No. 13 Stanford Downs No. 5 UC- Irvine in Five-Game Thriller
Santa Barbara, Calif. - No. 13 ranked Stanford Cardinal (2-0) continued its banner day by defeating defending national champion UC-Irvine (1-1) in five games (30-21, 30-28, 28-30, 28-30, 15-10) to advance to the championship game of the UCSB/Elephant Bar Tournament.
Earlier in the day Stanford defeated No. 7 Cal State Northridge 30-27, 30-25, 28-30, 32-30.
Senior Matt Ceran once again led the way for the Cardinal with 19 kills to give him 38 in the two games on the day. Sophomore Evan Romero finished with 16 kills and freshman Spencer McLachlin finished the match with 10 kills. Junior Brandon Williams chipped in eight kills for the Cardinal and was also able to do it at a .800 efficiency, which set the tone for Stanford in the match.
The Cardinal jumped out to big leads in games one and two, but UC-Irvine showed its national championship form in games three and four to clawed back and even the match at two games apiece. The fifth game proved to be a battle as the Cardinal were able to win a couple of service points. With the score 9-8, sophomore Kawika Shoji ran off a four point run off three services aces to propel the Cardinal to a 13-8 lead. McLachlin was able to clinch the match on a kill and send Stanford into the championship game.
The match will be against the University of Alberta and will take place at 6:30 PM and will be played at Robertson Gymnasium on the campus of UCSB.
Head Coach John Kosty praised his young group after two hard fought victories. "We had a good day, it was great to see the team step up in crunch time and win the match."
Article courtesy of Stanford athletics.