Stanford beach volleyball ended its season on Thursday at the Pac-12 Conference Championships after falling 3-2 to Arizona in the elimination round. The Cardinal finished their fifth season with an overall record of 13-10 and 4-7 in conference play.
Although the Wildcats came out to a quick 2-0, the Cardinal were just as quick to fight back, pulling even with a straight-set win at the No. 3 spot and a nail-biting three-setter at the No. 2 spot. The No. 2 pair, senior Ivana Vanjak and sophomore Payton Chang, have been hot all season and when it mattered most this weekend, clinching a dramatic third-set victory (21-17, 14-21, 15-13).
Tied at two-all, the pressure to win was on the No. 4 duo of junior Catherine Raquel and freshman Shannon Richardson. After winning a close 22-20 first set, the pair fell in three sets (21-12, 15-11), eliminating the Cardinal from the tournament and giving the Wildcats the ticket to move on.
The double-elimination tournament started earlier that weekend when Arizona State shutout Stanford 5-0 and forced them into the contender’s bracket. Facing elimination in their next matchup, the Cardinal got revenge against Utah, producing a 5-0 shutout of their own.
“From a team perspective, this season has been a great experience with an unbelievable group of people,” commented Coach Andrew Fuller on his team’s performance.
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