No. 9 Stanford Edges No. 15 USC, 3-2
April 10, 2004
STANFORD, Calif. - The No. 9 ranked Stanford University men's volleyball team rallied to defeat the No. 15 ranked USC Trojans, 3-2, Saturday night in Burnham Pavilion. Game scores for the match were 21-30, 30-25, 31-33, 30-22, and 15-13. With the win, the Cardinal improve to 9-16 overall and 6-14 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play. The Trojans fall to 6-21 on the season and 4-16 in MPSF action.
The Trojans came out swinging in the first game, posting a .500 hitting percentage to take the first game 30-21. USC grabbed a 13-9 lead on a Stanford hitting error and never looked back after that. The Trojans closed out game one with back-to-back kills by Pedro Leal. Sophomore outside hitter Nick Manov led the Cardinal with six kills in game one, while redshirt junior Pat Bomhack added five.
After hitting just .194 in the first game, the Cardinal picked up the offense, hitting .353 en route to winning game two, 30-25. The Cardinal grabbed an early 10-8 lead thanks to an ace by junior middle blocker Craig Buell. The Trojans battled back and tied the score at 19-19, but moments later, a solo block by redshirt junior Kevin Hansen gave the lead back to Stanford, which it wouldn't relinquish. Consecutive kills by junior outside hitter David Vogel and Bomhack pushed the Cardinal's lead to 24-20. Stanford would use a 6-5 run to close out the game.
The Trojans grabbed an early lead and would push their advantage to 20-16 on a kill by Leal. The Cardinal would battle back to tie the score at 23-23 and take their first lead of the game at 25-23 on consecutive blocks. USC would go on a 6-4 run to reach game point at 29-28, capped by a kill by Jeff Bailey. On the very next play, Buell hammered home a kill to bring the Cardinal even at 29-29. The two teams traded the next four points until consecutive kills by USC ended the game at 33-31. The Cardinal were led by sophomore outside hitter Ben Reddy's six kills, while Bomhack and Buell each chipped in four.
The Cardinal would respond by capturing game four, 30-22. Vogel's kill midway through the game would give Stanford a 17-13 edge. A kill by Bomhack would push the Cardinal's lead to five at 20-15. Three consecutive blocks by the duo of Bomhack and Buell gave Stanford a 23-15 lead and the Cardinal would cruise to the win. Vogel paced the Cardinal with four kills, while Ahlfeldt, Bomhack and Buell combined for nine blocks.
"It's always tough to lose a third game that could go either way," said Stanford Head Coach Don Shaw. "I was really pleased with the way we were able to bounce back and take game four. We changed some things up in game four that worked out for us. It was sloppy win, but a win is a win."
The teams moved on to the decisive fifth game. USC grabbed an early 6-3 lead thanks to a kill by Joao Grangeiro. Stanford would trim the Trojans' lead to one at 9-8 on a kill by Bomhack. The Cardinal would tie the score at 9-9 on a block by Bomhack and Buell and they would grab their first lead of the game at 10-9 on a kill by Buell. The Trojans would record two straight kills to take a slim 11-10 lead. Consecutive kills by Reddy put the Cardinal back on top at 12-11. After USC tied the score at 12-12, Reddy hammered home another kill to put the Cardinal up for good at 13-12. A hitting error by USC and then a kill by Bomhack ended the game at 15-13.
Bomhack led four Cardinal players in double figure kills with 17. Reddy added 15 kills, while Buell chipped in 11 and Vogel added 10. Hansen handed out 56 assists and collected 11 digs. Vogel and sophomore libero Jeremy Jacobs registered six digs each. Led by Ahlfeldt, Bomhack, Buell and Vogel, the Cardinal controlled the nets, out-blocking the Trojans, 14-10.5.
The Trojans were led by McKniff and Blake Tippett who each registered 18 kills, while Bailey and Leal each pounded home 12 kills for USC. J.T. Gilmour tallied a game-high 63 assists, while Evan Burden and Grangeiro collected 12 and 10 digs, respectively.
The Cardinal wrap up the regular season next week when they head to Stockton to face the UOP Tigers on Wednesday, April 14th before returning to The Farm to host UOP on Saturday, April 17th.