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Men’s volleyball sweeps post-finals games with wins over USC, Cal Baptist

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After an uncharacteristic loss to then-No. 9 Pepperdine on March 12, No. 5 Stanford men’s volleyball (17-3, 15-3 MPSF) returned to form after the finals break, defeating USC (6-16, 4-14) in four sets on Thursday and sweeping No. 15 Cal Baptist (12-14, 4-14) on Friday. With these wins, the Cardinal reclaimed sole possession of the top conference record in the MPSF and are on their way to securing home-court advantage in the upcoming MPSF quarterfinals.

On Thursday night, Stanford showed off its defensive prowess. The Cardinal outdug the Trojans 31 to 27 and recorded 14.0 blocks — one shy of their season high. Senior middle blocker Conrad Kaminski paced the squad with a season-best 10 blocks and 11 kills, notching his first career double-double in the process. He also contributed two of Stanford’s 10 aces on the night.

After the Cardinal easily took the first set with a 25-16 win, the Trojans fought back, keeping the second set close. Despite the Trojans’ best attempts, Stanford was able to eke out a 25-23 victory. The Cardinal then faltered in the third, making 6 service errors and 6 attack errors to give the set to USC, 23-25. Stanford got its revenge in the fourth, never losing the lead to take the set and the match 25-20.

While the Cardinal offense struggled on Friday night, their defense again shined, holding the Cal Baptist Lancers to a mere .052 attack percentage and completing the sweep with a 25-16, 25-20, 25-19 win. Overall, Stanford outblocked Cal Baptist with 13.5 team blocks to the Lancers’ 5.5 while recording 37 digs to the Lancers’ 32.  

Senior setter James Shaw registered his third double-double of the season with 20 assists and 10 digs, while hitting 1.000 (5-0-5) with 4 blocks and 1 ace. Kaminski continued to perform well, leading the team with 7 blocks. Senior outside hitter Madison Hayden anchored the offense with a team-leading 8 kills.

Stanford takes on No. 11 Cal State Northridge on Wednesday, March 30, before facing off against conference rival Long Beach State on Saturday. First serve of both matches is at 7 p.m. in Maples Pavilion.

 

Contact Olivia Hummer at ohummer ‘at’ stanford.edu.

Olivia Hummer '17 is a managing editor of The Daily's sports section and writes about volleyball, football and baseball. When she's not filling in as an emergency copy editor, she can be found curled up in a ball bemoaning the misfortunes of her beloved Seattle Mariners or cursing the misuse of the Stanford Athletics logo. Olivia is a senior majoring in history from Covina, California, and can be reached at ohummer 'at' stanford.edu.