The fifth-ranked Stanford men's volleyball team fought back from an 0-2 deficit to force a deciding fifth set against No. 6 UC Santa Barbara, but the Cardinal still dropped a 20-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-21, 12-15 decision on Saturday in the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals at Maples Pavilion.
The Cardinal (19-6) edged the Gauchos (20-9) in hitting percentage for the match, .367 to .358. Stanford also held a 9.0 to 5.5 advantage in blocks, but UCSB capitalized on 22 Cardinal service errors.
Senior Madison Hayden led the team with 20 kills on .319 hitting, eight digs and four blocks. It marked the third 20-point match of the season for the outside hitter. Redshirt junior opposite Gabriel Vega turned in his second career double-double, and first of the season, with 12 kills on .357 hitting and 10 digs.
Senior setter James Shaw directed the Cardinal offense with a season-best 56 assists. He also tallied five kills and seven digs. Both of Stanford's middle blockers, Conrad Kaminski and Kevin Rakestraw, recorded double-digit kills on the night. Kaminski totaled 13 kills and four blocks, while Rakestraw finished with 11 kills (.588) and three blocks.
Sophomore Kyle Dagostino provided a spark off the bench with his serves, while also picking up three assists. Freshman Jordan Ewert added six kills and four digs, while sophomore libero Evan Enriques notched seven digs.
UCSB was led by redshirt junior opposite Matt Marsh, who tied Hayden for a match-high 20 kills. Austin Kingi chipped in with 16 kills and seven digs, while middle blocker Ryan Hardy totaled 12 kills on .733 hitting.
Junior starter Chris Castellanos nearly went the distance in another solid start on Saturday night, but his Arizona counterparts handed the Cardinal its second straight 4-1 defeat at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson.
Castellanos set a career high with 7.2 strong innings, did not allow a walk and struck out three. But Stanford was held to six hits and lost its first Pac-12 series of the season after starting the year with three straight series wins in conference play (first time since 2008).
Junior Tommy Edman led off the game with a single, but was eventually stranded at second. That was an ominous sign for the Cardinal. Stanford later loaded the bases with one out in the top of the third, but a double play ended the inning. In all, the Cardinal left nine runners on base, including two more in the fourth and one each in the fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth innings.
Castellanos kept the Cardinal close as the deficit was just 1-0 halfway through. Arizona put up the first crooked number when a leadoff triple in the third eventually scored on a groundout to make it 1-0. Two innings later, the Wildcats extended their lead to 4-0 with three runs on four singles.
John Hochstatter relieved Castellanos with two on and two out in the bottom of the eighth. He got a groundout to end the inning.
For the second straight night, Stanford entered the ninth down 4-0, and for the second straight night the offense threatened to get the Cardinal back in it. Senior Jonny Locher walked, and scored from first when senior Austin Barr launched a pinch-hit double over the left fielder's head. But that was as close as the Wildcats would let Stanford get.
Stanford enjoyed a successful day in its first regatta at Redwood Shores this season, winning five of six races in the Stanford Invitational/Pac-12 Challenge.
The Cardinal varsity eight and second varsity eight earned wins over Santa Clara and Hobart. Stanford's third varsity eight posted a win over Washington State in the morning session.
"Tremendous team effort today as all boats raced well," said Stanford head men's rowing coach Craig Amerkhanian. "Wisconsin tomorrow will be a great way to close the 2016 Stanford Pac-12 Challenge and Stanford Invitational."
The Cardinal opened the morning with a pair of wins over Hobart in the varsity eight and the second varsity eight. Stanford's top boat raced down the course in 5:46.4 to claim an open water victory over Hobart (5:57.1).
In the second varsity eight, Stanford completed the course in 6:00.1 to take the race over Hobart (6:06.9).
Stanford's third varsity eight posted a time of 6:13.0 to defeat Washington State in the Cardinal's final race of the morning session.
The Cardinal varsity eight recorded a time of 5:47.1 in the afternoon to defeat Santa Clara (5:53.8).
Stanford's second varsity eight posted its second open water win of the day with a time of 6:00.3 to Santa Clara's 6:27.8.
The Broncos (6:15.1) defeated Stanford (6:20.2) in the third varsity eight in the the Cardinal's final race of the day.
Stanford enjoyed a strong opening day at the prestigious Lake Natoma Invitational on Saturday in Gold River.
Cardinal boats won six out of seven races it competed in, included a pair of wins each for the varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four.
During the afternoon session of Saturday's full day of competition, No. 7 Stanford saw its top boat race to victory over No. 12 Wisconsin (6:28.73) and No. 18 Notre Dame (6:36.43) with a time of 6:24.06 in the varsity eight.
The second varsity eight posted a time of 6:37.26 to edge Notre Dame (6:39.35) by several seats for first. Wisconsin was third with a time of 6:42.73.
The Cardinal varsity four (7:22.14) raced to an open water win over second-place Wisconsin (7:27.82) and third-place Notre Dame (7:47.01).
In the morning session, the varsity eight raced down the course in 6:22.47, en route to the win over No. 15 Gonzaga (6:27.65) and Sacramento State (6:52.63).
The second varsity (6:33.30) posted the open water win over Gonzaga (6:44.00) and Sacramento State (7:00.82), and the varsity four (7:11.13) registered the open water victory over the Bulldogs (7:24.58) and the Hornets (7:44.36).
Haley Snyder and the Stanford defense blanked No. 17 Arizona over the final four innings of Saturday's matchup at Boyd & Jill Smith Family Stadium, but the Wildcats' six-run advantage through the first three frames proved too much for the Cardinal to overcome in a 6-1 loss in Pac-12 action.
Snyder (7-9) retired 13 of final 14 batters she faced while scattering six hits in the complete-game effort.
The Cardinal (13-22 overall, 0-11 Pac-12) managed four hits on Arizona (30-12, 7-4), but Taylor McQuillin twirled a four-hitter to go along with nine punchouts to improve her ledger to 11-5 on the season and clinch the series for the Wildcats.
Kayla Bonstrom stroked an RBI-double to right-center to pull the Cardinal to within 6-1 in the fifth stanza.
The series finale is slated for 4 p.m., Sunday and will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.
The No. 29-ranked Cardinal dropped a 4-1 decision to No. 16 California on Saturday afternoon in the regular-season finale for both teams in Berkeley.
The Cardinal (13-9, 4-3 Pac-12) had its three-match winning streak snapped and suffered its second loss of the season to the Golden Bears (15-5, 5-2 Pac-12), with Cal also prevailing 4-3 in nonconference action back on Feb. 20.
California grabbed the early 1-0 lead after winning the doubles point, thanks to victories at the Nos. 2 and 3 spots.
Filip Bergevi extended the advantage to 2-0 following a 6-0, 7-6 (3) win over Nolan Paige on court four.
Stanford's lone point came from Brandon Sutter, who defeated Mads Engsted 6-4, 6-3 at the No. 6 position.
Florian Lakat added a 7-6 (2), 6-3 triumph against Tom Fawcett at the top spot of the lineup before Andre Goransson provided the clincher with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 win over David Wilczynski on court two.
Stanford returns to action next week at the Pac-12 Championships. The field will be announced on Sunday.