Third Rounds highlights
Stanford had a four-set blowout of Oregon State. The Beavers played tough, but the Cardinal probably should have won in 3.
Florida and Illinois in a long-five set match
Texas was too strong for Colorado State.
North Carolina dominated the fourth set against the Ducks. It was a match of long point runs in each set. North Carolina reached the Quarterfinals for the first time.
Nebraska and Washington did not disappoint last night. Nebraska dominated in the 2nd and 3rd sets, but let the Huskies get back in each of those sets Huskies fought of 7 or 8 set points in the second set. The fourth set was similar, but the Huskies came back to tie at 22. Each team split points through 27, then 2 in a row for the Huskers to win. 2.5 hours, and barely fit on my video recorder. If it went 5 I was screwed. The linesman had a horrible game, 3 clearly missed calls with balls at least 6 inches in in the fourth set. Huskies overcame those calls, but still could not send it to 5.
BYU taking down Florida State by what they do best, which is blocking. 16 of them in 4 sets. The West Coast Conference has not had a team in the Final Four since 2005, and BYU with their ability to block could get it done.
Wisconsin was on the edge last night against conference rival Ohio State. A close match throughout, but Wisconsin survived.
Penn State after the first set was in the drivers seat against UCLA. Karsta Lowe has been the offense for the Bruins all year, but against Penn State, that does not work and the Nittany Lions advanced.
Quarterfinals, what to watch for:
Stanford has not really been challenged in the tournament so far, but Florida will be a challenge. They are better than their seed ranking with a win over Texas late in the season. It will be a battle of the middles with Inky Ajanaku (Stanford) and Rhamat Alhassan (Florida).
Texas is looking to go back to the Final 4, which seems to be their destination every year. North Carolina has never gotten this far in the tournament, but I doubt they can get by Texas.
Nebraska against BYU will be an interesting matchup. Can BYU's blocking over come the balanced lineup for the Huskers?
Wisconsin and Penn State is a rematch of last year's final, which Penn State won. Penn State also defeated Wisconsin earlier this season. Penn State will also want to prove that they should have been the champions of the Big Ten regular season and not Wisconsin.