April 11, 2008
Stanford, Calif. -
Stanford men's volleyball knew coming in that every game matters at this point in the season. With five teams in the MPSF separated by just one game, a loss or a win provides a big swing in the standings. The Cardinal dropped the first game Friday, but rallied to win the next three games (24-30, 30-27, 30-20, 30-28) in a big victory over UCLA. The win put them in a dead heat with the Bruins with only one match to go. Both teams have an 11-10 record in MPSF conference play.
Freshman Spencer McLachlin had a huge game for the Cardinal and finished with 22 kills and a .365 attack percentage on the evening. Sophomore Evan Romero had 14 kills for the Cardinal, but the hero of the night was senior Jesse Meredith, playing in his final home game at Maples Pavilion. Meredith recorded 10 kills on a .450 attack percentage after not playing as much recently as he did at the beginning of the season. Meredith was the emotional spark as well, providing big energy to the Cardinal, especially after dropping the first game.
Romero and freshman Jordan Inafuku recorded 11 digs each to lead the team. Sophomore Kawika Shoji once again showed his passing proficiency, and led the team with 52 assists on the night. Four Stanford players hit .350 or better on the evening, with Garrett Werner recording a .625 attack percentage and five kills. Junior Brandon Williams also recorded a .357 attack percentage and finished with seven kills.
In the thrilling fourth set, the Cardinal pulled to a tie with the Bruins, with both teams deadlocked at 28 points each. McLachlin recorded back to back kills to finish the match and clinch the game for the Cardinal.
After a struggle against Long Beach State, the Cardinal passed the ball much better tonight and was in control of the flow of play for most of the night. Werner also led the team with seven blocks on the evening, McLachlin was second with five.
The Cardinal will return to the court on Saturday, Apr. 12 when they take on the UC Irvine Anteaters at 7:00 p.m. The game is scheduled to take place at Burnham Pavilion. Come honor seniors Matt Ceran and Jesse Meredith, as they play in the final home regular season game at Stanford. This match also has heavy playoff implications, with the Anteaters coming in with an identical 11-10 conference record.