LOS ANGELES – The top-ranked Stanford men's volleyball team dropped a 25-23, 22-25, 23-25, 31-29, 11-15, decision to No. 6 UCLA, Friday, in Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, Calif. It marked the first loss of the season for the Cardinal, which is now 3-1 overall and 0-1 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The Bruins move to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in conference.
Stanford outhit UCLA, .310 to .296, in the match and posted 10.0 blocks to 8.5 by the Bruins. The Cardinal even held a 54-51 advantage in the dig column, but was unable to overcome some tough plays down the stretch.
“UCLA did some nice things tonight,” added Kosty. “We put some pressure on them to get to the fifth set, but just needed a few breaks to go our way that didn’t.”
After falling behind 2-1, Stanford rallied in the fourth set by staving off four match points by the Bruins to push the match to a fifth and final set. The Cardinal hit a match-high .462 in the fourth, registering 20 kills on 39 attempts with just two errors.
Senior outside hitter Steven Irvin led the Cardinal with 22 kills and 13 digs on a .356 attack percentage. Senior outside hitter Brian Cook added 15 kills, eight digs and four blocks. Sophomore setter James Shaw finished with 57 assists, six digs and four kills.
“I thought Steven [Irvin] had a great match for us tonight,” said Kosty. “We went to him a lot down the stretch and he came through when we did.”
Redshirt junior opposite Daniel Tublin added nine kills and a season-best 12 digs for the Cardinal. Sophomore middle Conrad Kaminski recorded eight kills, while senior middle Denny Falls finished with four blocks. Redshirt junior libero Grant Delgado had 12 digs.
The Bruins, whose only loss of the season came at the hands of the Cardinal, were led by Robart Page’s 26 kills, nine digs and three blocks. Outside hitter Gonzalo Quiroga 19 kills and nine digs for UCLA.
Stanford continues MPSF play on Saturday, Jan. 18 at No. 11 UC Santa Barbara. First serve between the Cardinal and Gauchos is set for 7 p.m. PT at Rob Gym.