MALIBU, Calif. – Behind a career-high 21 kills from Jordan Ewert, the No. 10 Stanford men’s volleyball team went on the road Friday and opened MPSF play with a 3-1 (29-27, 25-16, 13-25, 26-24) win over No. 7 Pepperdine at Firestone Fieldhouse.
To go with his 21 kills, Ewert collected seven digs, two blocks and two aces while hitting .234. Redshirt junior Kevin Rakestraw tallied 11 kills on 18 swings with just one error (.556) and recorded a match-high five blocks. Sophomore opposite Matt Klassen was also in double-figures with 10 kills.
Freshman setter Paul Bischoff turned in his first career double-double with a career-highs of 45 assists and 11 digs. He directed the Cardinal offense to a .252 team hitting percentage, while the Waves were held to a .207 clip.
Junior libero Evan Enriques, a first team All-American last season, racked-up a season-best 13 digs to anchor the defense. Redshirt senior outside hitter Gabriel Vega added six digs and eight kills for the Cardinal.
Despite being out hit .368 to .286 in the opening set, Stanford stole the first set as Vega came on late to give the Cardinal the 27-26 lead and later set point.
The Cardinal picked up its defense, posting 46 digs to just 30 by the Waves. Stanford hit .300 in the second set, while Pepperdine was -.030. Ewert was on fire in the second frame, posting nine of his 21 kills.
Pepperdine avoided the sweep in the third, hitting .421 as Stanford was limited to a .069 team hitting percentage with nine attack errors.
The Cardinal regained its continuity on offense in the fourth, limiting itself to five attack errors. Stanford held a 22-19 lead late in the set, but allowed a 3-0 run by the Waves to tie it up. After going back-and-forth, Stanford sealed the win with a kill by Rakestraw and a block by Ewert and freshman Stephen Moye.
Pepperdine was led by Michael Wexter’s 13 kills, five digs and five blocks. David Wieczorek added 12 kills on .222 hitting and six digs.