VB | Gaels Challenge No. 4 Stanford To End Non-Conference
MORAGA, Calif. — The Saint Mary's women's volleyball team closed out its non-conference schedule Friday night by giving a strong challenge to the defending national champion, but No. 4 Stanford held off the Gaels at McKeon Pavilion in a 3-0 (25-22, 28-26, 25-13) victory.
HOW IT HAPPENED
· The Cardinal (6-2) commanded a six-point lead early in the first set, but the Gaels (4-6) scored four straight points coming out of a timeout and would stay close the rest of the way before Stanford edged out a 25-22 victory.
· Saint Mary's looked poised to win set two and even the match but couldn't finish off the set. It led 23-21 and 26-25, but in both cases, Stanford answered with three straight points to go back ahead and eventually come away with a 28-26 set victory.
· After Stanford led 9-5 early in set two, the teams were never separated by more than two points. Back-to-back SMC attack errors and a kill from Kathryn Plummer finished off the set for the Cardinal.
· Stanford hit .586 in the third set to close out the win. Saint Mary's also hit well in the final frame at .318 but only had eight kills to Stanford's 19.
· A balanced SMC attack had five players with at least five kills. All five attacked at least 12 times, giving Stanford a different look all match long.
· Lindsey Calvin hit .400 to lead Saint Mary's with seven kills and just one error. She also had a dig and a block.
Rob Browning BITES
· “We got a ton out of (our preseason schedule). It's been a good preseason and we are not at all thinking about what our record is. We're thinking about the improvement we've made and how prepared we are to go into the WCC.”
· “Love playing Cal and Stanford. I hope we can keep that going. Bay Area volleyball is really good. There has been times when Bay Area volleyball is one of the strongest in the nation. We love being a part of that. We love playing the best, we love playing Bay Area rivals. It's just a really good series, we enjoy it.”
· “We're ready (for conference play). If we play like we can play, and like we played for long stretches tonight, then we're good to go. It's going to be a battle. Conference changes things. There's more on the line and teams step up, and the rivalries; that's why it's so fun to play in conference.
FROM THE PLAYERS
· I think we played some tough teams and I think we competed very, very well. The Nebraska game comes to mind. I think we did better than they expected most of the time
· I think (the tough non-conference schedule) prepared us perfectly. The last few years have been different than this year was, so this year's turning into an actual rivalry where we're going head-to-head with these teams. It's awesome.
· I've built some confidence. Coming in as a transfer you're kind of at the end of the stick, so you've got to find your rhythm, but it's coming along.
· I think if we just come in (to WCC play) with positive vibes, high energy, if we go out there with everything we have then we go out there confident then that's what helps us win.
· Saint Mary's opens West Coast Conference play Thursday at Gonzaga. It then faces Portland on Saturday before returning home to face rival San Francisco on Sept. 26.
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