Volleyball Romps to Regional Final

I took in the action at Maples Friday night, and it was a great time. I admit this was the first match I've taken in at Maples this season, but am enthused to return Saturday night. In short, this is an incredibly talented and entertaining team to watch. A 3-1 romp (30-17, 30-17, 28-30, 30-19) over Utah to advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA championship makes for good viewing, as well...

The first two games were an exercise in domination. Between Logan Tom(ahawk), Oganna Nnamani and Tara Conrad, the kills flowed like water. Huge mismatch. A few exciting points, but it mostly looked like a clinic.

Then in the third game, Stanford's setting went south - bigtime. The hitters missed or dinked a lot of balls that should have been point-ending swats, given better sets. Utah, to their credit, did pull together for some of their best play, but Stanford just snoozed through this one.

Dunning got the crew in order, and the good guys put away game four in a hurry. I thought there was pretty good blocking on both sides of the net in this game. Give credit to Conrad and friends for very good blocking through the whole match, though.

Seeing Nnamani in person is eye-opening. She gets more air than many D-IA men's basketball players, and she is a powerful hitter. I haven't seen much of this team this year (only what I've seen on TV), but they way they played the first two games, I don't see how they lose in San Diego... much less tonight.

Stat of the day: Stanford's kill percentage was more than 3X Utah's percentage in game one. The exact numbers elude me. Something on the order of .460 to .132. Yikes.

Player of the game may have been Tara Conrad. The Utah team looked a little young and undersized at times, but she was friggin' dominating when she got set in the middle. Great leverage for some nasty vertical smashes.

Kill percentages:
Conrad .591
Nnamani .458
Tom .404

Kills:
Tom 26
Nnamani 15
Conrad 15

Logan Tom also led all players with 16 defensive digs. Smokin'.

And despite my unkind words about game three, Robyn Lewis played a very good setting game. Moved around well, and got under some tough balls. I didn't see brother Chris in the stands, but did notice a good number of the guys from the football team in attendence.


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