Thursday, November 1, 2007

Women's Vball vs Oregon 11/1/2007

Stanford 3 Oregon 1 With most of our teams on the road these past 2 weeks, I've definitely missed watching 'live' games. What better way to kick off the multi-sport weekend (Volleyball, Soccer, Water polo, Football and Basketball) than a volleyball game against another ranked team.

With our team dropping to #5 in the rankings after a loss at USC and the previous loss at home to Washington, it would be fair to say that we are struggling. While it sounds like we've been sloppy on service receiving and serving, there's no doubt that the Pac-10 is strong and some of our players may be fatigued after playing volleyball for national teams all throughout the summer. Hopefully we'll get a second wind and finish the Pac-10 season strong (garnering a #1 seed in the tourney), especially since we are hosting regionals this year and want to play at Maples. I would also rather not fly somewhere else the week before finals.

With it being a Thursday night and all, the turnout wasn't that great and we started out the game slow. We managed to pull ahead but definitely did not look like the dominant force early on in the season. Because of our serving struggles, the only player that jump served was Cynthia. Alix used a short floater and Gabi (when she did serve) took something off her usual jump serve. Our passing was inconsistent but we still won pretty handily thanks to Oregon's terrible setters.

As has been the case in our previous 2 LA road games, we lost the second set. It just seemed as if we weren't that fluid offensively. Foluke was a dominating force but we weren't able to get her the ball enough thanks to struggles with serve reception. We also seemed a step slow on defense. In between the second and third game, the putting contest was brought back to replace the "serve volleyballs into randomly placed baskets on the court" which was deemed too hard. The contestant could choose to either make a half court putt for $500 or a full court putt for $1000. I think full court is the way to go since the probability of making a full court putt should be more than half the probability of making a half court putt but I could be wrong. The contestant was wide right as is almost always the case, since the court doesn't play straight.

We came out in the third with greater intensity. Passing and the attack was much improved and Erin turned in a stellar game. A dismal performance by the Oregon libero helped us out and they started piling up the errors as well. The fourth was a rout after Cynthia's run of thunderous jump serves completed shifted the momentum in our favour and we were attacking with power and ferocity. It was a good way to end a game that hadn't started out very well and if we can continue to play like we did in the fourth (not to overlook Oregon State or anything), it'll be a great game next week up in Washington.
~ Zhihao

No comments: