The Stanford beach volleyball team (4-5) fell just short of No. 16 California (10-7) on Tuesday afternoon, losing 3-2 to their rival in the Big Spike at the Stanford Sand Volleyball Stadium.
The freshman pair of Jennifer DiSanto and Courtney Bowen won the first match of the afternoon, giving the first point to Stanford in what would be the only two-set match of the day.
“Getting that first point and seeing [Jennifer and Courtney’s] fire lights the fire under our game,” said freshman Halland McKenna who, along with partner redshirt sophomore Merete Lutz, later gained Stanford’s second point with a 21-17, 10-21, 15-10 takedown in the three spot.
A tough stretch for Stanford came during the match when freshman pair Hayley Hodson and Payton Chang fell in the No. 1 spot. After winning the first set 21-14, they lost the second set 21-17. In the decisive third set, Stanford had a 10-5 lead but ended up losing that set 15-13, and thus the match.
“We didn’t adjust to their shots as well later in the second set; we made some unforced errors that cost us,” said Chang.
“Everything’s a learning process,” the freshman continued. “We definitely learn from our experiences. We need to close out the game when we have the lead. Next time we are definitely going to try to push some more.”
With the score tied 2-2 between the teams after Stanford conceded at the No. 5 spot, the day came down to the pair of sophomore Catherine Raquel and junior Ivana Vanjak. After dropping the first set 21-19, they bounced back and won the second set 21-17.
The third set, which would decide the day’s outcome, came down to the wire, as the score was tied 8-8, 13-13 and 15-15. After Stanford scored a point to go up 16-15, Cal scored the final three points of the tournament to give them a 3-2 victory on the day.
“My message [before the match] was to go out and compete and fight, and I think we did a really good job of that,” said head coach Denise Corlett.
“It was fun to see us play hard, be in a position to win the match. Unfortunately, we had a couple swings that we couldn’t put away to win that last one, but give credit to Cal. They’re a good, scrappy team.”
The team’s next action comes during a tournament at Stanford this weekend when they will play matches against Boise State, Arizona State, Oregon and Saint Mary’s.
Contact Elliot Lapin at elapin ‘at’ stanford.edu.