Stanford loses MPSF volleyball playoff opener


The Stanford men's volleyball team was bounced by Long Beach State, 26-24, 25-27, 25-23, 19-25, 15-13, in the first round of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament at Maples Pavilion on Saturday night.

The loss made defending NCAA champion Stanford's case for an at-large berth in the four-team NCAA tournament remote, but not impossible. The selection committee will decide on the sole at-large spot next Sunday.

Stanford (19-9), the No. 3 seed in the eight-team tournament, got 27 kills and a .426 hitting percentage from Brad Lawson, and had a 12-10 lead in the fifth set. But Long Beach State (15-13) scored the final three points of the match – on a pair of kills by freshman Taylor Crabb and a Stanford attack that went wide on match point, to overcome a 13-12 deficit.

Long Beach State advances to a semifinal matchup against No. 7 seed UC Santa Barbara, an upset winner over No. 2 seed BYU. No. 1 USC plays No. 5 UC Irvine in the other semifinal. The semifinals and final will be held at USC's Galen Center, Thursday and Saturday.

— David Kiefer, Stanford Athletics

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