No. 8 Stanford men’s volleyball (11-7, 6-5 MPSF) continued its winning ways in Pennsylvania this weekend, sweeping No. 15 Penn State (12-7, 6-2 EIVA) 25-20, 25-17, 25-23 on Saturday.
The Cardinal held the advantage in every major statistical category and outhit the Nittany Lions .444-.261 over the course of the match. That marked a season-high team hitting percentage for Stanford.
Throughout the match, Penn State struggled with accuracy, recording a total of 17 attack errors and 12 service errors. Stanford, on the other hand, registered nine and six, respectively.
Offensively, the Cardinal were paced by senior opposite Clay Jones, who recorded a season-high 12 kills on .556 hitting. Fifth-year senior outside hitter Gabriel Vega was close behind, tallying 10 kills while hitting .333 to aid the Cardinal attack. Junior Kyle Dagostino got the start at setter, controlling the offense with 34 assists while also tacking on seven digs and an ace.
Defensively, freshman Eric Beatty took the spotlight, leading the team with four blocks and also registering seven digs.
Stanford took the first point of the first set, and while the Nittany Lions kept the game close — often trailing by a single point — they were never able to gain a lead. After building a 15-13 lead, the Cardinal went on a 5-2 tear to give themselves some breathing room on the way to a 25-20 set win.
In the second set, Penn State took a quick 2-0 lead, but Stanford took the next five straight points to reclaim the momentum. The Nittany Lions battled back to take an 11-10 lead, but once again the Cardinal struck, taking nine of the next 11 points to put the set effectively out of reach. A kill by Vega gave Stanford the 25-17 victory.
The Cardinal once again dominated in the third set, only losing the lead once, despite Penn State’s strong attempts at a comeback. Stanford went up 24-19 on a kill from Jones, but was unable to take the set point, as the Nittany Lions roared back to claim the next four points to put the Cardinal’s sweep in jeopardy. Fortunately for Stanford, Jones closed out the set and match with his 12th kill of the night, as the Cardinal took it 25-23.
Up next, Stanford will fly west to take on No. 4 Hawaii in a doubleheader in Honolulu. The matches will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Contact Olivia Hummer at ohummer ‘at’ stanford.edu.