This is the second of a two-part scouting report of a featured match that we cover each week. This particular report recaps the Sunday, November 5 match between #2 Stanford and #15 Oregon in Pac 12 play. Both had plenty to play for, as Oregon tried to earn a spot to host on opening weekend of the NCAA, while Stanford goes for the always-elusive #1 overall seed to make their path to a national championship simpler. If you missed the first part of this two-parter, you can read my SR here. If you’re just interested in a simple recap of the match, you can read that article here.
It didn’t take much to figure out where each teams’ strengths were. We discussed them at length in yesterday’s SR, but just in case you missed it, here’s what was talked about:
OREGON’S KEYS TO VICTORY
- Offensive balance
We talked briefly about numerous attackers averaging over 2 kills per set. Even with the infusion of Jolie Rasmussen, one would think that any additional scouting the Cardinal would have to do would be an advantage to the Ducks.
- Service pressure
Third in the Pac 12 in aces per set, plus Oregon defending well should put many teams in a ton of out-of-system opportunities. This is part of their M.O. for their consistent success. The problem is that consistency has not been one of the Ducks’ strong points this season.
STANFORD’S KEYS TO VICTORY
Yes. And more yes. Stanford’s beginning and end games go through “Plumm Dog”. Everyone knows this, and still Miss Plummer finds ways to continue to terminate and control most parts of the game. And, as only a sophomore, she can only get better from here. Her final stat line on Sunday? 14 kills, .385, 5 aces, 3 digs, 2 blocks. That’s a full night.
- Do what got you here
Indeed. When five full-time front-row players hit over .300, there’s a consistency about that. Even IF Plummer has an off night, others can step up and play.
SO HOW DID IT GO DOWN?
This was never a contest. Stanford finished with their second-highest hitting percentage of the season, hitting .519 with only 6 unforced attack errors. Even with their 7 service errors, the Cardinal still produced 8 aces, and twice as many out-of-system opportunities for Stanford to defend. In 64 minutes of match play, Stanford proved why it’s four games clear of USC in the Pac 12 standings, and you could see as the match continued how big the chasm is between the two teams. Out-of-system is where Oregon had to live, but no player (save Taylor Agost, 13k and .385) could handle the service and attack pressure that championship teams bring.
From a more personal standpoint, I am surprised that Oregon IMPROVED their RPI number from 10 (last week) to 9 (RPI released today). I did mention, however, that this loss shouldn’t hurt Oregon in the least. However, looking at their losses, the WORST is against #26 UCLA. Hosting Washington and USC the week before Thanksgiving will tell the full tale of their hosting capabilities according to the RPI.
As for Stanford, their only losses are to RPI #1 Penn State, on neutral courts, twice. Wednesday the 8th is a match in Seattle against RPI #8 Washington (Stanford is listed as #7), and might be the only opportunity Stanford gets to truly move into the top 5 in RPI, let alone aim for that #1 overall seed come December.
Only time will tell, and we’re looking forward to the volleyball being played in late November.