STANFORD, Calif. – In a complete team effort, the seventh-ranked Stanford men’s volleyball team swept UC San Diego, 25-14, 25-16, 25-16, Friday, at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, Calif. The Cardinal improves to 6-4 overall and 3-4 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, while the Tritons drop to 0-10 on the year and 0-9 in conference.
As a team, Stanford hit .375 and notched a 74 percent sideout rate. The Cardinal put down 12 service aces, led by senior Brian Cook and redshirt junior Daniel Tublin with three apiece. Stanford held UCSD to a .100 attack percentage, a season-best against an opponent. The Cardinal also out blocked the Tritons 8.5 to 2.0.
“I liked our demeanor tonight and our focus,” said head coach John Kosty. “I think we did a good job against their players. Our keys were to slow down their middles and focuse on their pin hitters. We did a nice job with the game plan.”
Sophomore setter James Shaw controlled the offense with 23 assists, while also registering seven digs, three kills, two blocks and two aces. Cook led the squad with eight kills on 14 swings with no errors to hit .571. Senior outside hitter Steven Irvin added six kills, two aces and a match-best eight digs. Senior opposite Eric Mochalski also recorded six kills to go with five digs and two blocks.
Several Cardinal players came off the bench to contribute in the sweep. In total, 14 players saw the court against the Tritons. Sophomore Madison Hayden played in all three sets, finishing with two kills, two digs and two blocks. Sophomore setter Joe Ctvrtlik tallied four assists and a dig, while junior Spencer Haly hit .500 (4-1-6) and posted three blocks.
“A lot of guys are earning playing time, and in this league it is tough to find it sometimes,” added Kosty. “I thought everybody did a really nice job. Our starters were great and the guys off the bench did a nice job. Madison Hayden played well and Joe Ctvrtlik came in and ran a nice offense. It was great to see those guys step up.”
UCSD was led by senior Matt Brunsting’s seven kills and seven digs. Redshirt junior Scot Metzger added five kills on a .400 attack percentage.
Stanford will have a quick turnaround as it hosts No. 9 UC Irvine on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 12:30 p.m. PT. The Cardinal and Anteaters will meet live from Maples Pavilion on Pac-12 Bay Area.
“It’s an MPSF match and as [UC Irvine’s] Coach Kniffin said, ‘We’ve got to play the matches sometime’. It’s a great opportunity to get the match on TV, and we are going to take full advantage of it. It is going to be a great match tomorrow. I expect both teams to play at high levels and I think both teams are going to be ready to battle,” said Kosty.