After securing a playoff berth with its five-set win over UC San Diego on Saturday, No. 9 Stanford men’s volleyball (12-11, 7-9 MPSF) will look to wrap up the regular season this weekend as it takes on No. 5 UC Irvine (17-6, 11-5) on Friday and UCSD (7-17, 3-13) on Saturday.
Stanford is coming off a hard-fought home win over the Tritons, led by opposite Gabriel Vega, who tied his career-high with 21 kills. It was a big win for the fifth-year senior, who secured a victory in his final match in Maples Pavilion.
UC Irvine is riding a six-match winning streak as it heads into Friday’s matchup. The Anteaters are currently hitting .317 as a team, and several players are highly ranked in conference statistics. Middle blocker Scott Stadick, in particular, is a threat on both offense and defense. His 1.11 blocks per set rank fourth in the MPSF, and his .445 attack percentage is good for fifth in the conference. UC Irvine defeated Stanford in four sets in Maples Pavilion last weekend.
Saturday’s matchup will reprise last weekend’s standoff between the Cardinal and the Tritons, but this time, UCSD will have the home-court advantage. Tanner Syftestad paces the team with 4.15 kills per set, which places him fourth in the MPSF. Senior outside hitter Ian Colbert was a particular thorn in the side of the Cardinal the last time the two teams met, as he led the team with 16 kills on .324 hitting.
The two matches will be streamed on UCIrvineSports.com (free) and UCSDTritons.tv (paywall), respectively, and live statistics will be available on GoStanford.com. First serve will be at 7 p.m. for both matches.
Contact Olivia Hummer at ohummer ‘at’ stanford.edu.