FROM PULLMAN - WSU volleyball team was swept by No. 7 Stanford on Friday as the Cougs were dominated by the Cardinals from the outset. They struggled offensively throughout the match, and struggled to find any answers on defense.
The Cougs are now 15-5 overall and 2-5 in the Pac-12. Stanford is 13-3 and 6-1.
The first set was easily the best played of the three, as both teams posted their highest hitting percentages of the match. Stanford started off the first set with a 5-2 lead and at one point were hitting in the mid .800, but Washington State struggled offensively in the first set, as the team had some issues with passing. The Cardinal won the first set by a score of 25-17.
Washington State's offensive woes were even worse in the second set - the team posted a hitting percentage of .000. Stanford's defensive front was a problem that Washington State had to deal with all night, and the Cardinal had their best set of the night defensively, posting five blocks. Stanford captured the second set by a score of 25-15.
In the third and final set, Sanford came back down to earth offensively; but not defensively. The Cardinal finished the match with an impressive 12 blocks on the night, and they helped contain the Cougs offense with their height around the net. This height advantage allowed the Cards to build a 10-4 early lead, which the Cougs actually managed to whittle the lead down to 11-8 at one point, but that was the closest they got. Stanford won the match by a third set score of 25-21.
This was easily the most complete loss for the Cougs all season long, and that has everything to do with the Cardinal being a more talented and experienced squad. Stanford's height created several matchup issues along the net, and that really heart the Cougs ability to score.
After the match I asked coach Jen Greeny about some of the matchup problems that Stanford's offense created, and she said: "Just their balance; they have so many weapons that you never really know where the ball is going."
Another interesting thing to note was that freshmen Haley MacDonald got the start at setter again; she has been getting starts in place of senior Camryn Irwin.
Washington State takes on Cal (10-6, 3-4) tonight at 7 p.m in Bohler Gym.