In its regular-season finale, No. 3 Stanford men’s volleyball (19-5, 17-5 MPSF) suffered its second straight loss, this time at the hands of No. 7 UC Santa Barbara (19-9, 14-8). The Cardinal were outhit .299 to .360 by the Gauchos, and although they were able to claim the second set, the Cardinal were unable to overcome early deficits, ultimately falling 19-25, 25-23, 23-25, 23-25.
Santa Barbara took an early match lead after handily capturing the first set, hitting .615 for the set as it came out swinging to pick up an early 5-2 lead that it wouldn’t relinquish. Stanford picked up the pace defensively in the second, and the Cardinal were able to eke out a win in a close set that was tied 15 times.
Stanford led for much of the third set, but the Cardinal failed to combat a late rally from UCSB while ceding points on an error-filled attack. The Gauchos would take the set on a service error from senior middle blocker Conrad Kaminski, his second of the night.
The fourth set was tight at the start, but Santa Barbara began to pull away after the score was tied at 10 points apiece. A late Cardinal rally failed to materialize, and the Gauchos secured a set and match win on a kill from freshman opposite Henri Cherry, who totaled 12 kills and hit a team-high .688 as one of four Gauchos who finished in double-digits in kills.
Despite the loss, several Stanford players put up notable individual performances. Freshman outside hitter Jordan Ewert tied his career-high, tallying a team-leading 11 kills for the third time this season. Sophomore middle blocker Kevin Rakestraw also had a strong night offensively, posting a .692 attack percentage with 9 kills and no errors on 13 swings.
On Saturday, Stanford get its chance to seek revenge against UCSB as it hosts the Gauchos in the quarterfinals of the upcoming MPSF Tournament. Stanford will be the No. 4 seed and will open against No. 5 seed UCSB on Saturday in Maples Pavilion. First serve will take place at 7 p.m.
Contact Olivia Hummer at ohummer ‘at’ stanford.edu.