Widgets Magazine
Men’s volleyball sweeps USC in home MPSF opener
Middle Blocker Kevin Rakestraw aided the Cardinal in the back as they took on and dominated USC. (RAHIM ULLAH/The Stanford Daily)

Men’s volleyball sweeps USC in home MPSF opener

On the back of .615 (9-1-13) hitting by senior middle blocker Kevin Rakestraw, No. 8 Stanford men’s volleyball (5-2, 2-0 MPSF) swept USC (2-6, 1-4) in Maples Pavilion Thursday night. The Trojans were crippled by 27 attack errors on the night, while seven Cardinal combined for 11.0 blocks, led by Rakestraw’s six block assists.

USC opened the first set with a kill by sophomore outside hitter Woody Cook, and the Trojans were briefly able to hold a lead, going up 6-3 before Stanford got its footing and gained control. After going up 11-10 on a USC attack error, the Cardinal never looked back, running away with the set to a 25-19 victory.

Stanford carried its momentum into the second set, recovering from a 3-1 Trojan lead to dominate the set, carrying an advantage from a 4-3 score onward. The Cardinal claimed the second set 25-17.

In the third and final set, Stanford took the first point and kept the Trojans at bay for the rest of the match, never relinquishing the lead on its way to a 25-20 win.

Although USC racked up 34 kills to the Cardinal’s 30 – and had over 30 more attack attempts – the Trojans could not overcome their 27 attack errors.

Throughout the match, the Trojans felt the absence of their leading hitter, Lucas Yoder, who sustained a high ankle sprain in practice this week. Cook, one of three kill leaders for USC, finished the match with a .000 attack percentage due to his equal number of kills and errors, and three Trojans finished with a negative hitting percentage. Stanford hit just .070 as a team, as opposed to USC’s solid .304.

Up next, the Cardinal will host Cal Baptist (2-6, 1-4) tonight in Maples Pavilion. The Lancers have lost their last four matches, and were swept by No. 2 UCLA and then-No. 12 UC Santa Barbara last week. Cal Baptist is led by senior outside hitter Luis Palos, who has recorded 2.41 kills per set so far this season.

For its part, Stanford will turn once again to its potent offense and shutdown defense when it faces the Lancers. First serve is at 7 p.m. tonight in Maples Pavilion.

 

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

About Olivia Hummer

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.