No. 9 Stanford males’s volleyball (8-5, 1-1 MPSF) break up its sequence with No. 7 Pepperdine (9-5, 1-1 MPSF) this weekend to kick off convention play. After being swept by the Waves on Friday, the Cardinal settled in to outlast their MPSF foes in 5 units the next night time.
The victory marked Stanford’s first in opposition to Pepperdine since 2017, in addition to their first residence conquer the Waves in almost a decade. Saturday night time’s efficiency was additionally notable on condition that Stanford was lacking main level scorer and First Workforce All-American senior outdoors Will Rottman as a consequence of an harm sustained throughout final week’s matchups with No. 1 Hawaii (11-0, 0-0 Huge West). However in Rottman’s absence, a number of Cardinal gamers stepped as much as break up the weekend sequence.
Friday: 19-25, 16-25, 22-25
Pepperdine made comparatively fast work of Stanford on Friday night time in an easy three-set victory. They have been led on the assault by four-time AVCA All-American honorable point out Jaylen Jasper ʼ21, who performed for the Cardinal for a number of seasons earlier than transferring to Pepperdine following the since-overturned choice to chop the Stanford males’s volleyball program.
In his return to the Farm, Jasper continued his dominance as he hit a blistering .783 whereas main the Waves with 20 kills. The Cardinal struggled to close down Pepperdine’s strong offense, quarterbacked by setter Bryce Dvorak and his 40 assists. Ultimately, Pepperdine hit .571 to Stanford’s .317.
Regardless of the straight-set loss, the Cardinal’s efficiency had a number of shiny spots. They out-blocked the Waves with seven complete blocks, whereas Pepperdine managed simply three. 4 of Stanford’s blocks got here from senior center blocker Nathaniel Gates, whose .800 assault share on eight kills with no errors marked a group greatest on the season. Freshman outdoors Theo Snoey led the Cardinal offensively with 9 kills.
However whereas set three proved extra aggressive than the primary two, Stanford was in the end unable to close down the Waves’ constructing momentum. A kill from Pepperdine’s Akin Akinwumi, adopted by a service ace on the hand of teammate Ryan Barnett, closed out the sweep for the Waves.
Saturday: 20-25, 25-20, 25-17, 23-25, 15-12
When Pepperdine held its composure to take set one on Saturday in Maples Pavilion, the prospect of one other straight-set loss loomed for the Cardinal. However by set two, Stanford was not solely competing with its opponents, however outplaying them.
One in every of Pepperdine’s solely weaknesses on Friday seemed to be in its service recreation. The group recorded 18 over three units, compared to Stanford’s 10. And, going through a seemingly tighter Cardinal squad on Saturday, these errors started to rack up at inopportune moments. The Waves completed the night time with 26, opening the door for Stanford offensively.
Senior setter Nathan Lietzke ran a powerful offense, efficiently feeding the group’s pin hitters to most impact and ending with 45 assists to his title. The outcome was one of the best night time of senior outdoors Kevin Lamp’s profession on the assault: 18 kills whereas hitting .500. Snoey continued to point out his maturity as a freshman, contributing 14 kills and two aces, whereas junior reverse Luke Turner stepped up with 10 kills.
Although with out their kill chief in Rottman, the Cardinal confirmed each the depth of their bench and the flexibility to compete with a prime group of their convention. After an ace from Lietzke claimed the second set 25-20, they set the stage early in set three with a commanding 12-4 lead. Pepperdine by no means labored their manner again into the set, which Stanford received comfortably on a setter dump from Lietzke, 25-17.
Set 4 noticed Stanford battling to shut out the match, whereas the Waves fought to maintain their probabilities alive. Ultimately, well-timed kills from Akinwumi and Barnett gave Pepperdine the set 25-23 and compelled a fifth.
Making the most of the opposition’s mounting errors, the Cardinal discovered an 8-5 lead and held onto it, regardless of constant makes an attempt by Pepperdine to chop it down by way of each on-court play and timeouts. Jasper denied Stanford one match level. However it was solely becoming that, on a weekend outlined by new standouts, the matchup was sealed with a kill from Snoey, 15-12.
Convention play will proceed for Stanford on the highway subsequent week in opposition to No. 12 USC (6-6, 0-2 MPSF). First serve in opposition to the Trojans is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. PT.