Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stanford struggles, Cal escapes

The Pac-12's Bay Area behemoths, third-ranked Stanford and seventh-ranked Cal, headed for the Rocky Mountains tonight for what would have seemed a bit of a vacation. Utah is in ninth place, with just four conference wins, while Colorado sits in the cellar, still winless in Pac-12 play.

Out of the blue, however, the Buffs made the Cardinal sweat, as Stanford crawled to a 3-1 win (25-23, 22-25, 25-21, 25-15).

In Salt Lake City, it was even hairier for the Golden Bears. Utah took the first and third sets, and kept the final frame neck-in-neck until the very end. Cal's 3-2 victory was closer than it looks, 22-25, 25-19, 23-25, 25-18, 15-13). For the match, Cal hit just .200; Utah only .182. The Utes had five players with 10 or more kills.

And, in case you missed it Tuesday night, fifth-ranked Illinois lost yet again, this time 3-1 to #11 Purdue (25-21, 22-25, 24-26, 21-25). Just two weeks ago, the Fighting Illini were ranked #1; they've now lost three of their last four. The NCAA's hard-to-fathom RPI still had Illinois #1 before Tuesday's loss to the Boilermakers.

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