Uploaded: Sunday, October 21, 2012, 6:53 PM
Another five-set volleyball thriller goes Stanford's way
|The Stanford women's volleyball team gave host Washington State some hope and then dashed it in five sets, avoiding a major upset Sunday morning.
The second-ranked Cardinal played its third consecutive five-set match, beating the Cougars, 25-14, 25-17, 21-25, 21-25, 15-10, at Bohler Gym in Pullman.
Stanford (10-0, 18-2) finished the first half of the Pac-12 Conference play undefeated, one match up on second-place Oregon and two matches ahead of third-place Washington.
Washington State remained winless in the conference, but carried the momentum into the decisive fifth set. The Cougars also took an early lead in the final set before a couple of hitting errors allowed Stanford to reassert itself.
The Cardinal hosts Arizona on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in a matched to be televised on the Pac-12 networks.
Stanford junior middle blocker Carly Wopat led the way with 16 kills, seven blocks and six digs, while hitting .467.
Freshman outside hitter Jordan Burgess also had 16 kills, with eight digs and three blocks. Junior Rachel Williams and freshman Brittany Howard each recorded nine kills and combined for nine blocks.
Freshman Madi Bugg and senior Karissa Cook split time at setter, totaling 27 and 22 assists, respectively. Bugg also racked up 14 digs and three blocks for a double-double. Stanford finished with a season-best 20 team blocks. The Cardinal outhit the Cougars .256 to .156.
The Cardinal came out on fire, winning the first set 25-14, while hitting .462 and holding WSU to a .088 attack percentage. The Cardinal led 15-10 at the media timeout and outscored the Cougars 10-4 down the stretch. Wopat led the team offensively with four kills, while Burgess and Williams added three apiece. Senior Jessica Walker paced Stanford with three blocks.
The Cougars battled back in the second, but Stanford pulled away late to win the set 25-17. There were three tie scores early as Stanford led 15-12 and finished out the set on a 10-5 run. Burgess led the team with four kills, while Wopat and Williams added three each. The Cardinal again posted five blocks in the set, including three by sophomore Morgan Boukather.
Stanford fell behind early in the third and was unable to recover as Washington State secured a 25-21 victory. The Cougars outhit the Cardinal .250 to .220.
The Cardinal again fell behind early in the set and dropped a 25-21 decision to the Cougars, who posted a better hitting percentage than Stanford (.263 to .206) again.
The Cardinal found a way to win in the fifth set, avoiding its first loss to the Cougars in nearly 10 years.
No. 14 Stanford (11-6, 5-0 NorPac) concludes its regular season in a rare Tuesday game, hosting rival California (5-10, 2-3 NorPac) in a 7 p.m. contest at the Varsity Turf.
Thanks to a pair of convincing victories over the weekend, the Cardinal clinched its fourth consecutive NorPac West Division regular-season championship.
After its matchup against California, Stanford will be idle for eight days before the NorPac Tournament gets underway next week.
Tuesday's game will also feature a pregame Senior Night tribute, honoring Becky Dru, Emily Henriksson, Kelsey Lloyd, Katie Mitchell, Colleen Ryan and Alysha Sekhon.
Courtney Verloo scored two goals - on a penalty and directly on a corner kick - to lead No. 2 Stanford to a 3-0 victory over Washington before a sellout crowd of 2,360 at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium on Sunday night.
Stanford (14-1-1 overall, 8-0 Pac-12) completed its home regular-season schedule and next plays what is expected to be the determining weekend of the Pac-12 season when the three-time defending champion Cardinal travels to USC and No. 3 UCLA (14-0-2, 7-0-1) for matches on Friday and Sunday.
Verloo spotted Stanford a 2-0 lead by the 22nd minute when her right-footed inswinging corner kick curled around Washington goalkeeper Kari Davidson and bounced in off the inside of the far post for her sixth goal of the season. It was the first multi-goal performance for Verloo, who converted a penalty in the seventh minute after Husky hand ball.
Stanford scored its final goal when a rush into the penalty area by Rachel Quon resulted in a shot by the outside back that deflected off a Washington defender into the net for an own goal in the 87th minute.
After the match, Stanford honored its nine seniors (its 10th, Verloo, will return for a fifth season), who have combined for a 87-3-4 overall record over the past four years, including 48-0-1 at home. The cast includes four-year starters and tri-captains Quon, central midfielder Alina Garciamendez, and midfielder Mariah Nogueira. The class has never failed to reach an NCAA final or win a conference championship, and was the backbone of the 2011 NCAA title team.
"When you look at what they've accomplished, I don't think it will ever be replicated in Stanford history," Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe said. "It's an unforgettable class, not just in success on the field, but in character, ability, and camaraderie. What they've created is very special."
Stanford played its final game of the 2012 regular season at Laird Q. Cagan on Sunday, dropping a 2-1 decision to Washington after it was forced down to 10 men just before halftime.
Stanford (6-7-1, 3-3-1 Pac-12, 10 points) has a light week ahead, its only match coming next Friday night as it travels south for a non-conference clash at No. 16 UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m.
Sunday afternoon the Cardinal was the better team in every aspect of the match, even when reduced to 10 men in the 43rd minute on Ty Thompson's red card, except for the one that mattered: goals scored. Stanford outshot the Huskies, 15-11, and even while a man down for the entire second half managed seven shots to Washington's five and put four of those attempts on frame to just two for the Huskies.
Men's water polo
Freshman driver Bret Bonanni scored nine goals in No. 4 Stanford's 14-3 win over No. 13 Air Force, and 14 total as the Cardinal also defeated No. 17 Bucknell in non-conference action at the Rodeo Tournament in Santa Clara.
Stanford (10-4) resumes Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play at Avery Aquatic Center next weekend, hosting No. 6 UC Irvine Saturday and No. 9 Long Beach State Sunday. Both games are set to start at noon.
Bonanni led the Cardinal in scoring in each win, netting five in the morning against Bucknell before his nine-goal outburst against Air Force in the afternoon. Conner Cleary scored four times Sunday, while Travis Noll (three), Alex Bowen (two) and Nick Hoversten (two) also netted multiple goals over the wins.
Stanford opened up the day by jumping all over Bucknell, as seven different players scored the Cardinal's seven first-half goals while the defense was rock solid in holding the Bison off the scoreboard.
Both teams scored twice in the third period, as Cleary provided the goals for the Cardinal. The game would be put to bed in the fourth frame, as Bonanni scored four times as Stanford ended the contest on an 8-0 run.
The Cardinal returned to action at noon, taking on Air Force for the first time this season. Bonnani reached his hat trick in the first period, combining with Cleary, Hoversten and Noll to create a six-goal frame for Stanford. As in the morning contest, the Cardinal held its opponent scoreless for the opening eight minutes, taking immediate control of the game.
Stanford would up the lead to 11-1 by halftime as Bonanni recorded all five of the Cardinal's goals in the second frame. He would add his last of the game in the third period, added to a goal from Ian Gamble as the Cardinal added the final touches to its second win of the day.
— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics
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Posted by John G., a resident of another community, on Oct 22, 2012 at 3:24 am
Stanford WVB is one game ahead of second place Oregon. Washington is in third place two games back.