Men’s volleyball looks to rebound after consecutive sweeps

Feb. 8, 2017, 11:53 p.m.

Hoping to rebound after consecutive sweeps, No. 8 Stanford men’s volleyball (6-4, 3-2 MPSF) return to Maples Pavilion to take on No. 4 UCLA (9-3, 6-2) and No. 12 UC Santa Barbara (6-5, 3-5) on Thursday and Saturday.

Last weekend, Stanford received its first losses in conference play in games against then-No. 14 CSUN and then-No.3 Long Beach State. An overall lack of offense told the story in both matches, as the Cardinal struggled with hitting percentage and kills. But with a talented group on the floor, including the team’s leader in kills, sophomore outside hitter Jordan Ewert, and senior middle Kevin Rakestraw, who sits sixth in the nation with a .466 hitting percentage, Stanford has the ability to turn its play around this weekend.

UCLA is also coming off back-to-back losses. The Bruins have a top-ranked defense, holding opponents to a .223 hitting percentage over the season. In order to break through, the Cardinal will have to find offense from a variety of players, including fifth-year senior outside hitter Gabriel Vega, who led the team with 3.50 kills per set last weekend.

On a four game losing streak, UC Santa Barbara has struggled to win sets after going 6-1 to start the season. The Gauchos are led by fifth-year senior outside hitter Jacob Delson, who ranks third in the MPSF with an average 4.38 kills per set over the season. Known more so for its offense, UCSB will provide a different challenge for Stanford. Stanford defense must remain strong to hold off the Gauchos offensive power.

Stanford will play UCLA on Thursday at 6 p.m. followed by a Saturday matchup against UCSB at 7 p.m. Thursday’s match will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.


Contact Laura Anderson at lauraand ‘at’

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