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RT @StanfordWVB: Final: @PennStateVBALL 3, @StanfordWVB 1 Cardinal ends the season 33-2, tying for the most wins in program history. #gosta: 10 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Cardinal within one after block from Bugg and Ajanaku. A hush over the crowd in OKC as it's 20-19 PSU in the fourth, up two sets to one.: 11 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
It's getting late quickly for the Card. PSU up 18-15 in the fourth set. Another Dunning timeout, this one the most important of the year.: 11 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
PSU with three straight points to even the fourth set at 13. Timeout Stanford.: 11 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Cardinal up 10-7 in the fourth set. Down two sets to one.: 11 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Stanford has been down 2-1 three times this season, and it has a 2-1 record in those matches. (W @ Illinois, W @ Colorado, L @ Washington): 11 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Card closed to within one point on three occasions towards the end of the 3rd, but couldn't pull it out. PSU wins it 25-22, takes 2-1 lead.: 11 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
RT @jwallach12: Neither team has been able to get in a rhythm since the beginning of the first set. It's a dogfight out there. Exactly what…: 11 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
RT @dohyoungpark: This just feels like another one of those five-set marathon matches. Par for the course between these two teams.: 11 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Two straight points for the Lions after the timeout, take first lead in the set since 6-5. Dunning calls another timeout.: 11 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport

Volleyball sweeps tough SoCal slate against Pepperdine, USC

The No. 10 Stanford men’s volleyball team (12-7, 9-7 MPSF) made a statement this weekend in Southern California, knocking off two top-10 opponents in impressive performances. The Cardinal defeated No. 4 Pepperdine in four sets in Malibu on Friday and then went on to sweep No. 6 USC on Sunday for the team’s first win in the Galen Center since 2010. With the two wins, Stanford has returned to the middle of the MPSF standings heading into the final month of conference play.

(MIKE KHEIR/The Stanford Daily)

Senior outside hitter Steven Irvin (left) led the Cardinal offense in its victory against Pepperdine with 17 kills. He also recorded three blocks as the Cardinal went on to defeat the Waves in four sets. (MIKE KHEIR/The Stanford Daily)

With an efficient offensive performance in which Stanford hit .377 as a team, the Cardinal were able to knock off the Pepperdine Waves (10-5, 10-5) in four sets, 25-21, 15-25, 28-26, 25-21. Stanford started the match off aggressively, knowing it had to try to gain an early advantage in order to beat a team that had previously lost just one game at home this season. In that successful first set, the Cardinal hit .615, including 19 kills and just three errors.

While the Cardinal struggled in the second set, losing by 10, they were able to regain the offensive power they had in the first set to pull through the remainder of the match and clinch the win. Although the Cardinal were losing early in the third set, they bounced back to tie the set up at 15 and never looked back.

Senior outside hitter Steven Irvin led the Cardinal offense with 17 kills and three blocks. Fellow seniors Brian Cook and Eric Mochalski also contributed double-digit kills, with Cook at 16 and Mochalski at 13.

On Sunday, Stanford swept USC (11-7, 10-7) by continuing to dominate with its offense, this time in a historic manner (25-15, 25-14, 25-22). The team hit a season-high .527 in the match, a mark that ties the second-highest hitting percentage in program history in the rally-scoring era.

In the first set, the Cardinal gained an early lead and separated themselves with multiple runs, the longest being a seven-point streak. Again in the second set, Stanford scored the first four points and never let the Trojans take the lead. In the final set, the teams traded points for most of the set until the Cardinal took a 20-18 lead and powered through to win the game by four.

Mochalski led the Cardinal with 18 kills and a .667 hitting percentage. Irvin and sophomore setter James Shaw also added eight kills for the night. Meanwhile, Stanford’s defense was equally impressive, holding USC to a .258 hitting percentage. The Cardinal outblocked the Trojans 7-2 and also held USC to the lowest amount of points it has scored in a 25-point set all season with just 14 in the second set.

Stanford will face both Pepperdine and USC again in two weeks, this time with home-court advantage. But first, the Cardinal will host a doubleheader against No. 8 Hawaii on Friday and Saturday, with both matches set for 7 p.m. at Maples Pavilion.

Contact Eliza Thompson at elizat ‘at’ stanford.edu.