CHICAGO – The No. 3 seed Stanford men’s volleyball team ran into a Loyola-Chicago squad on a mission, Saturday, in the NCAA championship match at Gentile Arena in Chicago, Ill. The Cardinal fell 25-17, 19-25, 25-19, 25-15 to the top-seeded Ramblers in front of a sold-out crowd of 4,485.
Stanford (24-9) came up short in winning the program’s third NCAA title, but still has much to be proud of when looking back on its season. The Cardinal began MPSF play 6-7 before going on a 13-match winning streak to reach the conference finals. Stanford posted its 11th 20-win season in program history and fourth under eighth-year head coach John Kosty.
Loyola-Chicago became the first school to win an NCAA Division I-II Men’s national title on its home court since the Cardinal accomplished that feat in 2010. The Ramblers hit lights out, posting a .452 team hitting percentage. They also outblocked the Cardinal 8.5 to 5.5 and racked up 39 digs.
NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player Cody Caldwell led Loyola with 20 kills on a .562 attack percentage and 10 digs. Joe Smalzer and Thomas Jaeschke added 12 kills apiece for the Ramblers.
Stanford All-American Brian Cook led the team in kills for the 24th time this season, registering 15 on a .243 hitting percentage. Senior All-American Steven Irvin tallied 10 kills, five digs and four blocks, while senior opposite Eric Mochalski finished with nine kills and four digs.
Sophomore setter James Shaw collected 39 assists to go with three kills and two service aces. Sophomore middle Conrad Kaminski totaled seven kills on a .417 hitting percentage and three blocks, while junior middle Spencer Haly had three kills and two blocks. Redshirt junior Grant Delgado notched five digs and an assist.
Cook and Shaw were selected to the All-Tournament team. Stanford is now 2-3 in NCAA title matches.