Cal State Bakersfield’s second-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament ended the same as its first in 2014: with a loss to Stanford in the first round.
The Roadrunners (19-14) fell to the third-seeded Cardinal (27-3) in three sets (25-11, 25-15, 25-17) at Maples Pavilion in Stanford on Friday night.
The Roadrunners were held to a 1.1 hitting percentage while Stanford hit with a 41.7 percent success rate. Aleksandra Djordjevic led CSUB with 9.5 points and nine digs. Sydney Hayes — the only player on the roster that was on the team in 2014 — recorded seven kills.
CSUB knew before the selection show it would likely draw Stanford in the first round and the matchup wasn’t favorable. The Cardinal, ranked No. 3 in the nation and the defending national champions, boasts a combination of size and athleticism difficult to handle.
The Roadrunners led 6-5 in the first set, but the Cardinal closed it out on a 13-2 run.
In the second set, CSUB fell behind early down 13-3, and lost middle blocker Haylee Roberts. The Liberty graduate led the team in kills this season but had to be helped off the court by the team’s athletic trainer, CSUB Athletics Tweeted.
The Roadrunners responded with the help of two aces from Western Athletic Conference tournament MVP Aleksandra Djordjevic to pull within seven. But CSUB couldn’t sustain another scoring spurt of more than two straight points for the rest of the set.
A 12-1 run in the middle of the third set was too much to overcome.
In 2014, Stanford was the No. 1 seed when it beat CSUB in three sets.