Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cal Women Defeat Stanford Despite Wopat's Near Error-Free Hitting

Cal came into Stanford's Maples Pavilion last night and upset the Cardinal in a mostly tight match, 24-26, 29-27, 25-23, 25-14 (box score). Cal led 24-22 in the opening game, but Stanford ran off four straight points. Stanford had a couple of opportunities to go up two sets to none, having set points in Game 2 at 25-24 and 26-25. Cal had set points at 27-26 and 28-27, the latter of which the Golden Bears capitalized on.

The Golden Bears outhit the Cardinal, .306-.233. Leading Cal were Kat Brown, .500 (7 kills, 0 errors, 14 attempts); Correy Johnson, .500 (16-3-26); and Shannon Hawari, .375 (12-3-24). (I always confuse Kat Brown with Texas’s Khat Bell.)

Carly Wopat, Stanford's 6-foot-2 sophomore middle blocker, continues to shine. She has committed only 13 hitting errors in her last 234 swings (over the team's last nine matches). With 118 kills during this time, she is hitting .449 during her hot stretch. Here are Wopat's hitting statistics for the second half of Pac 12 play...

Opponent
Kills
Errors
Attempts
Percentage
@Arizona
9
4
20
.250
@ASU
18
7
35
.314
USC
11
0
18
.611
UCLA
7
1
21
.286
@Colorado
14
4
26
.385
@Utah
10
1
18
.500
@Washington
11
1
33
.303
@WSU
13
1
22
.545
Oregon
18
0
26
.692
OSU
12
4
32
.250
Cal
22
1
38
.553

Elsewhere in Pac 12 play last night...

USC avenged its earlier defeat to UCLA, winning in Westwood 24-26, 26-24, 25-21, 25-20 (box score). Based on the teams' low hitting percentages -- USC's .208 and UCLA's .136 -- it looks like it was a grind-it-out kind of match, with long rallies and many hitting errors. The pattern I identified earlier this season of the Bruins' often experiencing a dip in hitting percentage after the post-Game 2 intermission was again evident: .196 in Game 1, .263 in Game 2, and -.086 in Game 3 (though rebounding back to .143 in Game 4).

Oregon avenged Tuesday night's loss to Oregon State, sweeping the Beavers (box score). OSU was very anemic offensively, illustrated by its .090 hitting percentage for the match (with many unforced errors, as UO had only 5 team blocks) and its never exceeding a 50% side-out percentage in any game.

Lastly, just as I was getting a little excited about my graduate-school alma mater Michigan's improved play of late, the Wolverines lost in four at home to Ohio State (box score). The Buckeyes, led by Kelli Barhorst at .444 (10-2-18), outhit the Wolverines 275-.222.

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