NCAA women's volleyball scores for Dec. 12
Five Pac-12 women's volleyball teams entered the NCAA tournament Sweet 16 on Friday, looking to advance to the round of eight.
Top-ranked Stanford opened the Sweet 16 round on Friday by improving to 32-1 after defeating conference foe Oregon State in four sets (25-20, 25-14, 22-25, 25-15) and advancing to the Ames Regional final. The Cardinal were led by Inky Ajanaku's 16 kills, while Merete Lutz added 11 kills of her own while hitting .417. This is the third time that the Cardinal has defeated the Beavers this season. Stanford will now take on the winner of the Florida-Illinois match which takes place on Saturday evening.
Senior Karsta Lowe turned in another brilliant performance for the Bruins, but it wasn't enough as UCLA dropped the NCAA Regional Semifinals in straight sets to Penn State (26-28, 16-25, 19-25) at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville. Lowe finished the game with a match-best 22 kills, four digs and three blocks as she hit .354. Freshman Reily Buechler added eight kills for the Bruins, who end their season with a 22-12 mark.
Washington lost a heartbreaker and was upset in a thrilling four-set match against Nebraska (25-20, 20-25, 22-25, 27-29) in the NCAA regional semifinal at Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle. In the fourth set, the Huskies faced a 23-20 deficit and came back to tie the score five more times before finally relenting 27-29. Washington senior Krista Vansant played an outstanding final game in her Huskies career with 15 kills and 16 digs, and fellow senior Kaleigh Nelson finished with 10 kills and two digs. This was Washington's ninth appearance in the round of 16 in the past 12 seasons and only its second loss in this round during that time. Both losses have come against Nebraska.
Oregon battled every step of the way, but fell short to North Carolina in four sets (23-25, 22-25, 25-23, 16-25) on Friday night in Minneapolis. The Ducks' effort was led by Martenne Bettendorf who finished with 16 kills and two digs and sophomore Kacey Nady who had 12 kills and two digs, while hitting .429.