Stanford meets Pepperdine and long-time rival USC at home, and several top 10 teams stumble in the final weeks of the regular season. Let’s check out what happened last week and how it affected this week’s AVCA poll.
These guys are a great team with a great story. The senior class experienced the embarrassment of a 3-25 season as freshmen, and it’s been driving them to excellence ever since. At senior night on Saturday they brought home a win against long-time rival and pre-season No. 1-ranked USC (ranked No. 6 right now). It was the Trojans who dashed the Cardinal’s playoff hopes last season, so a win against them was a perfect end to the week.
On Friday Stanford held on against Pepperdine to pull out an amazing 15-6 win in the fifth game of a marathon match. Senior Evan Romero finished with 37 kills out of 59 attempts, nearly twice as many swings as any of his teammates. This is the match I’ve been looking forward to for weeks, and it didn’t disappoint. You can read an in-depth recap here, or you can watch the game by clicking on it within the schedule here.
Stanford finishes its season with matches against No. 7 UCLA and No. 8 UC Irvine, who moved up two spots this week. There’s still nothing definite yet, as first place in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (and the only automatic NCAA tournament bid) won’t be officially determined until the final day of the regular season (next Saturday). Depending on how the games between No. 2 BYU and tied for No. 3 Cal State Northridge shake out, it’s still anybody’s spot to win or lose.
BYU, Stanford and Cal State Northridge all have a shot at winning the MPSF, it all depends on how the games between BYU and Northridge work out. Both Northridge and BYU have tiebreaker advantages over Stanford, making things increasingly complicated.
Just one more week of regular season before the conference tournaments begin. Keep your eyes on volleyball-life.com for all the updates.