Notching its first Mountain Pacific Sports Federation sweep, the 13th-ranked Stanford men's volleyball team defeated UC San Diego, 25-21, 25-17, 25-17, in Maples Pavilion on Friday.
The Cardinal move to 9-11 overall and 6-8 in the MPSF, while the Tritons drop to 2-19 on the year and 0-15 in conference.
Stanford, which has out-hit its opponents in all nine of its wins this season, posted a .268 attack percentage while holding UCSD to a .099 clip. The Tritons hitting percentage was the second-lowest by a Cardinal opponent this year. The Tritons tallied 14.0 team blocks to just 4.0 by Stanford.
Junior middle blocker Conrad Kaminski led the team with a .583 hitting percentage, posting nine kills to go with four digs, three blocks and an ace. Senior middle blocker Spencer Haly chipped in with six kills on .545 hitting.
"I thought tonight was a good team win," said ninth-year head coach John Kosty. "Our middles did a really nice job. That was pretty much the backbone of our effort. UC San Diego is a solid team that played great defense and blocked really well tonight."
Redshirt sophomore Gabriel Vega, the reigning MPSF Player of the Week and AVCA National Player of the Week, finished with a match-high 10 kills and five digs. Junior outside hitter Madison Hayden added nine kills, eight digs and two aces.
Junior setter James Shaw controlled the offense with 32 assists to go with eight digs and three blocks. Redshirt freshman middle blocker Kevin Rakestraw played in two sets and tallied three service aces. In total, 13 Cardinal players took the court against the Tritons.
"The team works really hard day in and day out, and everyone contributes," explained Kosty. "A match is just like any other day where guys earn their positions and roles. They are also contributors on this team who help us win and help us keep improving so we can have the type of season we want to have this year."
Stanford will take a two-week break for winter final exams before taking the court again on March 27 at CSUN. The Cardinal also will face Long Beach State on March 28 on its final southern California road swing this season.
"We are in finals week now, so this break is mandatory. There are a lot of schools taking a break right now," added Kosty. "It's time to get healthy, recover and get over some nagging injuries, and then be ready for the last push. I think we have done a nice job of putting ourselves back into the playoff picture and now we just need to keep improving week after week."
Stanford senior Chasson Randle has been named the 2015 Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year in men's basketball, league officials announced Wednesday during the opening round of the Pac-12 Tournament.
In order to be eligible for the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, student-athletes must be a senior (in athletics eligibility) on track to receive a degree, have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least 50 percent of the scheduled contests in the sport and have a minimum of one year in residence at the institution.
The athletic accomplishments of the nominees are also factored into the voting for the award. It's the third Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor for Stanford overall, with Landry Fields (2010) and Dwight Powell (2014) also earning recognition.
Stanford's Maverick McNealy and Viraat Badhwar qualified for the inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship on Monday at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz. The sophomores combined for a 5-under-par 65 on the challenging layout to tie for second, two strokes behind pacesetters Satch Hermann and Daniel Ragsdale of USC.
The top three teams advanced to the tournament proper, May 2-6 on the Lake Course at the Olympic Club in Daly City. McNealy carded six birdies and Badhwar added another in addition to having a pair of bogeys.
Stanford's Kassidy Cook and Lilly Hinrichs qualified for the NCAA Championships during this week's NCAA Zone E Diving Championships. The pair will travel to Greensboro, N.C., along with 14 Cardinal swimmers March 19-21