History in the making at Maples Pavilion | September 6, 2019 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - September 6, 2019

History in the making at Maples Pavilion

Top-ranked Cardinal takes on No. 3 Texas in home opener

by Rick Eymer

Kathryn Plummer has 1,580 career kills heading into Stanford's high noon volleyball showdown Sunday with visiting Texas. At her current pace, she will reach 2,000 before the end of the regular season.

Only two others have achieved that milestone in school history. One is an Olympic silver medalist and a former Honda-Broderick Cup winner (Ogonna Nnamani) and the other is currently in the process of clinching a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (Alix Klineman).

Plummer played with a version of the U.S. national team over the summer and could go on to a successful career in either indoor volleyball, beach volleyball, or both.

As she showed in Stanford's 25-22, 25-17, 25-19 victory over seventh-ranked Florida earlier this week, Plummer seems to have an extra gear that clicks in when she's challenged.

Texas (3-0) has always presented a challenge for the Cardinal (3-0) and Sunday will be no different. If you're looking for a playmaker, look no further than Plummer, who averages 17 kills a match against the Longhorns in four previous meetings, twice in the NCAA tournament.

Along the same lines is senior Libero Morgan Hentz, who is on pace to shatter the all-time digs record at Stanford, currently held by Gabi Ailes (2,147). Hentz entered the year third on the all-time list and currently needs less than 400 to take over the top spot.

Senior setter Jenna Gray adds to the historic pursuit as she's well on her way (needing 806) to becoming the fourth Stanford player with at least 5,000 assists. She started the year sixth on the all-time list and is 95 assists away from surpassing Lisa Sharpley for fifth.

With 505 total blocks, senior opposite Audriana Fitzmorris ranks seventh on the all-time list, two away from matching Laura Olesen for sixth. If she matches her total of last year, a career-low, she'd finish third on the all-time list.

If you're looking for living history, Maples Pavilion is the place to find it.

Stanford extended its winning streak to 35 matches and improved to 7-5 all-time against the seventh-ranked Gators (2-1).

Plummer was simply unstoppable, hitting .441 for the match. She recorded a .667 hitting percentage in the first and had 16 kills after two sets.

As a team, Stanford was held to a .272 attack percentage and committed 19 hitting errors. The Cardinal had 16 miscues in the first two frames, but was able to overcome the slow start.

Hentz finished with a match-high 15 digs, including 10 in the second set.

Junior defensive specialist Kate Formico chipped in with nine digs and two aces. Gray tallied 37 assists, three digs, two kills, an ace and a block.

Sophomore Holly Campbell finished with eight kills and a solo blocks, while junior Meghan McClure hit .357 with six kills, five digs and three blocks. Senior Madeleine Gates totaled six kills and a team-high four blocks.

Florida went up 20-18 in the first set following a pair of Cardinal attack errors but Stanford quickly recovered, scoring the next four points, three on Plummer kills and a service ace from Gray.

The Gators scored out of a timeout but kills from Plummer and McClure gave the Cardinal set point. A Florida service error ended it. There were three lead changes and nine ties in the first set.

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