By Stephen Ren
The No. 20 Stanford beach volleyball team (10-14, 3-1 Pac-12) will play the final two games of the regular season at home this Saturday against No. 7 Cal Poly (19-9, 5-1) at 1 p.m. PST and No. 11 California (17-7, 5-1) at 4 p.m. PST. Stanford is coming off a much-needed 5-0 sweep over San Francisco on Saturday, during which no Cardinal duo dropped a single set. The victory was especially welcome considering Stanford had been limping away on a four-game losing streak before that, most recent of which was a 0-5 defeat at the hands of No. 19 Saint Mary’s (17-6).
Saturday’s matchup will be Stanford and Poly’s first of the season. In their contest last April, the Mustangs edged out the Cardinal 3-2. Seeing as this weekend is the last of the regular season, it will be Stanford’s only chance to take revenge until next year.
Stanford and Berkeley have met twice so far this season, with each of the two contests resulting in a tough 2-3 defeat for the Cardinal. Seeing as the Golden Bears insist on being Stanford’s sworn rival, the Cardinal seek to avenge these two losses and bring justice for the trees this weekend. Berkeley is coming off two losses last Saturday against Cal Poly and No. 5 Pepperdine (18-7).
Blood rivalry aside, Saturday also marks this season’s Senior Day, which will honor the team’s only senior in Courtney Bowen. The 6-foot-4 economics major from New York City played five different varsity sports in high school, and transitioned from indoor volleyball to beach volleyball in her freshman year at Stanford. Bowen also played on Stanford’s women’s indoor volleyball team for her four years as well.
Between Stanford’s games against the two teams, Poly and Cal will be playing each other this Saturday as well at 2:30 p.m. PST.
The games this weekend will take place in the Stanford Beach Volleyball Stadium. Next week, the Cardinal begin the postseason, heading into the Pac-12 Tournament starting Thursday, April 25th.
Contact Stephen Ren at rensteph ‘at’ stanford.edu.