Junior outside hitter Maia Dvoracek finished with a team-high 15 kills but the Cal Poly volleyball team fell to the defending national champions in No. 3 Stanford Saturday night 3-0 (25-13, 25-16, 25-17) inside Maples Pavilion, ending their season in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
In addition to her 15 kills, Dvoracek also had seven digs on the night. Junior middle blocker Madilyn Mercer added nine kills, hitting .500 and three block assists. Sophomore setter Avalon DeNecochea totaled 26 assists and also had a team-high nine digs and three block assists.
The Cardinal (26-4) were led by the reigning national player of the year in senior Kathryn Plummer, who finished with a match-high 17 kills and 10 digs.
Stanford opened the match by scoring the first three points. Cal Poly rallied back to cut the lead to one twice. However, leading 5-4, Stanford went on a 7-1 run to go up by seven. The Cardinal never looked back from there, leading by as many as 12 before going on to win the set 25-13. In the set, Dvoracek had seven kills, hitting .455.
It was a back-and-forth affair early in the second set. Tied at 6, Stanford used a 6-2 run to go up 12-8. The Mustangs responded with a 4-1 run to cut the Cardinal lead to 13-12. Stanford followed with an 11-3 run to take a 24-15 advantage and went on to win the set 25-16.
Cal Poly got out to a 4-2 lead before the Cardinal scored back-to-back points to tie it. The teams traded points from there with neither team able to pull ahead until, tied at 9, Stanford went on a 5-2 run to go up 14-11. However, Cal Poly then scored consecutive points to cut the lead to one. Trailing 15-13, a Dvoracek kill followed by a block by Mercer and Dvoracek tied it once again at 15. The Cardinal then scored used a 7-1 run to go up 22-16 and went on to win it 25-17.
Cal Poly finishes the season with a 21-9 record and accomplished its third successive NCAA Tournament appearance and first win since 2017 under first-year head coach Caroline Walters.
-Provided by Cal Poly