Brad Lawson recorded 11 kills and Erik Shoji had 10 digs as the Stanford men's volleyball team downed visiting UC Santa Cruz, 28-26, 25-17, 25-14, Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams.
The defending national champions open Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play a week from Friday with a home match against BYU at 7 p.m. in Maples Pavilion.
The Cardinal won its last six in a row last season and 17 of 19 overall to win the NCAA title, recording the final victory at Maples. Stanford has now won its last 16 home matches.
After the Banana Slugs won the first two points of the first set, Lawson, who recorded Stanford's final kill last season, had the first Cardinal kill of the year. Gus Ellis followed with a service ace.
The match was tied six times and UC Santa Cruz held a 19-13 advantage before the Cardinal could recover and take its first lead at 26-25 on a Banana Slugs' hitting error.
It was tied again at 26, when Steven Irvin and Evan Berry had back-to-back kills to give Stanford the first set victory.
UC Santa Cruz held early leads in each of the last two sets but Stanford responded with long runs to finish off the match.
Fourth-ranked Stanford hosts Arizona in its home opener Thursday at 7 p.m. looking to extend its 52-game home winning streak.
The Cardinal (1-0, 10-2) has won its last 17 meetings with the Wildcats and leads the all-time series, 53-12.
Arizona (2-0, 11-2) is off to one of its best starts in a long time. Led by Ify Ibekwe, one of the premiere players in the Pac-10, the Wildcats swept the Oregon schools to open conference play last weekend while Stanford won at Cal.
Junior forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike is expected to play following a shoulder injury that forced an early exit in Sunday's game at California.
Stanford (1-0, 8-4) hopes it has the magic of home bottled up for its first Pac-10 road trip of the season.
The Cardinal plays at Arizona State (1-1, 8-5) Thursday at 5:30 p.m., where it hasn't won in almost two years. Stanford is 1-4 away from Maples Pavilion thus far.
Arizona State has won five of its last six games overall after starting the year 3-4. The Sun Devils have played just five home games this year, the fewest of any major conference school in the country.
Jack Trotter is 10-of-18 from the field in four career meetings against Arizona State, averaging 5.5 points per game.
Jeremy Green is 18-of-55 from the field (32.7 percent), his worst against any Pac-10 school. He has grabbed more rebounds (21) against the Sun Devils in five career games than any other league opponent.