Despite keeping the last two sets close, No. 6 Stanford men’s volleyball (8-5, 5-3 MPSF) was upset by unranked USC (4-9, 3-7) in three sets in Los Angeles on Thursday. The Cardinal offense was uncharacteristically stagnant, hitting a season-low .089 over the course of the match, including a mark of .000 (9-9-32) in the first set.
Sophomore outside hitter Jordan Ewert led the Cardinal with 12 kills, but his accuracy suffered as he tallied seven errors as well, bringing his attack percentage down to .156. Fifth-year senior Gabriel Vega recorded 10 kills but hit only .167 as well.
Stanford jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first, but quickly squandered it, committing errors on three of the next four points and allowing USC to take a 4-3 lead. From there, the Trojans maintained their momentum; the Cardinal tied it up twice, but they could not regain the lead, eventually falling 25-19.
The second set was no better for Stanford, as the Cardinal were unable to secure a single lead. A 4-1 Stanford run tied the score at 16 apiece, but the Trojans claimed nine of the next 12 points, claiming the set 25-20. Despite the loss, Stanford improved its hitting percentage to .111, but USC was able to hit .407 over the course of the set, its highest mark of the match.
The Cardinal fought back in the third, pulling out to a 13-10 lead before the Trojans regained their footing. However, USC retaliated with a 6-2 tear to claim a lead it would not relinquish. Stanford fell to the Trojans 25-23, dropping its fifth match of the season.
Up next, the Cardinal will take on Cal Baptist (2-9, 1-7) on Saturday. Stanford handily swept the Lancers the last time these teams met, and the Cardinal will look for a quick turnaround when they head to Riverside, California. With Emmett Enriques, the younger brother of Stanford’s Evan Enriques starting at libero, the game will showcase a fun family rivalry, as well. First serve is at 7 p.m., and the match will be streamed on CBULancers.com.
Contact Olivia Hummer at ohummer ‘at’ stanford.edu.