Stanford's women beat UCLA to stay undefeated
The 7,253 fans who jammed into Maples Pavilion at Stanford last Friday night were so obnoxiously loud that at any moment you expected a Duke basketball game to break out.
But this was a women's volleyball match, featuring unbeaten and No. 1-ranked Stanford against fifth-ranked and defending national champion UCLA. Those on hand included some rowdy men of Phi Delt, dressed in black; the Stanford Dollies (the school's unofficial dance troupe); and the notorious Cardinal band, whose drum major wore a pale yellow tutu over his sweat pants. Their cheering was loud, but they didn't have to keep it up for long.
The Cardinal thrashed the Bruins 15-2, 15-1, 9-15 and 15-8 in a match that took less than two hours. It was the second time this season that Stanford beat UCLA, which before this year had gone undefeated in Pac-10 play since 1987. With a win over USC Saturday night, the Cardinal clinched at least a tie for the Pac-10 title and extended its record for the season to 25-0.
Stanford is led by the 1990 NCAA Player of the Year, junior Bev Oden, the youngest of the fabulous Oden sisters. Kim, who starred for the Cardinal from 1982 to '85, and Elaina, who played for Pacific from '85 to '89, are now members of the U.S. national team. Volleyball observers say that Bev, because of her combination of size (6'2"), quickness and strength, is potentially the best player in the family.
With Oden and senior hitter Kristin Klein (whose father is former NFL tight end Bob Klein), the Cardinal was far too much for UCLA and Natalie Williams, the Bruin star whom Volleyball Monthly chose as its Player of the Year last season. Williams had 22 kills against Stanford, but nine of those came in the fourth game. "We got off to a slow start and just didn't play well at all," said Williams. "I know we can play a lot better. We'll see these guys again."
Most likely they will. Because the early rounds of the NCAA championships are regional competitions, the Cardinal and the Bruins figure to meet again in December at Maples Pavilion. The drum major has until then to find a new outfit.
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