Riding high after two straight five-set comeback wins against conference opponents, No. 6 Stanford men’s volleyball (8-4, 5-2 MPSF) heads south to take on USC (3-9, 2-7) and Cal Baptist (3-9, 1-7) on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.
The Cardinal turned in two thrillers last week: They came back from a 2-1 deficit to upset then-No. 4 UCLA on Thursday and then overcame a 2-0 lead on Saturday against No. 12 UC Santa Barbara. Stanford jumped two spots in this week’s AVCA poll following those two wins — it now sits sixth in the country. For his effort leading the Stanford offense in kills over the matches, sophomore outside hitter Jordan Ewert received MPSF Player of the Week honors. This marks the first career MPSF weekly honor for Ewert, and the first for the Cardinal this season.
Last month, Stanford faced both USC and Cal Baptist at home, with a pair of sweeps as the result. The Cardinal hit a balanced .304 as a team against the Trojans while holding USC to a .070 hitting percentage with 27 attack errors. Stanford had just nine attack errors in the match.
Against Cal Baptist last month, Stanford led throughout nearly the entire match, including a lights-out third set to clinch the victory. Ewert amassed a match-high 12 kills, and senior middle Kevin Rakestraw recorded nine kills and six blocks to lead the Cardinal to victory.
After four straight matches against ranked opponents, Stanford has an opportunity to use its momentum to rise in MPSF conference standings this weekend in conference play. The Cardinal currently sit tied for third in their conference with Hawaii, behind Long Beach State (No. 1) and BYU (No. 2).
Stanford’s Thursday game at USC will start at 6 p.m. and will be streamed on Pac-12 Networks. The Cardinal will be back in action on Saturday, when they play Cal Baptist at 7 p.m. in Riverside, California.
Contact Laura Anderson at lauraand ‘at’ stanford.edu.