By James Hemker
The No. 9 Stanford men’s volleyball (15-10, 6-6 MPSF) team concluded their regular season on Saturday with a big 3-0 sweep to spoil Grand Canyon University’s (13-15, 3-9) senior night. Senior outside hitter Jordan Ewert paced the floor with 11 kills in his final regular season game.
After two disappointing losses last week, Stanford fell in the conference rankings and risked losing a top-four seed, which would guarantee a first-round home match in the playoffs. GCU, on the other hand, was played spoiler their last match when they upset BYU in five tight sets. Due to that BYU loss, Stanford clinched the fourth-seed with this win over GCU.
Ewert turned in 11 kills on .280 hitting to go along with four digs and two of Stanford’s eight service aces. He was also the only Cardinal to not commit a serve receiving error, despite passing the bulk of the serves (26 of the team’s 49 receptions).
Sophomore opposite Jaylen Jasper returned after a two-game absence. He tallied 10 kills and 10 digs to record his second double-double of the year. Jasper also contributed two aces and two blocks.
Stanford hit .288 as junior setter Paul Bischoff created 34 assists, which is the second-highest total he has had in a three-set match. Bischoff tacked on four digs, two blocks and an ace to go along with all his assists.
Redshirt senior libero Kyle Dagostino also played his final regular season game, recording eight digs. Dagostino was instrumental in keeping the Lopes to hitting just .050 as a team, the third-lowest percentage an opponent has hit this season. Just two of GCU’s eight players, who took at least one swing, hit over .048.
In the heart of the court, middle blockers junior Stephen Moye (.714 hitting) and sophomore Kyler Presho (.333 hitting) both terminated five kills. Moye paced the team with three blocks while Presho stuffed two balls and cooked up an ace.
Junior opposite Mason Tufuga, who has been used primarily as a serving specialist, dropped two more aces on the Lopes.
The team’s performance this year can only be seen as a strict improvement over last year, which saw the Cardinal go 6-20 overall and 3-9 in the conference. Stanford beat six schools this season that they lost to in 2018.
The Cardinal will host fifth-seed No. 11 BYU at home on April 13th. The two schools played a home-and-home at the beginning of March. BYU barely won in Utah, while Stanford got the job done in four sets in Maples.
Contact James Hemker at jahemker ‘at’ stanford.edu.