Stanford men’s volleyball (1-6) was defeated by No. 1 Long Beach State (7-0) on Saturday at Maples Pavilion in a highly competitive three-set match.
Long Beach State has had an astounding start to its season, now registering a 7-0 run after the Saturday match. Stanford, on the other hand, has had a rough beginning to its season, with four losses to open up the year. The team now holds a 1-6 record that it will be looking to improve.
Despite the final outcome, the Cardinal put up a good fight against the number one team in the country.
Early on in the first, the Cardinal was up 10-9 after an up by senior libero Evan Enriques led to a kill by freshman outside hitter/opposite Jaylen Jasper. The set saw two lead changes and 10 tied scores as the teams battled it out. Unfortunately for the Cardinal, their momentum died down just enough to let the 49ers slip away with a 25-21 set.
The second set started out right for the Cardinal as well, as it kept pace with the Beach in the early hits. Soon, though, the away team was running away with the set, up 11-6 and then 16-10 soon thereafter. This pattern continued, and Long Beach State quickly took another set, this time 25-19.
Stanford definitely felt the flame growing under them as it entered into what could possibly be the last set and quickly took a 6-2 lead. But, the Beach retaliated with full force and soon was up 10-8. The two teams traded points until they found themselves tied at 18-18 after a kill by sophomore opposite Eli Wopat. The opponents found themselves head to head with a 22-22 tie a few minutes later, and the pressure was on. Long Beach State was ultimately able to get the win in a 25-23 closing set after a kill by the 49er’s junior opposite/outside hitter Kyle Ensing and a service error by Dervay.
Middle blockers, redshirt senior Kevin Rakestraw and freshman Kyler Presho, led the team with nine kills each, with the overall hit rate at .225. Rakestraw added a season-high four digs, while Presho had three blocks.
Enriques tied Rakestraw with four digs and junior setter Russell Dervay led the team with five digs. Dervay also completed 27 assists and three blocks.
Ensing earned 12 kills and seven digs, maintaining a .385 hitting rate. Junior outside hitter TJ DeFalco recorded 12 kills as well. Junior libero Jordan Molina led the match with 10 digs.
A stretch of seven away games now awaits the Cardinal as it recovers from Saturday’s match. The first will be in Long Beach against Long Beach State for a rematch on Friday, Jan 26.
Contact Laura Sussman at laura111 ‘at’ stanford.edu.