Statistical Notes on Second Match
PSU outhits (.194-.116) and outblocks (14-8) Neb. Hancock (PSU) records 6 aces (box score).
Stanford outhits (.339-.161) and outblocks (13-4) USC. Wopat (Stanford) hits .611 (11-0-18); 2 additional Cardinal players hit .290+ on 20+ attempts (box score).
USC outhits (.319-.147) and outblocks (9-5) Cal. Trojan trio hit .368+ on 19+ attempts. Cal's Hawari hits .435, but Murrey held to .185 (box score).
UCLA outhits Stanford, .226-.140, led by Aquino's .444 (10-2-18). Bruins side-out at 90% in Game 3 (box score).
Sharp hitting by UCLA’s Nightingale (.421,
MN outhits IL .162-.087. MN 7 service aces, IL none; IL more service errors, 11-5 (box score).
UT outhits (.390-.179) and outblocks (9-4) ISU.
Bell (UT) hits .812 (13-0-16); 4 additional Horns
hit .300+ on 10+ attempts (box score).
This weekend's results reinforce the idea that there's not one dominant team this year. One any given night, Nebraska, Penn State, Illinois, UCLA, USC, or Stanford might look like a good bet to win the NCAA championship. Many of these same teams, however, also have gone into a "funk" for part of the season.
USC had some early struggles, as epitomized by its 3-0 loss to Central Florida on September 2. Currently, two slumping teams are Illinois and Cal. The Illini's Michelle Bartsch is quoted as follows in this article about her team's three-game loss to visiting Minnesota:
"I think it reflects our whole week of practice.... It was kind of a weird vibe all week and we aren't playing together by any means. We're talking about it and trying to fix it but it's not there."
Minnesota hardly looked poised to go into Urbana-Champaign and sweep the Illini, after being swept itself the night before at Northwestern.
Cal coach Rich Feller said this about the intermission, after his team dropped the first two games to USC (article link):
"I threw down the gauntlet... I admitted to being unsure of who I should start in the third set because it didn't seem like anyone wanted to play hard enough to win..."
Cal played more competitively in the third game, but still lost, 25-22.