Men’s volleyball splits weekend match on the Farm

Feb. 23, 2015, 11:02 p.m.

After playing six consecutive games on the road, Stanford’s men’s volleyball team (5-10, 3-7 MPSF) returned home to Maples Pavilion last weekend to play against UC Irvine and Hope International. The Cardinal faltered in their first match, losing at the hands of the Anteaters for the second time this season, but the team managed to bounce back and earn a 3-1 victory against its second opponent.

Photo courtesy of Hector Garcia
Junior Madison Hayden (above) did his best to slow the momentum of UCI, recording a career high 23 kills. Still, the Cardinal dropped the five-set match to the Anteaters on Friday. (HECTOR GARCIA-MOLINA/

In the first set of the UCI match, both teams went point for point as they fought to make a statement in this revenge battle. When either team scored two consecutive points, the opposing team would catch right back up until the final few points when Stanford was able to make a breakthrough thanks to a nice kill from sophomore Gabriel Vega and a block by juniors Spencer Haly and Alex Stephanus that clinched the first set victory, 27-25.

The second set saw similar scoring patterns compared to the first set, but unlike the first set, the Anteaters claimed victory, 27-25, evening the match at a set apiece. However, the Cardinal came back with a win in the third set, 27-25, giving the team the overall advantage.

The fourth set began a drop in momentum from the Cardinal. The first few points of the set remained pretty even with both teams on average of a one-point distance away from each other until the seventh point. At the moment, UC Irvine rocketed to a 5-1 run, continuously outscoring Stanford. Despite a late push from the Cardinal, UC Irvine took the set, 25-20, and then quickly ended the match without much drama by rolling over Stanford, 15-9, in the fifth set to secure the victory.

“Our guys adjusted better tonight [than in the last matchup against UCI] and did a better job executing the game plan,” head coach John Kotsy said. “We were much more aggressive than last weekend. All around, our starters did a nice job tonight.”

At the end, junior Madison Hayden scored an impressive 23 kills with a high .455 hitting percentages and twelve digs. Junior Conrad Kaminski led the team with an astounding .526 hitting percentage and freshman Kyle Dagostino rounded the team’s defense out with a cool 51 assists for Stanford.

For the match against Hope International, Stanford dominated the first two sets, winning them each 25-20, with powerful kills from Haly, Hayden and Vega. The Cardinal managed to stay well ahead of Hope International in points, giving them some breathing room in case of small offensive errors.

The third set watched a slight slip in momentum from the Cardinal, possibly from the comfort of knowing that Stanford had an two-set advantage in the match, that gave Hope International a surprise 25-22 win. However, Stanford returned to the fourth set strong and focused as it successfully closed out the match. The Cardinal defense showed no mercy through reaching every attack and maintain a thick wall of front row defense, claiming the final set, 25-16, and winning the match.

For this match, the number of kills per player remained pretty balanced, which highlights the even distribution the setter chose to focus on instead of following solely one or two players. Stephanus and Vega recorded a team-high nine kills during the game, with Kaminski right on their trails with seven kills.

Stanford will play at home in Maples Pavilion next Friday and Saturday against Pepperdine and Holy Names at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively. Both matches will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.

Contact Divine Edem at dedem ‘at’


Divine Edem '18 is currently a staff writer for the sports section of the Stanford Daily. She is originally from Chino Hills, a small town in Southern California and enjoys playing volleyball, watching movies, and listening to most genres of music. She plans to major in Political Science and can be contacted at [email protected].

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