Pauley Pavilion echoed with the sound of a crowd gathering on Thursday evening as the Stanford Cardinal men’s volleyball team took on No. 5 UCLA in Los Angeles. The Cardinal lost for the second time this season to UCLA in four sets (15-25, 25-20, 22-25, 15-25).
The Cardinal came into the game on a high off of back-to-back wins against 13th ranked Grand Canyon and No. 14 Concordia last weekend. They needed to use this momentum to take on of their toughest opponents yet.
A bit more than a month ago, the Stanford squad took on the Bruins at home, losing one set to three.
The Cardinal started off the match strong, with UCLA keeping a slight, but constant lead. In the first set, junior outside hitter Jordan Ewert made an impressive block for a kill that narrowed the lead to 9-6. The lead quickly widened again to 12-7 in favor of the Bruins. Freshman opposite Jaylen Jasper then made another kill — his fourth — to narrow the lead from 9-16 to 10-16. Ewert also notched four kills in the set. Despite Stanford’s best efforts, the home mean managed to win the first set 25-15. The Cardinal hit .409 in the first set.
The second set started off with strong again for the Cardinal, who quickly tied the game 4-4 off of a ace by freshman Kyler Presho. The Bruins then managed to regain a 12-8 lead, catalyzing a timeout called by the Cardinal. A block by Jasper got the ball rolling again, tying it up 14-14 and a kill by fifth-year senior Kevin Rakestraw gave the team a one-point advantage. A couple more kills and a beautiful spike by sophomore setter Paul Bischoff put Stanford at 18-16, allowing the team to run ahead with a set won 25-20.
The third set ultimately went to UCLA 25-22, but the Cardinal put up quite a fight. A block by Rakestraw and kills by Ewer and Bischoff were only a couple of the highlights of the set. Unfortunately for the away team, the fourth set followed suit, with the Cardinal somewhat falling off the rails and leaving UCLA enough space to win an easy 25-15 final set.
Jasper led the team with 14 kills, 34 attacks and a .176 clip. Ewert followed with eight kills, 25 total attacks and a .040 hitting percentage. Rakestraw and Presho also contributed eight and six kills, respectively. Overall, the Cardinal had 106 attacks, 44 kills, 22 errors and a .208 clip, along with 30 digs. On the other hand, the Bruins notched a much higher .412 hitting percentage with 97 attacks, 50 kills but only 10 errors. The Bruins were led by Daenan Gyimah with 15 kills and a .636 attack percentage and Christia Hessenauer’s 14 kills, .383 attack percentage.
Next up is the season’s final match against Pepperdine in Malibu on Saturday.
Contact Laura Sussman at laura111 ‘at’ stanford.edu