No. 4 Stanford men’s volleyball (1-0) will face No. 8 Lewis University (1-1) Friday night in the team’s home opener before preparing to host Grand Canyon University on Saturday.
Fresh off a commanding performance in which it beat No. 2 UCLA, the Cardinal has moved up in the national rankings, but Stanford will still have its work cut out for it in the home opener. The Flyers have already had a tough schedule, losing to defending national champion UC-Irvine in their season opener in four very close sets (21-25, 25-19, 26-24, 25-23). Four days later, Lewis faced No. 3 Brigham Young and defeated the Cougars in four sets (25-22, 23-25, 25-21, 25-23).
The Cardinal’s offense looked strong against UCLA, hitting .433 for the match. Senior outside hitters Brian Cook and Steven Irvin had very solid offensive performances, taking their place early on as the leaders of Stanford’s offense.
Stanford will also look toward its four returning seniors for leadership and the ability to play consistently and with poise in a stressful situation. Furthermore, Stanford will be helped if sophomore setter James Shaw can follow up his 53-assist match against UCLA with another stellar performance.
Lewis’ main offensive threat against Stanford will come from juniors Greg Petty and Geoff Powell, who both have averaged at least 3.5 kills per set so far this season. Lewis setter BJ Boldog finished 10thin the nation last season, averaging 10.29 assists per set. Boldog and Powell were named to the 2014 Preseason All-MIVA Team.
Stanford will also face Grand Canyon in the only match at Burnham Pavilion this season. The match will be Grand Canyon’s season opener. GCU’s offense will be led by senior outside hitter Ben Ponnet, who is a two-time all-conference selection.
Friday’s match against the Flyers and Saturday’s against the Antelopes will both be held at 7 p.m.
Contact Eliza Thompson at elizat ‘at’ stanford.edu.