The USF Women’s Volleyball team entered the weekend hoping to pull off a huge upset over top ranked Stanford and 10th ranked UC Berkeley. The Lady Dons were set to play the Bay-Area powerhouses on back-to-back nights, surely a tough task for the one win Dons. First up for the Dons was 10th ranked UC Berkeley.
UC Berkeley has been dominating opponents all season to say the least, considering that they have yet to lose a match this season, having won 24 consecutive matches. USF on the other hand has struggled so far this season, getting out to a 1-8 start. But USF proved to be no pushover as it started the game extremely well. USF earned the first point of the match and never looked back. Cal would score a point or two and USF would match it by scoring three in a row. USF could not have asked for a better start, they were clicking and winning points, eventually winning the first match 25-21. The good start gave USF hope of winning the game as they beat Cal in a match, something that hasn’t happened this season.
The second match was not as successful for the Dons, they started off well winning the first point but Cal was on a mission to tie the game. Back and forth the two teams traded points until USF went ahead by two 6-4. The turning point of the match was when the score was tied at 7-7, and then the Bears were able to rip off a string of two straight kills, an ace and another kill to give them an 11-7 lead. USF was unable to overcome the deficit and they trailed for the remainder of the match, eventually losing 25-18.
The third and fourth matches were much like the second one. After losing the first match Cal really tightened up and simply dominated the rest of the game. They ended up winning the third match 25-17, then won the fourth and final match 25-13. The Dons seemed overmatch against the powerhouse Cal. On the bright side freshman hitter/setter Joan Caloiaro enjoyed a career day, accomplishing her first career triple-double, posting 30 assists, 14 kills and 13 digs.
The next night Stanford paid a visit to USF, entering the night as the number one ranked team in the nation but Stanford is unaccustomed to playing on the hilltop, as this was their first visit since 1989. USF was hoping to bounce back from a tough loss the night before to Cal. Stanford has the best volleyball program in the NCAA and they proved it against USF.
Getting off to a great start was essential for the dons to have a chance at beating Stanford. Unfortunately USF did just the opposite and let Stanford jump out to huge lead. Stanford just kept scoring and USF could do nothing to stop them. The Cardinals were simply unstoppable as they scored 10 straight points, jumping out to an impressive 16-3 lead. The deficit was far too big for USF to make-up and Stanford cruised to a dominant 25-12 first match win.
At least the second match was a little more competitive for the first half of the match the Dons and the Cardinals exchanged points, until USF was able to go up 14-13. The lead did not last long however, as the Cardinals just as they had done in the first match, score seven straight points to take a large lead. Suddenly a USF lead turned into a six-point lead for Stanford. It was surely frustrating for the Dons because Stanford just couldn’t be stopped no matter what the Dons tried. Stanford controlled the rest of the match and coasted to another easy win 25-17. The Dons gave a valiant offer in the third match, attempting to extend the game. Stanford once again proved its might in the third match as they held off the Dons best effort to win the third match and sweep the game. The Cardinals pace the match and won it easily 25-20. The Dons came into the weekend faced with two tough challenges and they were simply outplayed. Now the Dons’ record stands at 1-10, they will look to end their losing streak next weekend when they host Seattle.
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