 12 digs, three assists and an ace.
Junior outside hitter Meghan McClure tallied five kills on .357 hitting and 14 digs, while senior Madeleine Gates hit .417 with five kills and four blocks. Sophomore middle blocker Holly Campbell chipped in with four kills and four blocks.
Stanford led the entire first and second sets. Denver took an 8-5 lead to start the third. However, the Cardinal went on a 5-1 run to regain the lead. Stanford held Denver to a -.083 attack percentage in the final frame.
The Cardinal improved to 11-1 in the NCAA Tournament under head coach Kevin Hambly.
Cal Poly rallied from two sets down to defeat Georgia in the other first round match at Maples.