No. 1 Stanford sweeps BYU in semifinal, Cardinal will face Nebraska-Illinois winner in title

Stanford's Tami Alade and Andriana Fitzmorris celebrate a point against BYU.

With its tree mascot twirling in the background, No. 1 Stanford towered over No. 4 BYU, moving back to the national final with a 25-15, 25-15, 25-18 victory Thursday.

The Cardinal, the nation’s top blocking team, put up 17 blocks at the Target Center, with middle Tami Alade, the NCAA’s leading individual blocker, getting 14 stuffs.

Junior outside hitter Kathryn Plummer, the reigning NCAA player of the year, had 12 kills to lead Stanford, which avenged its only loss of the season. Opposite hitter Audrianna Fitzmorris added 11 kills and nine blocks.

Stanford (33-1) will take a 31-match winning streak into Saturday night’s championship versus Nebraska.

The Cardinal defense handcuffed BYU’s leading attacker, Roni Jones-Perry, who averaged 4.88 kills per set coming into the match. She finished with eight kills and 12 errors on 35 attempts. The Cougars (31-2) finished with three more errors (32) than kills (29), hitting a season-low minus-.026.

Stanford will seek its record eighth national championship Saturday night. The Cardinal and Penn State are tied for the most volleyball titles with seven each.

BYU (31-2)................15 15 18

Stanford (33-1).........25 25 25

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