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Full Version: Hey, Viking Guy! What happened?
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Recorded the WVB match with Colorado, but it ended with Stanford trailing two sets to one and seemingly about the blow the fourth. Now I see we won. How is this possible?
We won in five

Burgess said we were not affected by the altitude--that we had practiced well.  But that first set was ugly.  We hit .189.  In the remaining sets we never hit for less than .300.  Inky had 16 kills and hit .481.  Madi Bugg had a personal best 51 sets. 

I'll await VG to explain how we got it turned around.  The two sets that Colorado won, they simply outhit us, 467 to 189 in the first, and a closer 317 to 308 in the third.  The three we won we outhit them by wide margins.

Sorry, have been a bit under the weather this week, so not reporting much.

Story of the whole match was serving and serve receive.  When Colorado served tough, the Cardinal had real problems in sets 1 and 3.  (I actually had the whole sequence of thought in my cold-medicine addled brain about climate-control systems and air currents blowing down the court, as the serving side on the "left" as viewed on TV seemed to have a definite advantage).  When the Stanford serve receive passed nails, then they won.

Set 1, the opening run by the Buffs tells the tale - they got out to 6-1 and 11-3 leads and never looked back, as multiple hitting errors by everyone (6 errors in the first 12 points scored by Colorado, only one of which was a block) show how poorly the Cardinal's passing was working.  Dunning was trying all sorts of changes (I saw Boukather running middle and Lutz on the right at points late in the set), but nothing worked.

Set 2 was more even, and more run-oriented - not consistent siding out, but points in bunches.  But it was relatively even until Megan McGehee went on a of immense proportions serving run. With the set tied at 17, Boukather's kill led to McGehee running off 4 straight points on serve to make it 22-17, behind two kills and a block by Inky.  Simple enough at that point to close out the set.

The same scenario in reverse in game 3, as late in the game a service run from Colorado took a 21-19 Stanford lead and turned it right around, as bad passes (and to be honest, some bad decisions/sets by Bugg - her middle sets were really low a lot of the night) let the Buffs take it 25-23.

Set 4, it was a service run by Bugg in the middle of the set that broke it open, from 6 all to 13-6 Stanford.  Colorado closed to within 4 on a couple of occasions, but never closer, and the Cardinal tied the match with a 25-19 win.

Set 5, Stanford had a run keyed by Boukather, who hit a flat hard serve after a lot of short serving and jump floats by Stanford all night long.  She started serving with Stanford going up 6-5 off a kill from Howard, and kept the Buffs on the back foot for 6 straight points, to a 12-5 Cardinal lead, which they then safely saw out to take the match 15-7.

All in all, not a great match for Stanford; whether the thin air makes the ball move differently, or just a coincidence of bad serve receive matches by Cardinal passers, they never looked comfortable.  It seemed to be much more about Colorado falling apart (albeit under pressure) than Stanford really taking the game over.  The Buffs do have a solid one-two punch outside with Taylor Simpson and Alexis Austin (who was a large part of the falling apart, committing three of Colorado's NINE attack errors in the fifth set).

Hard to say anyone had a good match - Inky the most solid, hitting .481.  But Lutz, with some excuse for a few low sets, wasn't putting the ball down like she normally does.  And one of the things with Maddie is that she wants to spread the ball around - she often took in-system sets to the outside hitters, with Inky or Lutz available.  It may have been a good idea, as Colorado looked like they were camping inside, but neither Burgess nor Howard was putting the ball down at a high clip, even with a weaker than normal block.  The Buffs camped out on their cross-court shots, and only late in the match did they adjust to try to go deep line (notably, Jordan doing the adjusting).

Beyond that, the serve receive was all kinds of shambolic - not just Howard, but also Burgess and Gilbert in this game, and the defense, while better than other parts of the game, just wasn't tight - a free ball dropped to the court because Burgess backed into a hitting position before Gilbert could get there for the dig.

All in all, an escape.  Hoping they come out a bit more together against the Utes in Salt Lake tomorrow, but the team is still showing maddening inconsistency, and every time the OHs take a step forward, as Burgess had in the last couple of weeks, they put out a match like this.

Thanks. It was certainly a pleasant surprise to learn the outcome.
Had breakfast with the udub team here in Phx.  They think we are extremely consistent.  Like undefeated.  😄.  They beat asu 3-0 we 3-1 which one player reminded me. 
They are looking forward to our game

Spent the afternoon at World of Beer on Mill street.  Highly recommend it.  Of course Mill St is a viewing  pleasure. 😍

Went to a FB game nuff  said about that.