Despite a bunch of close sets, Golden Bears fell to rival Stanford in the Beach Big Spike today.
Stanford probably has the superior athletes but they have not figured out how to transition from the indoor to the beach game. In the windy conditions that led to plenty of broken plays, Golden Bears battled hard in every court only to drop yet another close dual.
Despite rallying to save 6 set points in a row, Bears’ Iya Lindahl and Nicole Anderson was not able to force a deciding 3rd set in the No.4 pair. That turned out to be the difference from earlier in the year, when the Bears prevailed 3-2.
Bears are now 2-3 all time in beach volleyball against Stanford.
No. 20 Stanford 3, No. 18 Cal 2
No.18 California Golden Bears (10-6) at No.20 Stanford Cardinal (9-4)
Where: Stanford Sand Volleyball Stadium (Palo Alto, CA)
When: 4 PM PT
TV: Pac-12 Networks
All Time Matchup: 2-2
Cal Bears will look to beat rival Stanford for the 2nd time this season when the Big Spike on the Beach takes place on Pac-12 Networks on Tuesday afternoon. Earlier this season, Bears defeated Stanford via a tight 3-2 final (winning in courts 3-5 but dropping the top two pairs). Similar to tennis (but with everything being doubles), the result of a meet is determined by the school that wins at least 3 of the matches (each is a best-of-three, 1st to 21st in the first two games, 1st to 15 in the deciding 3rd - a pair has to win by at least two points).
Playing to a 3-2 final is familiar territory for the Bears, who either win or lose 3-2 in 9 of their 16 matches on the season. Back end depth has been the key to Cal’s success this year with the No.5 pair of Teya Neff and Bridget Gustafson having an 11-6 record.
Bears have shaken up the top of the lineup with Jessica Gaffney (the lone player who also plays on the indoor team) moving up to No.1 to team with Mia Merino. The former No.2 pair is now playing as the No.3. The new updated Cal lineup consists of:
Stanford apparently has yet to beat a ranked opponent this year. Let’s hope that streak continues.
It’s rather last minute but Stanford alum and USA Olympian great Kerri Walsh will be present to sign autographs at 3:15 pm PT before this match. She will be honored at this meet.
After the match at Stanford, the Golden Bears will host Washington on Friday in their last home meet. Bears will return to Stanford to take on Boise State and Oregon this weekend. After a trip to Arizona to take on ASU, New Mexico, and Arizona two weekends from now, Bears will return to Tucson, Arizona for the Pac-12 Championships on April 27th.