Stanford men’s volleyball had a tough end of the week on the road, losing to No. 14 USC (4-7, 1-0 MPSF) on Thursday night and then to No. 12 CSUN (7-4) on Saturday.
Both teams haven’t had the most stable seasons, with the Cardinal having a four-game losing streak before a win against UC San Diego last week and the Trojans facing a seven-game losing streak ended by their win on Thursday.
The Cardinal had a good night on Thursday but just couldn’t keep up with the Trojans’ offensive plays and steadfast defense. The team did put up a good fight, ultimately losing in the fifth set (25-20, 25-23, 21-25, 21-25, 15-10). Stanford held a .350 attack percentage – their best this season – while holding USC at a .396 attack rate.
Four Stanford players posted double-digit kills, but it simply wasn’t enough to come away with the win. Fifth-year senior middle blocker Kevin Rakestraw held a .516 hitting rate and registered a season-best 18 kills. Eric Beatty, sophomore outside hitter, and Jaylen Jasper, freshman opposite, both got themselves 14 kills. Freshman middle blocker Kyler Presho completed the double-digit kill squad with 12.
Junior setter Russell Dervay and senior libero Evan Enriques continued to prove their depth through a career-high 49 assists, six digs and a solo block, and an ace, six kills and six digs, respectively.
The Cardinal also managed to get themselves 7 aces, led by Jasper, who also managed a career-high 12 digs.
The Trojan defense was able to halt the strong Stanford attacking end, holding the Cardinal 7 to 5.5 blocks. Their offense was led by senior outside hitter Jack Wyett, who came away with 22 kills, junior outside hitter Ryan Moss with 18 kills and 10 digs.
On Saturday evening, the Cardinal lost to the CSUN Matadors. This was the Cardinal’s second loss this season to the Matadors, the first being on Jan. 17 at Stanford.
The CSUN offense prevailed, holding a .256 clip while the Cardinal was kept at a .188 rate. Jasper once again came through for Stanford with 13 kills and a .222 hitting percentage, Beatty contributed eight kills and three digs and Presho continued his high performance with seven kills and two blocks. Dervay too continued in his momentum, earning 29 assists and a career-high three blocks, while senior libero Jake Stuebner added four digs and an assist.
Enriques notched a team-best eight digs and a career-best three aces. Rakestraw, on the other hand, did not have his best night, managing a .143 hitting, six kills and three blocks.
The CSUN offense was led by senior opposite Arvis Greene’s 16 kills. Senior middle blocker Josiah Byers supplemented eight blocks, three of which were solo. Junior libero Emmett Enriques, the Cardinal player’s younger brother, bested his older brother with 10 digs.
Stanford will take on Concordia on Thursday and Grand Canyon on Saturday to finish up its seven-game road trip.
Contact Laura Sussman at laura111 ‘at’ stanford.edu