The No. 4 Stanford Cardinal (18-3, 16-3 MPSF) defeated the No. 10 Cal State Northridge Matadors (13-13, 6-13) in four sets on Wednesday night.
Senior middle blocker Conrad Kaminski continued his hot hitting streak, recording his second career double-double with 12 kills and 10 blocks. His first came just last week against USC. Senior outside hitter Madison Hayden also recorded a double-double with 20 kills and 11 digs.
With their 25-19 win in the first set, the Cardinal have now taken the first set in each of their 21 matches this season. After starting the set with a 3-0 run, Stanford maintained the lead throughout, limiting the Matadors to a .143 hitting percentage. For their part, the Cardinal hit .469 in the set, led by Kaminski’s 6 kills on 7 attempts (.857).
Stanford faltered in the second, falling 30-28 to CSUN, with each point hotly contested. After Northridge took a quick 5-0 lead, the Cardinal battled back, but the Matadors always answered. The score was tied 19 times, and the teams alternated points for much of the set, forcing extra points. Despite leading the Matadors on the attack and block, the Cardinal were hampered by poor service, tallying 7 errors to the Matadors’ 1.
“We’re hitting the ball harder, we’re just missing too many [serves],” said head coach John Kosty. “That’s one of the things that has really helped us with this season is being a good, consistent serving team that does a nice job from the line and we don’t miss that many.”
The third set was nearly as close as the second. Stanford trailed for much of the set before a slick kill from senior outside hitter Madison Hayden brought the Cardinal within one and forced a Northridge timeout at 22-21. The Cardinal emerged from the timeout with renewed energy to take the next three points. After giving up a single point to the Matadors, Kaminski notched his 12th kill of the night to give Stanford the set, 25-23.
After a close start, Stanford returned to form in the middle of the fourth set, establishing and maintaining a lead to take the set 25-18. Although the Matadors fought hard, they were plagued by errors and the Cardinal capitalized.
“We had a good night,” Kaminski said. “We buckled down, we’re playing some better volleyball again and we’re going to take a couple steps in the next couple days and hopefully keep that trend going for Long Beach [State].”
Up next, the Cardinal will take on fifth-ranked Long Beach State at home on Saturday. Stanford lost the last time these teams met, and the team will be looking for revenge. First serve is at 7 p.m. in Maples Pavilion.
Contact Olivia Hummer at ohummer ‘at’ stanford.edu.