Cougars see season come to a close after battle with Pac-12 rival
STANFORD, Calif. — The No. 16 seeded Washington State Cougars (23-10) saw its’ 2018 season come to a close in the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Championship Tournament Friday evening, against No. 1 seed Stanford.
Set scores from the match were: 17-25, 26-24, 14-25, and 19-25 in favor of the Stanford Cardinal (31-1).
This NCAA Championship Tournament Sweet Sixteen match between familiar Pac-12 foes began just as intense as previous meetings, as this opening set went on to feature six ties with the score knotted up at 10-10 overall. The Stanford Cardinal then began to create multiple small scoring runs to jump ahead of the Cougars, holding a 22-17 advantage late in the first set of play. Stanford went on to score three straight points to close out the opening set over the Cougars at 25-17 overall.
Washington State shot out of the gate in set number two with a 5-0 scoring up to hold down the early 7-2 lead with some help from Taylor Mims , and Jocelyn Urias kills, along with an Ella Lajos block. Stanford rallied back to tie the set back up at 12-12 overall after a block gave the Cardinal some momentum. The Cougars and the Cardinal traded small leads for the remainder of this set, until Stanford put together a small scoring run to see the hosts up 21-18 in the set. The Cougars began making a run of their own with three straight kills from Mims, Urias, and Claire Martin to pull within one point before Stanford would be forced to take a timeout. WSU held strong to finish off this set, with blocks from McKenna Woodford , Martin, and Lajos to see the Cougars take set two over Stanford and tie up the match at 1-1.
Stanford countered right from the start of set number three with a 10-2 run to see the early lead over Washington State. The Cougars had plenty of fight in them, cutting the Cardinal lead down to six at 15-9, but Stanford continued to keep the pressure on and hold that lead throughout the set. The Cardinal ultimately took set three over WSU at 25-14 to reclaim the set advantage in the match as well.
The regional host once again started off a set on a big run as Stanford held the 7-1 advantage over the Cougars early in game number four. Washington State continued to fight, closing the scoring gap to just two points at 11-9 as multiple errors from the Cardinal, and kills from Urias, and Mims helped fuel WSU. Stanford began to take control of the fourth set with a 5-1 run to surge ahead to a 23-17 lead, and ultimately claimed the round over the Cougars at 25-19 to take the match.
STAT OF THE MATCH
Senior Claire Martin totaled 10 blocks in the contest, tying her season-high she previously recorded earlier this year against No. 17 Northern Iowa on the road.
Senior Taylor Mims led the offensive attack with 17 kills in the contest. Mims also recorded a double-double, adding 10 digs to her stat sheet.
Senior Ella Lajos aided Martin in the blocking game with eight overall. Lajos tallied six kills in the match as well.
Ashley Brown posted her 18th double-double of the year with a team-high 35 assists, and added 10 digs.
Alexis Dirige anchored the defensive ground game once again with 21 total digs, her 12th match with 20 or more digs.