particleguy: (Default)
[personal profile] particleguy
Stanford's womens volleyball team graduated an amazing group of seniors last year. In the pre-season coaches poll, they were predicted to finish third in the Pac-10. Nevertheless, going into their last match of the regular season last night, Stanford was tied for first place with Washington. Stanford was hosting Cal (who had beaten them in Berkeley early in the season), and the Oregon Ducks were at Washington. The expectation was that both Stanford and UW would win and be co-champions. The first set started well for Stanford, with the Cardinal up by 3 or 4 points much of the way. But Cal started closing the gap late, overtook Stanford and won the set 25-23. The second set was worse; Stanford looked completely out of sorts, and lost 25-18. Meanwhile, the Washington Huskies were up two sets to none in Seattle.

After the break, Stanford changed their line up. I'm not sure if this was a strategic move by the coach, or necessitated by an injury. In any case, things were looking grim for Stanford. Cal was up 22-17 (3 points from winning the match); Stanford scored 3 straight to narrow the difference, but Cal got a point to make it 23-20. Then Stanford scored 5 straight to take the set. The 4th set was back and forth. Stanford was finally playing very well, getting their hits in, and playing great defense. And they won the set 25-20.

The fifth set was all Stanford; they led from start to finish: 15-4. Wow!

And the Ducks had also managed their own come back: when Stanford's match ended, Oregon was ahead in the 5th set, and a few minutes later they finished off the Huskies. Yay! Stanford is the Pac-10 champion for the fourth straight year.
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