No. 2 USC Men's Volleyball Beats No. 5 Stanford
March 31, 2012
Tanner Jansen had a match-best 17 kills to lead the No. 2-ranked USC men's volleyball team to a 25-22, 25-20, 15-25, 25-20 victory over No. 5 Stanford in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match on Saturday (March 31) before 1,000 noisy fans in USC's cramped, steamy North Gym.
It was USC's 13th consecutive win, its longest streak since a school-record 30 in a row in 1990-91.
The Trojans improved to 18-4 overall and 14-4 in the MPSF, while the Cardinal fell to 15-6 overall and 12-5 in the MPSF.
Jansen hit a blazing .519 and added 6 digs and 5 blocks. Teammate Tony Ciarelli had 12 kills, while Robert Feathers had 8 kills (hitting .889) and a match-leading 7 blocks and Micah Christenson had 9 digs.
For Stanford, Brad Lawson had 16 kills, 10 digs and 4 aces, while Brian Cook came off the bench to notch 12 kills. Erik Shoji had a match-best 13 digs for the Cardinal.
USC hit .351 to Stanford's .284. The Cardinal had the edge in digs (40 to 33) and aces (7 to 2).
The first set was tight throughout until USC scored the final 3 points on a pair of Jansen kills sandwiching a Stanford hitting error (Troy hit .448 in the set). The second set also was close until USC tallied back-to-back points to open a 21-18 edge that the Cardinal couldn't overcome. In the third set, Stanford got off to a quick 3-1 start and steadily built on it while hitting .500 and serving 4 aces. The Trojans trailed 12-10 in the fourth set, but then went on a 6-point run to forge all the cushion they needed while hitting .480.
The match pitted the Mochalski brothers starting on opposite sides of the net. USC's Steven, a junior, had 7 kills, while Stanford sophomore Eric had 8 kills and 3 aces. Also, Steven Irvin-whose sister, Kelly, played on USC's indoor team and now is a member of Women of Troy's sand team and whose uncle, Greg, was on USC's 1980 men's NCAA championship squad-started for Stanford and recorded 7 kills.
It was the final of 3 straight matches that the Trojans have played this year in the North Gym, the original home of USC men's volleyball. The Trojans played there from the program's inception in 1970 through 1988 and then at times from 1997 to 2006 before moving into the new Galen Center. A previously-contracted event in the Galen Center displaced the Trojans in late March.
USC now returns to the Galen Center for its final 2 regular-season home matches next week, against No. 13 UC San Diego on Thursday (April 5) and then versus No. 1 UC Irvine on Saturday (April 7). Both MPSF contests begin at 7 p.m.