Cardinal gets revenge on No. 9 BYU in California
STANFORD, Calif. — The No. 8 ranked Stanford Cardinal (12-6, 4-3 MPSF) got revenge on No. 9 BYU men’s volleyball (8-5, 4-3 MPSF) Saturday night at Maples Pavilion, defeating the Cougars in four sets (25-20, 25-20, 22-25, 25-21).
Freshman Davide Gardini led BYU on both sides of the ball in the match, filling up the stat sheet with 13 kills, 10 digs and a career-high five blocks. Gabi Garcia Fernandez also had 13 kills on the night, while Wil Stanley had 24 assists and a career-high four blocks.
The first set was close to start, with Stanford getting out to a slight lead, 11-9. The Cardinal then got the first service ace of the match to extend its lead to 13-9 soon after. A triple block by the Cougars allowed them to trim the lead to just one, 19-18, and prevent a first-set blowout. A series of errors by BYU allowed Stanford to pull away again, however, taking the first set 25-20.
The Cardinal once again got out to a lead early in the second set with a 10-6 advantage. Back-to-back kills by the Cougars allowed them to close the gap and tie the game at 13, only to go back down again by four, 17-13, soon after. Jordan Ewert’s 11th kill of the match gave the Cardinal its second-consecutive set with a matching score of 25-20.
Coach Olmstead made some changes in the third set, bringing in Zach Hendrickson at libero and freshman Kana’i Akana as another attacker. Stanford got out to a 12-9 lead, but BYU came back to tie it at 15. A triple block gave the Cougars a 16-15 lead and Stanley his fourth block assist. The set continued to go back and forth before BYU broke out to 22-19 lead. Gardini got a kill and a block to withstand a late comeback by the Cardinal and the Cougars took the third set, 25-22.
Three consecutive kills by Ewert gave Stanford a 12-10 lead early in the fourth set before Garcia Fernandez got his 10th kill to stop the run and bring BYU within one, 12-11. The set was then tied up at 14 on an attack error from Ewert, but he redeemed himself soon after with his 20th kill to put Stanford out in front once again, 19-15.
BYU refused to go away, however, and another kill by Garcia Fernandez brought the Cougars within two, 21-19, and forced a Stanford timeout. Ewert proved hard to stop and got another pair of kills to put the Cardinal up big again, 24-20. Gardini stopped the bleeding momentarily with his 13th kill, but Jaylen Jasper’s 10th kill of the night sealed the set and match for the Cardinal, 25-21.
The Cougars return home next week to face UC Irvine in back-to-back matches Friday, Mar. 8, and Saturday, Mar. 9 in the Smith Fieldhouse. The matches will be streamed live on TheW.tv and live stats can be found on the schedule page.