Saturday, December 8, 2007

Women's Vball Sweet 16 12/7/2007

Stanford 3 Cal Poly 0 (30-15, 30-24, 30-20) I arrived around 7:20, hoping to catch most of the UCLA-Oregon game, and snagging the free tickets they had for the first 100 students. Lo and behold, the student tickets had run out and there was a long line outside the ticket office. I was happy, and somewhat surprised, that there was so much student interest. Judging from the students in the stands, I would say that it was the regular volleyball crowd + fellow athletes. The men's volleyball team was there as were members of the men's cross country team. I also saw Josh Owens of the basketball team and Tavita Pritchard of the football team.

Neither UCLA nor Oregon really impressed me with their play. After seeing UCLA up one game when I got there, I was hoping that they would sweep Oregon so our game would start and I could get back early for a holiday party. It was not to be as Oregon (down 0-2) pulled out a lucky win in the 3rd after getting a block that looped straight off one of their player's head and onto UCLA's side, as well as the final game winning kill that barely trickled over the net. At that point, I wouldn't have minded Oregon winning since a 5th game wouldn't take that much longer, but UCLA clinched the match.

Cal Poly brought over a nice contingent of fans who were pretty loud. It didn't really matter that much since we were all over them once the match started. There isn't really much to say. We looked absolutely dominant tonight. It kind of reminded me of how we played against Washington in last year's Final 4 match up. If we can sustain this level of play (minus the few sloppy plays at the end of games when it looked like we weren't paying attention), I'm highly optimistic. Everything seemed to be clicking. Our attack was on fire and once Franci (who started semi slowly) warmed up, we were unstoppable. The percentage we were hitting was ridiculous. I believe that it was 0.741 at one point in the 3rd. That's crazy!

If there is one thing I could possibly pick on, it would be our blocking. I couldn't really tell whether it was Cal Poly being good or us being a step slow, but we didn't seem to get the block going in the 2nd and 3rd although Bryn made some nice solo blocks. Some of the better hitting teams might give us trouble but our offense, when firing on all cylinders, will give them some trouble too. In any case, we have UCLA up tomorrow. We've beaten them pretty handily the past 2 times we met and we looked awesome tonight, but you never know. One last game for Bryn and Franci at Maples. Let's hope it's special and we'll be going up to Sacramento on Thursday, just like I had planned at the beginning of the quarter.
~ Zhihao

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